What is the best paleo protein powder?
What is the paleo diet?
The paleo diet is all about eating like our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago – during the Paleolithic era. In a nutshell, it stresses eating whole foods over processed ones. Paleo-friendly foods include meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
If you insist on avoiding processed foods altogether, then protein powder is not an option. If you are willing to compromise somewhat on what constitutes “processed food,” however, then there are a few paleo protein powder options. Among them is egg white protein powder.
Is protein powder paleo?
Before I get into why egg white protein powder is the best paleo protein supplement, I need to explain why most other types of protein powders are off the table. The vast majority of protein powders are NOT paleo. Whey, soy, and pea protein powders, for example, are not paleo because they contain dairy or legumes. Most of them also contain protein concentrates or isolates, which are heavily-processed.
Unlike whole food protein sources, protein concentrates and isolates are chemically or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas,” and look nothing like whole foods.
Another reason why most protein powders are not paleo is that they contain food additives. Ingredients like these are heavily-processed derivatives of real foods, and were not on the menu during the Paleolithic era.
Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:
acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors*, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
egg whites, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit
Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.
Why egg whites?
Egg whites themselves are paleo, and require minimal processing to take on the form of protein powder. As I discussed, other dietary proteins undergo heavy processing before they become protein powder. Thus, although egg white protein powder is not unprocessed, it is relatively close to nature.
Egg whites taste good. Most plain protein powders, on the other hand, have a chalky aftertaste because they are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of the nutrients that make food taste good.
Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. They have a delicious, natural aftertaste. Our eggs are also broken less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. Other eggs sit for days, sometimes weeks before being processed. As a result, they begin to decay and release a chemical called hydrogen sulfide, which has a potent sulfur odor.
If consuming protein powder is a chore, it is not sustainable in the long term. A diet is not a six-week affair, it is for life. Think twice before spending your hard-earned dollars on a protein powder that tastes like chalk.
Egg whites contain a complete protein. A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Although eating a combination of incomplete proteins will give you the essential amino acids you need, it certainly does not hurt to stock up on complete proteins.
Egg whites are easy to digest. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.