By Serene Allison
Read more on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Facebook page (Australia).
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Yesterday we covered all the many health benefits of whey protein. But not all the powders available provide our body with those goodies. There is rampant confusion over which types of protein powders are best for our health. Some people end up buying the most expensive options hoping they will be more pure and less processed. That can be a costly trap.
Today we will cut through all the hype the companies push on us and find out what’s for real. I’m not selling anything so I am only going to share with you truths I have discovered.
DON’T BUY WPC’S
Best to start with what to avoid. WPC stands for Whey Protein Concentrate. It will state that on the container. These are the protein powders that are cheapest to make. In recent years they have flooded the market place. Sadly, most of them have been processed using excessive heat. This damages the delicate protein fractions by irreversibly unfolding the amino acid chains and configurations and making them much less biologically active and even harmful.
WPC’s have less protein per serving and contain some fat and lactose (milk sugar). Healthy fat is awesome but not the fat present in this lowest grade of all whey protein supplements. The drying process is usually a harsh process and oxidizes the cholesterol and fat that are still present. Oxidized cholesterol is dangerous to your health. Since lactose is not filtered out either, this sugar when harshly heated is not healthy. It is also problematic for people who are lactose intolerant.
These inferior whey products are usually referred to as WPC 80%. This powder is the stuff that is pumped into the chemically sweetened energy bars and cheap tubs of powder you would find at your local grocery store. Make sure to read your labels because if your brand is using a concentrate it is probably so they can make a cheaper product and a bigger buck for their pocket.
There are very health conscious companies (I’m not going to mention names but you might guess a couple) who use concentrates simply because they want to use the least amount of processing possible for a more bio-active protein. They use the lowest amount of pasteurization required by law and use careful drying measures. Some of these companies make their protein powder from milk instead of the whey already pasteurized from cheese making. This means they get to say they only use one process instead of two.
My problem with these brands is that legally there is not one whey protein powder allowed to be sold in America that has not been pasteurized. It is mandated by law for all dairy products commercially sold (except by personal hand to hand sales in some states). All whey protein powders have to be either pasteurized using the vat method of 145 degrees for 30 minutes or the high heat short time method of 161 degrees for 15 seconds. So all of these far more expensive and ultra “goody goody – never put a drop of anything slightly processed into your body or you’ll die a slow and painful death” companies selling high cost WPC’s are promoting a lie. No matter what special wording they use to convince themselves or you about their product being raw and unaltered, the fact remains it has been heated!!! IN the USA, no protein powders are raw, end of story.
Some use the term “flash pasteurized” for the 15 second method to make it sound better. Others who adopt the lower (not by that much) but much longer method use terms like “cold processed” or “special low temperature unique pasteurization methods” to try and make you think that their company is doing something a cut above the rest. The only “cold” process I see here is in the cold hard truth that their proprietary process is just one of the normal and ordered legal options of our government. You can do a google search and pull up oodles of protein powders claiming they are raw. Nope! Do we call milk that we buy at the store raw? No, because it is not, it is pasteurized and has undergone either the slow or fast methods that all whey powders have undergone. Look up how to pasteurize your own milk at home on the internet. You’ll be offered the two standard methods on your cook stove –either slow at 145 or fast at 161. Why are companies trying to pretend these old standard pasteurization methods are new special ways to keep whey raw? Baloney!
DON’T FALL FOR THE SCAMS!
Whey protein is very fragile and no matter which method is used there will be an altering of the protein molecules to a very similar extent. Thirty minutes does sound like a long time compared to the faster, higher version of 15 seconds after which it is immediately cooled to stop the pasteurization process. But this can be likened to whether I sauté my eggs at medium heat for only a couple of minutes or gently poach them for a much longer time in a pan of boiling water removed from its heat source. Either way I will eventually get firm opaque egg whites or I wouldn’t want to eat them.
What upsets me is that these companies do have knowledge of basic science but this is overpowered by their knowledge of how to make a golden profit. Instead of telling the truth and selling their product for what it is worth they sell it for exorbitant prices under false disguises. Let me lay down the facts. There is no whey or other protein powder sold on the American market that has never been subject to the heat I have described. My last two months of research have assured me of this.
The truth is, I can go on the Internet right now and purchase these exact same “pro serum” healthier whey concentrates for a quarter of the price at sights like The Protein Factory. The only thing I would not get is the purist company’s pretty packaging with all their pretty worded lies. You can’t tell I’m steamed about this can you? Well, charging $50-80 for a tub of protein powder through misleading statements is daylight robbery – even if the cows were grass fed! The fat and milk sugar is still in there – definitely heated to the point of pasteurization, even if not as harshly as the cheapo brands. Tomorrow I’ll discuss why oxidized fats in powder form are different in your body to cooking a steak and eating it.
A BETTER WHEY
Do not despair for your lost dream of an effective protein whey supplement. The biological effectiveness of whey in a carefully processed concentrate or preferably in the form I am yet to share with you is still very positive even under human testing and research data. The microfractions still greatly benefit the body in an anabolic, immune boosting and weight reducing way.
Is there another viable option? Yes Ma’am. Beyond concentrates is the next level of purification which is a whey protein in an isolate form or (WPI). The isolation process will remove the fat, cholesterol and lactose leaving a product that is a more potent form of whey proteins. It also removes the bloating and indigestion problem that comes with concentrates still containing their lactose and newly formed oxidized fats. (We’ll talk about the myth that proteins must be paired with fats in later posts).
LOOK FOR CFM’S
Cross-flow micro filtered whey protein isolate or (CFM) is the most undenatured form of whey available on the market. Its native protein structures remain intact to a large degree by a cold- processed isolation method using ceramic micro-filters.
During this microfiltration process undesired particles like lactose, cholesterol and even any de-natured fractions are successfully removed. With the advancement of this technology some companies are able to create CFM whey supplements with higher concentrations of whey’s more beneficial microfractions by filtering them through these micro-filters and supplementing them in higher concentrations in their product. After-filtration the whey is spray-dried using low temperatures.
Micro-filtered whey isolate is the protein with the highest biological value of all proteins. It retains high percentages of immunogloblins and minerals and is higher in calcium than other whey protein supplements. If anywhere on your supplement you see CFMr or Provon r you hold in your hand the real deal. The following is a list of some very affordable high end undenatured CFM’s. Remember I am not selling anything. This is for your interest and benefit only.
ProteinFactory.com – CFM Whey
SwansonVitamins.com – Premium Whey Protein Powder
IntegratedSupplements.com- 100% Natural CFM Whey Protein Isolate
BEWARE OF HYDROLYZED
If you ever come across the term Hydrolyzed when it comes to Whey protein it is best left on the shelf. Hydrolyzed whey is processed using high heat and very acidic conditions. Hydrolyzing whey creates smaller peptides or bonds that link the amino acids. This is done to make an already naturally quick absorbable protein even quicker to absorb. Many sports nutritionists and dietitians believe that this idea may back fire on our health as they question the wisdom of creating a protein that absorbs faster than your body can healthfully process.
Hydrolyzing also denatures most of whey’s protein molecules and reduces the effectiveness of the protein. This kind of processing whey makes an extremely bitter product yet for all its downsides it is still one of the most expensive whey forms on the market.
Tomorrow and in following posts, I’ve got so much more to share with you. We’ll talk about bio active whey proteins and I’m going to talk about my own purist ways. I’m going to come clean with you on how I am learning to let go of some of them. No, I will never be Pearl the short cut queen and use a microwave but I am baby stepping to a place of better common sense and higher trust in our Father. At my most extreme peaks of food purism, I was at my worst heath – go figure. Yes, I have plenty more to rant about. Meet you here tomorrow.
Read more on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Facebook page (Australia).