While in school this last term, I was asked to create a food analysis of my own weekly intake. It was eye-opening, for sure. Here I was just eating clean, taking my vitamins, supplementing with my protein bars, and drinking my protein shakes. I should be the American epitome of healthy living, right? Nope. Not even close. Every single one of my food analyses has shed light on an area that I am over-consuming or severely inadequate.
How could that be?!?! I eat superfoods and meal prep! I do everything the way the health & fitness blogs and media say to do. To say that I was shocked is the understatement of the year.
So here’s what I found about the “healthy” things I was putting in my body…
- Lots of items contained additives that are known to cause GI distress
- High amounts of sugars, added sugars, sugar alcohols (one protein powder had several different sugar sources)
- Large amounts of sodium (the bigger issue to this is that the actual amount of daily sodium intake should be around 1,500 mg but the nutrition labels & analysis use the higher level of 2,300 mg)
- Low in dietary fiber (you want to have 1g of dietary fiber per 100 Calories)
- High percentages of certain vitamins & minerals that with the combination of multivitamins and other supplements could cause toxic levels (Most of the toxicity issues with vitamins & minerals are from supplements and not real food. Our body was made to filter out what we don’t need but it gets trapped with these supplemental forms.)
- A lot of the products are processed in the same facilities as allergens and may have contamination
- Some of the oils or lecithins in the products are known to cause high amounts of inflammation
- Low protein quality as low as 41% (found by multiplying the grams of protein by 4 to calculate how many calories come from protein, dividing that by the total calories in a serving and multiplying that total by 100 to receive the protein quality percentage)
- My weekly intake analysis found these major issues…
- 40% Potassium (hello reason for my muscle cramping)
- 43% Selenium (One of the big culprits to Hashimoto’s)
Here is what my husband and I have decided to continue using. (Yay for one thing right!!) This is alongside a plant-based diet. We are focusing on lots of vegetables. The key is to count colors and not calories! I do fully believe that anything besides God’s food will have issues with it, but this one is perfect for us at the moment. If we find something better, we will switch, but at least now we know what to look for.
If you are curious about how crazy my analyzing of all of the proteins I had personally used went. And HUGE DISCLAIMER, I am not putting down any of these choices as protein supplements. What I did was for my personal research with the knowledge I now have about my body and what it needs to run its best race. I used every single one of these at some point. Some were amazing to bake with. Some were had the most flavors. Some were low carb. Some were high carb. Some were whey proteins. Some were collagen. Some were plant proteins. Some were delicious on their own and some were even better in a smoothie. My point is that everything on the market is good in one way or another. It all matters on what is good for you personally.
I hope that the next time you are in the store looking for a healthy item, you are a little bit more informed on what would be the best fit for you. This is not about wrong and right. It’s simply about what is wrong or right for you and your personal goals.
P.S. If you haven’t subscribed yet, here’s your chance! I am actually working on something nutrition wise to help our body’s get to their optimal weight without going crazy in the gym or with tracking calories!!