We’re living in a time when more protein is recommended at all times. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your weight, or build muscle, the tips you get generally involve the words: “eat more protein.”
And, while this is sage advice for the most part (because most protein-rich foods are extremely healthy), the fact is: some foods that are marketed for their protein benefits aren’t on par with others.
This is the one protein you should avoid because it causes stomach rolls.
Smoothies and shakes are kind of a big deal — for good reason. These simple-to-make snacks and meal replacements offer a chance to fill up your cup with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and yes, fiber, courtesy of one of many, many protein powders on the market.
But reading the labels on those tins of powder is incredibly important because some are actually filled with sugar and high in calories.
According to Healthline: “ … some premade smoothies contain nearly 14 teaspoons (55 grams) of sugar in just one bottle (450 ml). What’s more, certain protein shakes pack almost 400 calories per bottle (450 ml). Smoothies and protein shakes can easily be consumed too quickly, stuffing your body with excessive calories and sugar.”
Your best bet is not to rely on pre-made shakes and to take control of the situation by only choosing protein powders that are high in protein and low in sugar and calories.
The same applies to protein bars, which are also often touted as a perfectly healthy source of protein. Not to trash them all — many bars are exactly what they claim. But, according to Cooking Light, the wrong bar can be so loaded with calories, sugar, and saturated fat that it’s equal to eating cookies or a McDonald’s Big Mac.
Which isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you chose that seemingly healthy bar.
The best way to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet is to never rely on shortcuts like bars and shakes. Most of your protein intake should come with whole food sources like lean meats, fish, and plant-based proteins like legumes.