Advice From Our Naturopathic Doctors About Increasing Your Protein
Protein is one of the most commonly under-fuelled macronutrients. Our macronutrients are one of 3 nutrients: carbohydrates, fat, protein. One of the main symptoms of low protein is low energy, but we need it for immunity, digestion, metabolic health, mental health, hormonal health, and more!
Something that we find comes up a lot in conversations with our patients is making sure they're getting enough protein. And guess what? Most people tend to underestimate the amount of protein that they need in a day! Here are answers to the top questions we get asked when increasing protein in the diet!
Your Questions, Our Answers
How do I pick a protein powder?
- We like to look for products that have simple ingredients, few fillers, little to no added herbs (can interact with medications), are cost-effective and have a good texture and taste. These are our favourite brands
What if I can't digest beans?
- A lot of people struggle to digest legumes and this can be for many reasons. If you are looking for ways to increase protein without increasing your consumption of red meat, we often recommend adding protein to your meals with nuts, protein rich whole grains, dairy sources (greek yogurt and cottage cheese), a quality protein powder and focus on adding protein rich snacks. Our favorite snacks ideas are in the protein guide.
What can do if I am dairy free?
- try swapping your nut and oat milks for soy milk! It has a higher protein content. You can add collagen powder to your shakes or water. Focus on protein rich snacks, eggs
What are quick protein rich snacks to have on the go?
- Celine's favourite - cottage cheese + chilli crunch dip for veggies and crackers, greek yogurt and berries, boiled eggs, hemp heart and PB energy balls
- Lauren H's favourite
- Lauren M's favourite - hummus and vegetables, boiled eggs, homemade protein balls with oats/nut butter/seeds, overnight oats with protein powder, canned salmon salad (tuna-style).
What grocery store protein bars do you like?
- RX Bars - sweetened with dates and protein comes from egg whites, best price is at Costco!
- Go Macro - higher in sugars, but great before or after a training session
- KIND Protein Bars - whole ingredients like nuts and seeds, lower in added sugar than other KIND bars
How do you choose a protein bar at the store? What do you look for?
- Overall nutritional content: ideally, a bar will have 10g of protein, 3 g of fiber, and 12 g or less of added sugar per serving.
- Ingredient quality: we pay close attention to ingredient lists, prioritizing bars with minimal amounts of artificial additives such as flavourings, sweeteners, and preservatives.
What do I do if I am vegetarian/vegan?
- Snacks will be key for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet! Find ways to add protein powder to snacks or add protein to snacks.
- We recommend having a home-made trail mix on hand that you can portion out for the week, having hummus with vegetables, and adding protein powder to things like oats, smoothies, power balls.
What are you favourite protein powders?
We've made this easier for you!
We've created a guide to increasing your protein, free for download available on our Resources page. This guide is meant to help you understand how much protein you need in a day, and how to manageably eat more protein! We have a vegan version available as well!
Click here to download the guide!
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** It’s important to consider the risks of interactions with other medications, and potential side effects of supplementation. This is best done with one of our Naturopathic Doctor. Always consult your health care professional before beginning a new supplement or lifestyle routine.
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