New food and beverage product launches with a high-protein content claim are 3 times higher in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world… And snacks are a big part of this trend. Why is protein so appealing?
Several reasons push Americans to look for proteins in what they eat or drink:
- Weight management: Proteins aid in satiety, boost muscle recovery and help build muscle after a workout, making it appealing to a broad audience
- Unpopular fat and carbohydrates: These two macro nutrients are not popular and the rising obesity rate doesn’t help, making protein looking like the safe option
- Vegetarian diet: a meat-less diet may be thought of as lacking (animal) proteins, or that vegetal proteins don’t quite compare to their animal counterparts
The actual daily amount of protein needed is about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, that is about 55 grams per day if you weigh 150 lbs.
In food language, that is about:
- 4 oz (or 25 g) of chicken breast — but most people eat portions twice that size
- 4 oz (or 20 g) of steak — but most people eat significantly larger portions
- 1 glass of milk (8 g)
- 1 low fat yogurt (10-12 g)
- 1 Greek yogurt (15 g)
- 1 medium egg (6 g)
- 2 slices of bread (3-5 g)
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter (8 g)
Now who really needs protein supplements?
– Another prevailing idea is that a well-balanced, naturally-sourced (vs. highly processed or packaged) diet of whole foods should suffice in providing our body with everything it needs to function. Ruling out pretty much every “fortified in…” this or that, or “half the…” this or that types of products.