If you live
an active lifestyle, you know just how important having an adequate amount of protein in your diet is. Certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition, says to aim for “no more than 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal.” Langevin’s recommendation falls within the CDC’s for women ages 19 to 70 of an average of 46 grams of protein per day. Some women might even need double that amount if they’re trying to build muscle.
But how are you getting that protein? We all want to take care of our health and reach our goals, but there are some
sources of protein you’re going to want to avoid along the way. Not all proteins are created equally, so we’ve rounded up the worst six that you should stay far away from or practice moderation with to stay on track with your weight loss goals.
There are a ton of yogurts in the grocery store that pose as a healthy breakfast snack or breakfast alternative. They claim to be “light,” low in fat, or nonfat, or it could even have the total calories front and center. But the real truth is in the nutrition facts.
Most yogurts, even Greek-style, can contain more than 20 grams of sugar. This is barely less than the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 25 grams of sugar per day. If the fat is taken out of the yogurt, it’s usually just replaced by more sugar.
But don’t worry, since there’s a ton of great
low-sugar yogurt options in your grocery store (Siggi’s and Skyr are great). Sometimes it’s more important to consider clean ingredients than total calorie count, and yogurt is definitely one of those items you should take a second glance at before buying. Fried Meats
Chicken nuggets, fried chicken, chicken tenders, wings – the fried meat options are endless. However, even though you’re getting more
protein in comparison to another fried food like potatoes, you may still be doing your body some harm. According to studies, experts say that eating lots of fried foods can elevate blood pressure and cholesterol, both risk factors for heart disease. Not only that, but you’re also significantly increasing your calorie intake by deep-frying your food rather than baking, grilling, or stir-frying it.
It’s important to note, though, that the
type of oil you fry food in determines how harmful it can be. Frying in olive oil is your best bet if you don’t want to bake your meat. Swapping out saturated fats like vegetable oils for unsaturated fats can help keep your cholesterol in check. Protein Bars (See the Trans Fat Monster, Artificial Colors and Flavors Monster, HFCS Monster, Sugar Monster and Artificial Sugar Monster at
http://whatseatingyoukid.com. Learn how to identify these monsters. Learn to read food labels)
You’re in a rush on the way to the work or can’t stop for a meal post-workout. Maybe you haven’t had enough
protein by the end of the day so you reach for one of those processed protein bars – the type that claims it has zero to few net grams of carbs and packs a whole 20 grams of protein. “A good protein bar is only as effective as its ingredients,” Dr. Luiza Petre, board-certified cardiologist and weight-management specialist, tells POPSUGAR. “Do not just read the front wrapper; delve into the actual composition of ingredients on the back.” Once you do that, Dr. Petre says you’ll find it common to see tons of harmful ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils, food coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners.
A good rule of thumb is if you don’t recognize the ingredient, don’t put it inside of you.
Standard Peanut Butter – (See the Peanut Butter Monster at
Peanut butter can be a great health food as it’s filled with protein and healthy fats, but it can also be transformed into something so bad for your health. Turn around your peanut butter jar and read the ingredients from beginning to end. The first ingredient should always be peanuts. The only other ingredient should be salt. A lot of peanut butters you find on the shelf are filled with corn syrup solids, sugar, and hydrogenated oils.
“Non-natural peanut butters can have small amounts of trans fats,” Jim White, RD, ACSM, owner of
Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, tells POPSUGAR. These refined fats and sugars found in jars of peanut butter you probably consumed heavily as a kid may deliver you protein but are also delivering a bunch of processed ingredients you’re better off without. Next time, look for a peanut butter jar with minimal ingredients. Farmed Salmon
Salmon is an incredible health superfood – it’s filled with omega-3 fats, high in
protein, and delicious with just about anything. But what most people don’t know is that where you source your salmon has a huge impact on its nutrient makeup. According to the New York Times, “ Salmon raised on fish farms were laced with far more toxic chemicals than their wild brethren.” Kelly R. Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, also tells POPSUGAR: “If you’re eating farm-raised salmon, you may be getting plenty of omega-3s but also more saturated fat than in wild-caught.” Processed Meats (See the Nitrosamines Monster and the Preservatives Monster at
This includes deli meats, sausages, hot dogs, salami, and bacon. “There are better ways to find
protein for your salad, especially since the sodium overload in deli meat may make you overeat, is dehydrating, and can cause bloating,” Maggie Moon, MS, RD, and author of The MIND Diet, tells POPSUGAR.
These meats can stay on shelves for long periods of time, which means they’re filled with preservatives. They also have added colorings and flavorings that can increase your overall sugar intake and lead to more harmful health effects.
Stick to unprocessed meats if you want to take care of your health.
Hajar Larbah – Popsugar