An easy way to get extra protein, enjoy a tasty snack or meal replacement and quell a hunger pang is to grab a protein shake. And with all the purported benefits of a plant-based diet, you may be turning to a plant-based protein powder. Unfortunately, you may want to think twice after learning of the research done by the Clean Label Project. To learn which popular brands might pose a threat continue reading.

You may have heard that plant-based protein (soy, hemp, rice, pea, etc.) is best. Often this is said because the major sources of animal protein powders (whey and egg) can be allergenic; and eating protein from an animal source is often generally frowned upon due to environmental, ethical, and health concerns (whether accurate or not).

However, the Clean Label Project released the results of a study which showed that the plant-based protein powders they tested had noticeably higher levels of certain contaminants compared to the animal-based powders. Contaminants that were tested include mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, BPA, pesticides, antibiotics and more. Sean Callan, Ph.D., the director of the lab which conducted the tests thinks the reason is because these plants are directly absorbing (some of) the contaminants from the soil. He also thinks that even though animals might be exposed to the same toxins, it’s possible that they are able to detoxify the contaminants better and thus not end up in the final product. It’s unclear if that’s the reason, but regardless, those products still contained less toxins. What matters is that it’s probably best to avoid burdening your body with toxin-laden plant-protein powders.

Keep in mind that many of the popular juice bars and health food stores often use plant-based protein in their shakes. What’s more, some of the more common brands I see touted in health food stores were some of the worst! These include Garden of Life, Quest, Vega, and Sunwarrior!!! I’ve definitely consumed some of these brand’s protein powders! Obviously I won’t be any longer; at least not until I see information that they’ve cleaned up their act. Also, what does this say about other products made by these companies?

Be careful out there! If you’re still interested and perhaps need to consume extra protein in the form of a shake mix; there are reputable companies that use plant-based proteins which are third party tested for contaminants.

Here’s a link to the story:

Dr. Rob D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Diplomate and board-certified teacher of the International College of Applied Kinesiology – Member of the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation – Associates Degree in Homeopathy

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