There has recently been an increase in the popularity of protein powders – from pre-workout energy boosters to meal replacement shakes. These powders have taken the health conscious community by storm for good reasons.
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported an increase in total lean body mass in people supplementing meals with protein shakes. It is no secret that increased abdominal fat raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, and women are especially vulnerable to increased belly fat around menopause. It may be beneficial for people who are trying to reduce abdominal fat to supplement 1-2 meals per day with a high quality protein powder.
So which protein types are out there on the market?
- Whey protein is popular on the market – it is derived from cheese production. Whey has been reported to not be very filling as a meal replacement. Generally, it is best for people trying to gain weight. This may not be the best choice for thyroid patients who are at high risk for sensitivity.
- Casein protein may be more filling than whey. Many people take casein protein as muscle building support. However, sensitivity to casein makes this protein source unsuitable for most thyroid patients and people with sluggish metabolisms.
- Vegan protein is a good alternative for people who want to avoid animal products or dairy. When high amounts of fiber are added to the mix, the powder becomes extremely filling and is very good for weight loss. Vegan protein shakes, when they are well balanced and provide the best amino acid profile for optimal weight loss, are the best choices for thyroid patients with weight issues and high levels of immune system reactivity.