All of the cells in our body are built from the essential amino acids that we get from protein. It’s the key nutrient needed for regulating appetite, supporting lean, toned muscles, boosting the immune system, and achieving a more radiant complexion.
I’ve been in the fitness and health industry since my early 20s and have tried many kinds of protein on the market. Some made me gain weight, some made me feel bloated and some constipated me for days.
My personal need for a convenient protein powder that supported my digestive system is ultimately what led me to design my own. I wanted one that was clean, natural and free from any nasties, such as the common culprits in the list below!
Here’s what you DON’T want in a protein powder:1. Casein + Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
WPC’s and casein protein sources are high in lactose and poorly absorbed, which can often cause bloating, flatulence, and gastrointestinal distress in some people. It’s quite ironic that these powders actually started off as a weight gainer in medical institutions!
Healthy Chef Pure Native WPI is a whey protein isolate - not concentrate - and is derived from grass-fed, hormone-free biodynamic milk. Once collected, the milk undergoes minimal cold-filtration processing, resulting in a cleaner un-denatured protein with superior nutrient absorption.
Healthy Chef Pure Native WPI is a whey protein isolate - not concentrate.
For more info on how to choose the right whey protein, click HERE.2. Gluten
Food sensitivities to gluten can elevate inflammation in some people and cause a range of health problems including hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, fatigue, mood swings, and headaches.3. Dextrins / Maltodextrin
These ingredients can raise glycemic load, which may contribute to fat storage. Most are processed with GMO corn and they can also cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. They are mostly added to protein powders as fillers to bulk it out or make the protein mix easier.4. Artificial sweeteners
Common artificial sweeteners used are sucralose, splenda (955), aspartamine, equal, NutraSweet (951), or saccharin (954). Several negative side effects can come from ingesting these ingredients, including headaches, migraines, gastric distress such as bloating, acid reflux and weight gain.
5. Skim milk powders / milk solids
Several negative side effects can come from ingesting these ingredients, including headaches, bloating, acid reflux and weight gain.
Skim milk powders and milk solids are often used as a cheap bulking agent in lower quality powders. They are high in lactose sugars, which can cause bloating, gastrointestinal distress, constipation, and loose stools.6. Soy protein
Some soy proteins come from genetically-modified sources with high pesticide use. They contain chemical compounds which may cause hormonal disturbances in some people.7. Vegetable oils and fats
These ingredients are often added to many weight loss and protein powders to increase richness and make them taste creamy. However, these fats are often derived from hydrogenated sources that contain trans fats, which are thought to be more harmful than saturated fats.
8. Thickeners and gums
Trans fats raise levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol.
Thickeners and gums, including xanthin gum, are manufactured from soy or corn and can cause bloating, constipation and gas. They are little like glue in my digestive system.9. Fillers
Fillers are often added to bulk up the protein and save money for the manufacturer.
Some fillers include ingredients such as:
- coconut flour
- psyllium, and
which can cause gastric distress such as bloating, constipation and reflux in people who are susceptible to digestive issues.
10. Added fibres
Added fibres in protein powders are often included as a filler or weight management tool. For me personally, it causes gastric distress, constipation and bloating as I have a particularly sensitive digestive system.
The cleaner your protein powder, the better. The best fibres to eat are obtained from plant-based leafy greens, vegetables and fruits, not your protein.
Remember to always look at the ingredients list on your protein powder so you know exactly what you are putting in your body!