People are advised to eat a healthy diet, to get plenty of exercise, and to lose weight. Yet, it is extremely difficult to understand what is a healthy food choice given the myriad of misinformation that is available even from reputable sources such as the FDA.How are people supposed to take control of their health when they cannot tell fact from fiction.
In this blog, we set the record straight on five myths about plant-based proteins.
Should You Eat Plant-Based Proteins?
Plant-based proteins get a bad rap and for many people, it causes confusion about whether or not to bother eating fruits and vegetables. With the diet industry raking in billions of dollars each year it becomes more important for consumers to be educated about what is true and what is merely hype.
Here we explore five myths about plant-based proteins and expose the truth in easy to understand examples.
Let's get started.
1. Is Plant Based Protein Good for Building Muscle?
Animal proteins build muscle faster and more efficiently than do plant based protein powder. In general, this is true, however, very few studies exist that compare the development of lean muscle based on complete proteins or those that represent the entire list of essential amino acids.
The problem with a pure animal protein diet is the massive intake of saturated and trans fats and the health risk that they present.
Do animal proteins cause our body to make lean muscle faster than those proteins from plants? Not necessarily. The takeaway here is that for a protein to help our body grow muscles the protein must be complete.
So while purest push the benefits of animal proteins they often leave out the detrimental aspects of long-term health problems such Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Heart Disease. In terms or marketing products, this is a fast-fact that must be considered.
Mixed proteins provide the best of both worlds because they offer a reasonable amount of animal proteins with a complete mix of healthy proteins from plant and milk.
In fact, there are three protein groups that include proteins from animals, plants, and casein (milk.) Read more about which protein is best in this peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine.
2. The Carb Conundrum
The benefit of plant-based proteins is undone by all of the carbs in plants.
People seem to fear carbs and that is a result of misinformation. Carbs from plants are good for you.
They contain high levels of dietary fiber which help to absorb fats before we digest them and soluble fiber does the same in our bloodstream.
The thing to understand about carbs is that they are sugars, starches, and fiber. So in a sense, not all carbs are good for you especially if you want to lose weight, gain health, and build lean muscles. From a marketing point of view, the "good" carb is one that is low in sugar, low in starch and higher in fiber.
Plant blased protein powder is typically a long-acting source of energy. What this means for those who are dieting is that you get more energy out of less food and therefore you should consume fewer calories without running out of energy.
Healthy carbs help keep our glycemic levels even which helps us to avoid binge eating, overeating, and grazing. Read more about Healthy Carbs in this article from the Mayo Clinic.
3. Complete Proteins
Animal proteins are the only complete proteins while proteins from plants are incomplete.
Most plants are considered an incomplete source of proteins. What that means is that they lack the nine essential amino acids that our body does not produce on its own. Those must come from our diet and they represent the tools necessary for our body to make muscle.
Animal proteins do contain complete proteins as they have all of the nine essential amino acids. Some plants also are considered a complete protein because they too have all nine essential amino acids.
What is important to understand about this myth is that "back in the day" people though that animal protein was the only way to consume all of the essential amino acids and diets, especially those of athletes, were high in animal proteins.
The reality is if your diet is balanced then so is your protein intake. Plant-based foods combine easily to make complete proteins. One of the more famous combinations is rice and beans. However, quinoa and soy are two plant proteins that are complete.
From a marketing perspective, the takeaway is that a complete protein source is not a single item, but a blend of the best sources of essential amino acids.
Read more about complete and incomplete proteins found in grains and vegetables in this article by Columbia University.
4. Only Animals Produce Proteins That Humans Can Use
While plants have proteins, they are not absorbed or used by the human body. This too is a falsehood. Plant proteins are absorbed by the human body and used to make muscles.
The confusion comes from an older way of thinking about complete protein sources - those that contain all nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are micro blocks that our body attaches together to make protein.
While not all plants are a source of complete proteins, they combine to create an endless opportunity to take in all nine essential amino acids. The takeaway for marketing is not so much about the protein source as much as it is whether a product contains all nine essential amino acids.
Read more about Natural Proteins in this article from the Pharmacognosy Review
5. Supplements Aren't A Necessity
You must take supplements if you only consume plant proteins.
If you have a special diet or one that does not include animal proteins then you simply need to ensure that your sources of plant proteins are complete. Taking a dietary supplement can solve that issue.
You can take a supplement, such as one that covers the B vitamin family, if you are concerned about malnutrition or you do not want to bother with menu planning.
Most government agencies recommend that diet be the first place to obtain your full nutrition and supplements be taken if your diet cannot provide you with all of the nutrients needs to build a healthy body.
From a marketing perspective what is important is to offer products that are 100 percent vegan and that contain all nine essential acids.
In fact, it is healthier to obtain complete proteins from plants than it is from most animal proteins. This is because animal proteins often contain saturated and trans fats which are a health risk if consumed in quantity.
Why is Bulk Vegan Protein Powder the Best?
As it turns out, plant-based proteins are an amazing source of protein, starches, and healthy sugars. For protein manufacturing, marketing or product development, plant-based products help to provide complete proteins with a reduction in saturated and trans fats.
The angle is all about long-term health and the development of lean muscle without the increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and CAD. The opportunity to create healthy protein powders that contain all nine essential amino acids without adding to health issues with excess saturated fat is a market just waiting to be explored.