Protein is one of the three main and most important nutrients required to support healthy life in humans. It is, much like carbohydrates, fats and numerous other vitamins and minerals an essential part of a balanced diet and something that many people do not consume and ingest enough of as part of their daily lives. Protein is more than just ‘necessary;’ it is crucial for the normal functioning of muscles and nerves and should be consumed as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
It is no surprise in recent years that protein has seen a surge in popularity. With much more attention being paid to healthy eating and healthy living, eating all of the essential nutrients is something more and more of us do.
However, a recent study by Wren Kitchens found that many people in the UK are paying sometimes more than three-times the regular price for foods and drinks which are marketed as having added protein. Furthermore, with health trends, exercise programmes and new diets still proving extremely popular, clever marketing may be key to increased profits via these food and drink items.
Traditionally, there was little more than juice cleanses and restrictive dieting to choose from for those seeking an ‘alternatively healthy’ lifestyle. Nowadays though, there is something for everyone, ranging from veganism, to keto-diets, paleo and much more; whether some of these diets work or are healthy has been widely debated in recent times in their own rights (source: Presscription Juices).
Adding Protein to Our Diet
For those who undertake regular exercise, particularly resistance training, increasing protein intake can be quite important to allow for progress, muscle growth and development. However, for most people, who may undertake a small amount of exercise, as well as for those who live fairly sedentary lifestyles, there is little need for additional protein in their daily diet. Moreover, the human body is unable to store more protein than is actually needed and so additional protein is simply removed (usually by the kidneys.)
With more and more companies marketing current products with ‘protein’ being the only addition to the product, many brands and products have seen sales increase. However, many of these products contain a lot of sugar, fat and are high in calories, all of which, not consumed in moderation can lead to fat gain and can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Additionally, with increasing numbers of businesses and startups in the UK providing employees with free food and refreshments and with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) under pressure from increased cases of obesity-related diseases, understanding what you eat is more important than ever.
In terms of costs, the recent study by Wren found that purchasing many of these products, consumers in the UK are paying more, sometimes as much as three times the price of the product’s regular or ‘normal’ equivalent. With more than 40% of Brits paying extra for these ‘protein products,’ many are simply being drawn in by marketing rather than dietary and lifestyle needs.
The study by Wren Kitchens also found that many of these products marketed as having extra protein, do in fact only have as much, sometimes even less protein than their ‘normal’ equivalents. This included the likes of ‘protein’ bagels, nut mixes and other products.
According to dietitians and nutritionists, adult males need around 55g per day of protein whilst adult females require around 45g per day, the equivalent of two cans of tuna. Hence, a balanced diet and sensible choices, along with eating real foods is the solution…not quick fixes.