Dr. Kassam Pea Protein - What are the perks and falls?

Pea-Protein-Pros-Cons

Pea Protein - What are the perks and falls?

Written by: Dr. Saira Kassam, ND

For those of you who are vegetarians, vegans or subject to food intolerances, a good vegetable source of protein may be just what you are looking for! Vegetable protein powders are generally free from artificial colourings and flavourings. Pea protein is a plant-based non-allergenic, soy free, gluten-free, dairy-free option. It is the best-absorbed type of vegetable protein when selecting a protein powder. Like most food options out there, pea protein has both pros and cons. Keep reading for the list!

PROS:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • 90% digestible with high fiber content
  • Low in fat and calories
  • Good source of iron
  • Increased satiety as it is slow digesting
  • Less expensive
  • High in essential amino acids, such as arginine which can improve circulation

CONS:

  • Non-complete protein, in which the amino acid profile is slightly less than whey protein powder
  • Less desirable for muscle building as it contains less of certain amino acids – animal protein is a better option for this
  • Less desirable taste

It is important to note that when consuming pea protein, it is necessary to combine it with other sources (ex rice protein) to make it a complete protein in aim to attain all the necessary amino acids.

The bottom line is we all need protein! There are times when we are not able to consume enough protein in our diets and supplements can help to provide us with that extra boost. Pick a protein source that works best for you and your dietary preferences, as each has its own unique benefits. Whey protein is superior in some ways but pea protein is a good alternative for those who are unable to consume whey.

Shopping for a good protein powder takes time and research. Here are some TIPS to help you make the right choice:

  • Has it passed all the accreditations? Pick one that has been tested for toxins, heavy metals and impurities
  • Have you checked for sweeteners? Avoid synthetic forms of sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, etc), artificial flavours, artificial colours and stick to the natural sweeteners only
  • Have you kept your food allergies/intolerances in mind?
  • Have you stuck to non-GMO?

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