- Protein has grown in popularity since the mid-2000s, in part due to its association with weight loss.
- A nutritionist said that products labeled “high protein” can contain fewer macronutrients than you might think.
- Likewise, foods like nut butters, which are often good protein sources, don’t contain much.
Protein-rich foods are growing in popularity, but not everything you might assume is a rich source of the macronutrient actually is, according to a dietitian.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fats, that make up all of our foods.
It is essential for general health, but is especially important for active people or anyone who has The goal of losing fat or building muscle. Helps muscles recover and grow It satiates so it keeps you full. Adults in the United States are recommended to eat 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Protein has grown in popularity since the early 2000s after studies suggested it could aid weight loss, a food historian wrote in ConversationThis has led to the emergence of high-protein diets. The global market for protein nutritional products is expected to grow to more than $70 billion by 2025, up from $52 billion in 2020, according to a report from the market data company. statista.
The growing interest in protein has led to the addition of some food companies Labels “high protein” for their products. But such foods are not always high in protein, and the label often comes at a hefty price, Registered Nutritionist Graeme Tomlinson He said from the inside.
Likewise, many all foods Which people think are good protein sources often aren’t actually as rich in macronutrients as they’d hope.
Although, there is nothing wrong with these foods. “There are no ‘bad’ foods,” Tomlinson said, “but they simply aren’t high in protein compared to the amount of energy they contain.”
To get proteinFocus on foods like Greek yogurt, lean meats, and eggs.
Tomlinson shared four foods that aren’t as high in protein as you think.
It’s also a source of protein, but you have to eat a lot to get a good share of the macronutrient, according to Tomlinson.
“While nuts contain a decent amount of protein, they are also rich in calories,” Tomlinson said. “For example, 100 grams of peanuts contains 30 grams of protein, but also contains 620 calories.”
according to US Department of AgricultureA serving of nuts is 1 ounce or 28 grams, which is roughly a handful.
This may not be a problem for everyone, but if you are trying to commit to a file Calorie deficiency To lose weight, it may be helpful to monitor your portion size.
However, research also indicates that not all of the calories in nuts are absorbed by our bodies, and they may be 15-25% lower in calories than previously thought, Hilary Brooke reported from Insider.
2. Protein snacks
There are a lot of so-called protein snacks available in grocery stores these days, but their marketing can be misleading, according to Tomlinson.
He uses the example of a popular brand of protein bites in the UK, where he resides.
“While these foods are celebrated as a protein snack, the truth is you get four grams of protein for 132 calories,” he said. “You’d be better off eating low-fat cheese and getting four times the protein with the same calories.”
Likewise, some “protein” nut bars have about 250 calories and only provide about 10 grams of protein, Tomlinson said. For comparison, 100 grams of chicken breast contains about 110 calories and about 25 grams of protein.
Remember to read the nutritional information before buying, he said.
3. Bread and protein bread
Bread products, from loaves of bread, which are labeled “high protein,” Tomlinson said, contain barely more than the “regular” ones.
Tomlinson points to the example of a thin protein cake.
“With eight grams of protein per 160 calories it seems like a good deal,” he said. “But regular bread has about 230 calories and nine grams of protein. Is it really worth swapping out your favorite plain bread in the name of more protein? Not really.”
4. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter provides healthy fats, energy, and some protein, but just like whole nuts, it’s not as high in protein as many would hope.
“It’s considered the greatest health food of the 2000s, and many have lauded it as a protein-rich snack as well,” Tomlinson said. “But while they’re packed with nutrients, their protein profile is identical to that of peanuts — calorie-dense and certainly not protein-dense.”
A 15-gram (about 1 teaspoon) serving of peanut butter contains about four grams of protein and 95 calories.