This summer consumer reports and some other independent researchers found unhealthy amounts of heavy metals in a number of name brand protein supplements. Check out what Consumer Reports and NPR had to say.
Most of us know we should be eating a balance of healthy fats, high fiber carbs and lean protein at each meal and snack, 4 -6 times per day. The billion dollar supplement industry tries to make it easier to obtain this nutritional frequency with an array of fast convenient meal replacements shakes, bars, and other snacks. You may, however, be getting more than you ask for, as these products are not FDA regulated.
Protein shakes are a great way to get an appropriate amount of lean, muscle building protein in your diet. These shakes are often well balanced with macronutrients and vitamins. They do not, however, replace natural whole foods. Supplements are not FDA regulated and periodically, independent researches target popular supplements to test for quality. Even our heavily regulated food industry can let us down. The egg, and milk industry are the latest foods to be struck by yet another salmonella contamination. Hopefully these supplement companies are addressing the heavy metal issue. Be careful for cheap or calorie cutting ingredient additives like artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and saturated fats. I use to supplement with protein, but stick to whole, unprocessed foods now. A balance of fat, lean protein and high fiber carbs are essential each meal to regulate hormones and blood sugar, leaving you fuller and satisfied. I find liquid calories are often not filling, even though they are calorically adequate, and then I eat more, to fill my stomach. Also satiety should not last 4,5, or 8 hours at a time. You should be eating 4-6 small balanced meals per day every 3-4 hours. On a good day I eat oatmeal or a high fiber cereal in the morning with whole milk and or fruit, nuts or peanut butter. Mid morning I usually make some eggs with veggies. The rest of the day varies, but I try to eat a fat, carb, and protein at each meal and snack, every few hours throughout the day until I sleep.