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The Problems with Powders

by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS

One of the most frequent questions I get as the staff nutritionist is about protein powders and green superfood powders. For many people, these popular powders represent a healthy, simple, and quick way to get nourishment. But are they safe and healthy?

Pause for just a moment and consider these powders. Do you really know what is in that canister?   Does it resemble anything like the original plants or animals from which it was derived?  How did it become a powder?  What processes and techniques were used to extract the nutrients from the original source?  Could it be something other than what the package claims to be? Could harmful things make their way into the product?  Did the manufacturer test or confirm the purity of its product?

I would argue that most food powders contain things that would surprise you, and perhaps much more than the ingredient list implies or the manufacturer claims. The Clean Label Project [https://cleanlabelproject.org/the-best-worst-protein-powder-products/] has carefully tested 134 of the most popular protein powders in the marketplace and discovered a plethora of pesticide, heavy metals, and plastic residues in the vast majority of them.  Recently, I picked up a container of Psyllium Husks that were described on the packaging as “100% Pure Psyllium, No Additives, No Fillers, Non-GMO, and Gluten Free” but on the back of the package in small print a warning was written, “This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” Last year, I contacted a maker of a protein powder who claimed their product was pure, organic, and Non-GMO. I inquired if they had conducted an analysis of their product for plastics, pesticides, or heavy metals.  The representative responded proudly with a “yes”! When I asked if I could see the Certificate of Analysis, she claimed that this information was not available for the public. When I hung up the phone, all I could think of was that, if their product were clean and free of any concerns, then they would have had nothing to hide. It caused me to pause and consider the high likelihood that powdered products, from green drinks to protein powders are not as good for us as we might believe. Some of the most well marketed, popular, organic brands are very likely to contain heavy metals and plastics.

Please consider that powders are highly manufactured, processed products, far from the original source. In many cases, it may be generous to even call them “food”. Though organic certifications should protect the original source to be free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and not genetically modified, it does not mean there are not plastic particulates or heavy metals in that powder.  It does not ensure that chlorine or other bleaches and chemicals have not been used to make the final product.  We should shop carefully, ask questions, and tend toward consuming real whole food.

If a protein powder is helpful to you, we have vetted some pharmaceutical grade protein powders that have been tested for purity which we can safely recommend.

By |2022-02-23T06:40:32-05:00February 24th, 2022|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Supplement of the Month: Pure Paleo Protein Powder

Supplement of the Month

Pure Paleo Protein Powder

By Designs for Health

Considering recent testing, rendering so many protein powder options in the marketplace very toxic (see related article in this issue), we are pleased to carry a protein meal replacement powder in which we can have confidence in quality and purity.

According to our representative at Designs for Health, “All our raw materials and finished products are either tested by an accredited 3rd party lab or in-house to confirm specification (we don’t rely on supplier’s Certificates of  Analysis).  We use USP/AOAC or other approved published methods from scientific journals.  We test for identity, potency, heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic), micros (plate count, total yeast/mold, e.coli, salmonella and s.aureus), rancidity/oxidative markers, pesticides and perform other applicable testing depending on the ingredient/formulation.”

Pure Paleo Protein is ideal for alkalizing the body, healing and supporting bone health, and getting back on track with diet when we have slipped away into acidic foods, too much caffeine and processed foods. Non-GMO and Gluten free, this protein is sourced from beef and is very hypoallergenic.  HydroBEEF™, a proprietary highly concentrated, pure bone broth protein, has both complete and collagen proteins that are naturally found in beef and allows for better absorption to support gut, joint, bone and overall health.  Some of the key nutrients included and needed for bone support as well as overall health include boron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. It is also a good source of most of the B vitamins. This product does NOT have a beef flavor and comes in vanilla or chocolate.  Our team and patients have found this product to be smooth, very enjoyable on the palate and satisfying as a meal replacement (or supplement) shake.

By |2018-05-23T11:55:17-05:00April 16th, 2018|Articles, General|

Nutrition Nugget: Julian Bakery Pegan Seed Protein Powder

Check It Out – A Stevia Free, Smooth, Clean Vegan Protein Powder…

Every once in a while, I see some really great new products that I know our readers will want. Here is one you need to check out:

Julian Bakery Pegan (Vegan + Paleo) Seed Protein Powder– Two of the biggest and most frequent complaints I get about protein powders is the overpowering bitter taste of Stevia and/or the gritty bad taste and texture of the protein. Problems solved! This protein powder mixes up silky smooth and is sweetened with Luo Han Guo (aka. Monk Fruit), which has no aftertaste, just a nice degree of sweetness to it. The Vanilla Cinnamon is a pure pumpkin seed protein. The Double Chocolate is a Sacha Inchi seed protein. Both are easily digested. Triple Chocolate, Vanilla Cinnamon Twist or Unflavored. Available online, directly from Julianbakery.com, Amazon.com or Luckyvitamin.com

Eat Well, Be Well






By |2018-03-25T11:45:14-05:00March 16th, 2018|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|