What’s So Bad About Whey Protein?
As an advocate for a primarily plant-based diet, I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked, “But what about protein?” I’ve written about the epic obsession Americans have with protein. It’s true that some people do feel better when they get more protein in their diet, and if you’re one of those who worries about not getting “enough” protein, you need to know why you shouldn’t ever use one of the most popular supplements ever manufactured: Whey protein!
Don’t Eat Whey Protein! What Protein is Best?
In this article:
Why is Whey Protein Bad For You?
It’s a Byproduct (Throwaway)
Whey wasn’t originally considered to be food. It was a byproduct of dairy processing. Then the industry discovered they could gather that throwaway product, dry it, and market it as a nutrition product by touting its high protein content. (Which is probably the only good thing you can say about it.)
It’s a manufacturer’s dream—repurposing a waste byproduct to increase profit on the same process!
Through great marketing, and because the product has such low cost for the manufacturer, Americans now spend billions of dollars a year on whey protein products.
But…just because they’re selling us a lot of it doesn’t make it good for you!
It’s Overly Processed
Whey goes through many refining stages—sometimes up to 14 different processes—before it’s served up to you in a bag or a bar.
It’s a highly refined food, without any real redeeming qualities, and we already know that processing the heck out of any food causes the body to react negatively in a variety of ways.
Whey protein is also devoid of fiber, low in most micronutrients, and is quite acidic. It may cause the human body to react by producing mucus, as it does, to flush out anything it doesn’t recognize as nutrition.
Many whey protein powders even contain food dyes like Yellow #5 (Tartrazine), which scientists have proven can negatively affect organs like the liver and kidneys, even at low doses.
It’s Full of Hormones, Steroids, and Antibiotics
Because whey is made from cow’s milk, consumers of it are getting high exposure to the steroids, hormones, and antibiotics fed to the cow.
Most whey proteins come from conventional cow’s milk. Now, some marketers are differentiating themselves by claiming that their whey protein is from cows in New Zealand. Or from cows that aren’t fed rBST hormone, or from cows that are organic.
Well, that’s certainly better than the hormone-, antibiotic-, and steroid-laden stuff most manufacturers sell, right?
Wrong. No matter the source, any cow’s milk (and therefore, whey) still has all the problematic natural bovine hormones and proteins (different from those in human milk) that have been shown to cause inflammation, flare up auto-immune disease, trigger allergies, and possibly wreak havoc to insulin, long term.
It’s Being Linked to Cancer and Heart Disease
These milk proteins have also been linked to cancer and heart disease by The China Study, the biggest piece of nutrition research ever undertaken.
You may be familiar with the findings by these Oxford and Cornell researchers, who also documented that subjects who didn’t eat milk proteins had much lower rates of cancer and other diseases.
Two Better Alternatives
Don’t get me wrong—I love protein. Who doesn’t want to maintain muscle mass and strength? Who doesn’t want to burn fat? And who doesn’t want to slow down the impact on their blood sugar, decrease the insulin reaction of, for instance, the fruit sugars in their green smoothie?
And protein powder is just so convenient for all those purposes and more. I use it, myself. But let’s take whey protein off the table, shall we?
In fact, over the years, I’ve also rejected countless other protein powders as too processed, too junky, too gimmicky, or from dubious sources.
It’s why I’ve ended up making my own, where I know exactly what’s in them, what the processes are, and who has handled them.
A Protein Punch from Plants
Plant Protein is a simple, unflavored blend with just three ingredients: organic pea protein, organic quinoa protein, and organic agave inulin. You’ll find that it mixes up better than our previous protein blend! The agave inulin, an insoluble fiber, doubles as a prebiotic and gives a hint of sweetness.
Our Superfood Protein Meal
We boosted it with antioxidant-rich green tea extract and B vitamins for mood-stabilization and energy. Then we sweetened it with a bit of herbal stevia and lightly flavored it with vanilla.
It’s a fantastic addition to your green smoothie, or you can add it to water for an easy, yummy nutritious meal or snack.
How wonderful would it be to reach for a product with an ingredient list similar to what you grow in your garden, rather than one you have to Google to understand?
Bone Broth Protein
Are you ready for the cleanest, most delicious grass-fed bone broth protein anywhere?
I don’t eat very many animal products, but the collagen-rich bone broth is a whole food that may be a missing link even for people like me who eat mostly plants.
The “skin” of your intestinal tract is so big, it would cover a tennis court. And nothing is better for the health of your skin than a clean version of bone broth. It’s a magic elixir not only for the skin you show the world but for that internal “skin” as well.
The collagen in bone broth helps repair and maintain joints and tissues, while the gelatin and amino acids “heal and seal” your gut, promote bone, hair, and nail health, and quiet inflammation.
But it’s a hassle to find grass-fed beef bones, and boil it for hours. I tried it for a while, and it was a stinky drag.
Green Smoothie Girl Protein Powder
So, I’m thrilled to bring you our brand-new GSG Bone Broth Protein powder, in Natural, Chocolate Shake, and Vanilla Shake!
The Natural version is pure bone broth protein with nothing added, and so neutral in taste that you can add protein to any food or beverage, without adding any flavor. It goes down easy by itself, too, in hot or cold water.
But let me tell you about the Vanilla Shake and Chocolate Shake flavors. Oh, my.
They are sweetened with all natural monk fruit, and these blends are so unbelievably yummy that we had to name them “shakes!” Because they literally taste like that.
They blend easily and are fabulous in just plain water–cold for a refreshing “shake,” or hot for a soothing, cozy “hot cocoa”-like a treat at bedtime. Even kids will ask for more!
Check out my video here, where I introduce you to the new lineup:
In today’s busy world, sometimes we need healthy shortcuts and clean protein sources. I pack a bag of both kinds of GreenSmoothieGirl protein powder to get me through long flights and trips where I’m on the move.
If I feel like a meal I’m eating is too high in carbs, I just add some of ANY of these proteins to water, shake it up, and drink it first.
Keep some in your purse or travel bag along with a blender bottle. This way, you’ll never have to be hungry, and you’ll always get outstanding nutrition.
Say “no way” to whey! There are much better, healthier options–try two or more of our brand-new proteins and get FREE SHIPPING on orders of $75 or more.
Have you tried the Green Smoothie girl Protein Powder? How was it? I would love to know your experience in the comments section!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on May 16, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.