As a woman finding a healthy protein product can be a challenge. In fact, most protein powders for women are anything but healthy and many contain ingredients that pose a serious threat to your thyroid health.
My special report will help you choose wisely as I reveal the five ingredients you don’t want to see listed on the nutritional panel.
The Role of Protein in Maintaining Health
Before we delve deeper, let’s take a quick look at the role of protein in maintaining your health.
Did you know protein does more than help build strong muscles?
According to WebMD..
“Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood”.
Given the importance of this nutrient a protein shake supplement can be a convenient way to boost daily intake.
That said, here’s five ingredients you should avoid to safeguard your thyroid health.
Five Ingredients Commonly Found in Protein Powders For Women That Pose a Risk to Thyroid Health
#1 Soy Protein
With so many options one of the first things you should check is the protein source. You will find this information on the nutritional panel.
The #1 reason why women’s protein products pose a threat to thyroid health is that they often contain soy protein. It’s the worst protein powder you can buy.
Why is soy protein such a problem?
Soy is goitrogenic, the term used to describe a food that slows proper thyroid activity. In short, soy protein blocks healthy thyroid function. And that’s definitely not what you want!
There Are 3 More Reasons Why Soy is Not So Healthy
ONE. Protein supplement companies continue to use soy protein because it’s cheap, and they want to keep promoting the outdated notion that soy is beneficial for women’s health. It’s simply not true, soy can seriously disrupt natural hormone balance.
TWO. Most soy is grown from genetically modified (GM) seeds. And unless a soy product is clearly marked as ‘GM free’ or organic on the label it’s likely from GM seeds. Furthermore, GM soy is often contaminated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® weedkiller. Studies show glyphosate has the potential to damage the gut microbiome, the complex mini-ecosystem within the digestive tract that plays a critical role in overall health.
THREE. The harsh chemical extraction process is problematic. You see, isolating the soy protein from the soybean is difficult. Manufacturers must therefore use extreme extraction techniques to isolate the protein out. What they don’t tell you on the label is that the solvent most often used to extract the protein is hexane.
Did you know hexane is potentially toxic?
Hexane is a chemical isolated from natural gas and crude oil. The major use of hexane solvents is in food processing. This is despite the fact human studies on hexane toxicity is extremely limited. There are however some studies to suggest chronic exposure frequently results in degenerative damage to the peripheral nervous system. That’s not good news as toxic hexane residues can easily find their way into soy products.
> > You can read more about the problems with soy here on this blog post: Healthy Choice or Hype? Should You Avoid Soy To Safeguard Your Thyroid Health?
How do you know if a protein product contains soy?
You need to carefully check the ingredients listed on the label. When soy is listed first this tells you it’s the main ingredient. Protein from soy is commonly listed as soy protein, soy isolate, or soy concentrate.
As you can imagine, I strongly suggest you don’t buy a protein powder when the protein is sourced from soy.
#2 Dairy Derived Protein
If soy protein is not used whey powder, or casein from milk are common alternatives.
But this too may be the wrong type of protein as dairy based protein is very reactive, and easily triggers digestive distress such as gas and bloating.
You may see whey touted as a ‘fast protein’ and casein described as a slow protein.
Casein is slowly digested as the human gut finds it extremely difficult to breakdown this large protein molecule. For my mind, casein is setting you up for long term digestive problems.
If you are dairy intolerant, or have a sensitive digestive system it is best to skip using any type of protein product that is derived from dairy.
#3 Harmful Artificial Sweeteners
Most supplement companies assume women want their protein product to taste super sweet. That’s because they think women who are trying to lose weight, or improve muscle definition want to avoid sugar but still want to enjoy the taste sensation.
For these reasons, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (951) and sucralose (955) are often used.
Although officially approved for use the science is clear. These chemical sweeteners are anything but healthy. They cause weight gain, and put you at a higher risk of diabetes, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, there are safe, natural alternatives. The US Food and Drug Administration have approved the use of Stevia rebaudiana. Many natural health companies are opting to stevia which is considered a safe plant-based natural sweetener.
You can also naturally boost the sweetness of your protein shake by adding in fresh fruit, and a small amount of honey, or pure maple syrup.
#4 Unhealthy Additives
If you want to know whether something is healthy or not, it’s best to ignore the front of the label, and check the ingredient list and nutritional panel to discover what’s really inside.
Clever marketing can make a product seem healthy.
When you take a closer look you may be shocked to see a long list of food additives including soy lecithin, vegetable gums, synthetic flavours, artificial colours, maltodextrin, chemical sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and sugar derivatives such as fructose and dextrose.
It can be a little frustrating, but these days you need to look carefully to find a clean, healthy protein product that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients.
#5 Low Grade Vitamins and Minerals
Another important aspect to consider is that vitamins and minerals may be added to the product.
When nutrients are added to protein powders they are not always supplied in meaningful quantities, or in the most bioactive forms. For example, protein products may contain synthetic folic acid which is not well absorbed.
In addition to using a protein shake product it may be best to opt for a good quality thyroid formula that supplies specific vitamins and minerals to aid thyroid health.
A Word of Caution
You certainly don’t want to go overboard with consuming too much protein as this places undue stress on your body. The key to a healthy diet is to maintain a high amount of fat intake, a moderate amount of protein intake, and very low carbohydrate intake.
Which Type of Protein is Best?
As you can see not all protein products are created equally!
Here’s the scoop on newer, and healthier protein powders for women. These natural protein products are less likely to harm your thyroid health.
+ Hemp protein
+ Organic sprouted brown rice protein
+ Organic pea protein isolate
Just to Recap: The Best Protein Powders For Women
Here’s a simple checklist that will help you choose wisely.
+ Zero soy and dairy
+ Zero artificial sweeteners
+ Zero sugar
+ Zero cheap nutrients
+ Zero unhealthy additives