When you hear “protein shake,” or see “30 grams of protein” on a smoothie bottle’s label, you might draw the conclusion that this beverage is a healthy choice. But protein drinks are usually high calorie, high in sugar and highly refined, making them a poor choice when compared to all the natural sources of protein you could be eating instead.
Take Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus for instance. This is their claim:
But if you look at the Nutrition Facts label, you see that you’d have to drink two servings to get the 30 grams of protein they brag about, which means you would also be consuming 420 calories and 52 grams of sugar.
And if you read the ingredients list, you see that the protein comes from two highly processed sources: whey protein concentrate and soy protein isolate (the soy derivative that may increase estrogen levels in the body).
Nothing about this ingredients list looks appealing to me. Especially when you can get that much protein and fiber – plus a host of naturally-occurring nutrients and a lot more satisfaction – from a lower calorie whole foods snack like plain Greek yogurt with berries and chopped nuts.
Next time you’re contemplating a protein drink for a meal replacement or snack, choose one of these high protein options instead.