ThePaleoList Answers: Is Whey Protein Paleo?
You are starting your Paleo diet adventure because, presumably, you want to be healthier. So, it is a safe assumption that you are seeking other methods of making sure your body gets what it needs to be bigger, faster and stronger. You’re on Paleo now, you are a predator and not prey, it only makes sense.
This leads us to the world of protein supplement that are commonly used during post-workout recovery sessions to help your body get an immediate boost of protein it needs without it having to wait for you to get home and prepare a full meal.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey is above and beyond the most common protein powder choice amongst non-vegan users. One of the main reasons is because it is affordable and effective, not such a bad combo! But, for folks abiding by a Paleo diet whey finds itself in a gray area for you. Whey, after all, is derived from dairy. But, if you are using a high-quality whey protein the majority of the potential irritants in the dairy are filtered out. You see the problem? We basically have to ask ourselves if the end justifies the means. Is it OK to partake in this dairy derived product because by the time it reaches it’s final stage the factors we usually associated with being wrong with dairy products are no longer there, and instead, we are left with a lot of what we would be looking for in other food sources. You have now entered the Paleo Diet twilight zone.
The real issue with whey protein comes down to the ingredients. The protein itself is great for us, but some of the powders can have junker ingredients in them. If your bottle says the protein is from egg whites, OK, that is good, but that doesn’t mean that egg whites are the only thing in the big ol’ jug.
A lot of protein powders have artificial sweeteners, which is sicralose. They can also contain sunflower and canola oil which are polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich seed oils. Not to mention some include never-OK ingredients like corn and soy. At this point, there are candy bars at your local corner store with less junk in them than this whey powder.
This is not to say that there aren’t high-quality whey proteins that aren’t as full of junk ingredients. It just means that when it comes to using whey protein powder on a Paleo diet it is critical to do your research. Of course, a high-quality powder is bound to be much more expensive.
Is Whey Protein Paleo?
So, when it comes down to using protein powder, it is important to know exactly what is going into the powder and what the drawbacks to those ingredients could be. Always prioritize your health over convenience or price. And if you are finding that maybe the high-quality stuff is maybe not worth the price, remember that there is no added benefit of protein from powder over protein from food, aside from the convenience.
Real food is always more effective, safe and most likely cheaper. So to answer the question “is whey protein Paleo?”, the answer is no.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: