His Instagram account was rammed with pictures of protein pizza (yes that’s a thing), bars, cookies, brownies and pancakes. If his photographs were anything to go by, he was eating protein bars, protein pancakes and other protein enriched foods several times a day.
But that’s not a problem is it? I mean protein enriched foods are healthy, right?
That depends a lot on what you’re eating and what the label says.
Take this pot of instant porridge oats which is branded as being high protein. A glance at the label reveals that it has just 11 grams of protein and more than 16 grams of sugar!!
So you’d be wrong in thinking that this is a health food. In fact it’s got three good spoonfuls of sugar in it with only a scrap worth of protein.
The other problem with these ‘protein’ foods is the protein source.
In many products this added protein is nothing more than soy granules or powdered milk (correctly but misleadingly labeled as ‘milk protein’)
Soy is an inferior source of protein to animal sources such as whey, egg and meats such as steaks. Added powdered milk gives no more benefit than if you drank a glass of the liquid stuff with your meal or snack.
Take these cereal bars for example. The main source of protein is from soy and added peanuts. Not exactly high value.
Even protein bars produced by supplement manufacturers are not necessarily healthy. Some only have 30 grams of protein per 100g. What is the rest made up of? Normally carbs and vegetable fats.
The exception to this are Quest Bars which are from paradise.
So what is the alternative? You want healthy food but don’t want to be stuck in a torturous rut of chicken, rice and broccoli.
If you Want to Eat Pizza, Eat Pizza
Planning a cheat or a treat into a healthy diet is a good idea. If you miss foods that you ate when you were accepting of your Dad Bod, don’t deny yourself like some kind of martyr to fitness. Unless you really want to.
I love a good cheat meal.
But plan it in to your week. Have it at the weekend enjoyed with family, loved ones or friends. I’ll often have something I fancy on a Saturday night when the kids are in bed.
It makes the meals of tuna and rice cakes during the week a lot less traumatic.
The guy who was eating protein pizza like it was a health food would have been better to schedule in real cheat meals and then eat healthy whole foods the rest of the week.
Exceptions to the ‘Protein Foods’ Rule
As with anything, there are exceptions to the rules for high protein foods. I plan to share some of the products I buy in a later post (I already mentioned Quest Bars – I don’t work for Quest. I just think they’re great).
Be smart. Read the labels and if you do buy a protein bar ‘off the shelf’ don’t kid yourself that it’s equivalent to the chicken and rice you’ve been avoiding for several hours.
Liked this? Be sure to read my other articles on nutrition and supplements: