Eat Like A Pro With New Exciting Protein Products
Mika Bradford CN, CPhT
If you’re burned out on the same old protein drinks we have the skinny on new exciting products that will allow you the opportunity to add more variety to your everyday diet. Today the selection of protein powders, ready-to-drink shakes and specialty foods are quite extensive in comparison to the few that were originally introduced years ago to the health food industry. The use of protein bars, powders and liquids as meal replacements or healthy snacks may have initially started in the body building and fitness industry; however the increase in product offerings and types of protein available is now being stimulated by the demand for alternate delivery systems and ingredients from within the health care industry. The emphasis to eat healthy and be mindful of meal portions and the balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats being eaten daily has increased among the general public. This is evident and can be seen by the increase in the availability of healthy prepared, prepackaged meals and on the go snacks now more than ever. Many health conditions and surgical procedures also emphasize the need for specialized food options and meal replacements that are low in fats and carbohydrates, having higher levels of protein as part of their treatment plan.
Of the many health conditions and surgeries that require dietary modifications, one surgical procedure stands out among them all. If you guessed bariatric weight loss surgeries you are correct. Across the country along major thorough fares you can see billboards promoting a variety of weight loss surgeons and centers. With the consistent increase in diabetes diagnoses the average weight of Americans steadily climbing this surgery is quickly gaining notoriety for its ability to produce rapid weight loss results along with the reduction or complete elimination of many commonly used medications that are used to treat high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and high blood sugar. There are a variety of surgical procedures that fall under the category of bariatric surgeries however the one thing they all have in common is that they reduce or restrict the size of the stomach which in turn reduces that amount of food that is able to be eaten and at times even reroutes the way the food travels through the digestive tract. These procedures typically require the patient to be on a liquid diet for a period of time before and after surgery with a gradual progression to soft foods that eventually transitions them back to eating solid foods in small portions. For individuals who choose these types of procedures dietary supplementation of vitamins, minerals and the adequate intake of protein is critical. The average range of protein that should be consumed on a daily basis is forty to eighty grams of protein per day depending on the individual needs of the patient. Eating that much protein in one day may not be a problem for most individuals however, when your stomach holds only two to four ounces, getting plenty of protein and staying hydrated can be challenging.
Food allergies and gastrointestinal conditions like celiac, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis are yet another reason for the development and creation of innovative protein products from sources that are gluten, dairy and sugar-free. Many manufacturers now offer protein products that are considered to be hypoallergenic that are from a variety of sources like rice, soy, egg whites, pea protein and liquid collagen. So, while you may not have special diet needs or have undergone a surgical procedure that requires you to be on a liquid diet it is fair to say you can thank all those individuals who have increased the demand for and furthered the evolution of protein supplements and foods. Products similar to these have been available at specialty health food stores but with the increased need for these products and accessibility to them they now can be found in general grocery stores, hospitals and pharmacies. As a nutritionist, certified pharmacy technician and the manager of nutraceuticals sales and services for Dougherty’s Pharmacies in Dallas, Texas I have personally seen the selection of protein products and sales increase by at least 300% in just twelve months. Here are just a few innovative protein products worth trying.
1. Liquid Egg Whites by Egg Whites International – This unique product is stable for up to five years when kept frozen or up to ninety days when thawed out and refrigerated. This is the only liquid egg white that is able to be kept for an extended period of time due to a specialized flash freezing process.
2. Power Pak Pudding by Maximum Human Performance – Unlike other sugar-free pudding this pudding offers 30 grams of protein 9 grams of carbs, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar and 1 gram of dietary fiber per 8.8 ounce can that comes in two flavors, vanilla and chocolate.
3. Ostrim by Protos Foods – Beef, ostrich and turkey meat sticks that are individually wrapped making it easy to grab and go when you’re on the run. This unique meat stick comes in a variety of flavors like teriyaki, pepper, natural, barbecue, applewood and maple brown sugar. Each flavor can vary slightly in nutritional break down however the average values are similar having 14 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugar and 1.5 grams of fat.
4. Protein Gems by Protica – This protein fortified gelatin cup is made from a blend of enzymatically hydrolyzed collagen, whey and casein offering 25 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, 3 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber per 6 ounce cup in a variety of fruit flavors.