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Are Nut-Protein Powders Good for Your Health?

Expert warns consumers regarding consumption patterns

Mrini Devnani
Nut Protein Consumption Must Be Moderated (Photo Source: Pexels)
Nut Protein Consumption Must Be Moderated (Photo Source: Pexels)

Do you belong to the group of individuals who meticulously scrutinize the ingredients of every food item before indulging? Are you one to calculate every calorie intake and plan your workout routine? If so, then you are likely familiar with the widespread popularity of nut-based protein powders, those renowned 'elixirs' for wellness enthusiasts aiming for healthier living.

Let us understand more about it and try to reason if its consumption is good or not. While it is already known that nuts are a rich source of protein, there exist very many varieties of such powders. Some of the most common varieties include Almond Protein Powder, Peanut Protein Powder, Cashew Protein Powder, Hazelnut Protein Powder, and Mixed Nut Protein Blends.

Some Health Benefits of Nut-Protein Powders Include: 

Rich in Protein: An excellent source of plant-based protein, it is essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall cellular function.

Healthy Fats: Nuts are abundant in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which contribute to cardiovascular health and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Vitamins and Minerals: Nut-protein powders contain an array of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, which are vital for immune function, bone health, and energy metabolism.

Dietary Fiber: Nuts are a natural source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health, satiety, and weight management by aiding in proper digestion and promoting feelings of fullness.

Antioxidants: Many nuts are rich in antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Embrace Health Today (Photo Source: Pexels.com)
Embrace Health Today (Photo Source: Pexels.com)

Considerations and Potential Side Effects

Allergies: Nuts are a common allergen, and individuals with nut allergies should exercise caution when consuming nut-protein powders or opt for alternative protein sources.

Caloric Density: Nuts are calorie-dense foods, and excessive consumption of nut-protein powders may contribute to weight gain if not consumed in moderation.

Phytic Acid: Nuts contain phytic acid, an antinutrient that may impair the absorption of certain minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium. Soaking nuts before processing them into powder can help mitigate this effect.

Added Ingredients: Some commercially available nut-protein powders may contain added sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives, which can detract from their nutritional value. It is advisable to opt for products with minimal additives and organic ingredients whenever possible.

Digestive Issues: In some individuals, consuming large quantities of nuts or nut-protein powders may lead to digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, and gastrointestinal distress. It is essential to listen to your body and adjust consumption accordingly.

A Top Pick for Consumers, But Wait…

Despite potential considerations, nut-protein powders continue to enjoy widespread popularity among health-conscious consumers globally. Their versatility, nutritional density, and plant-based nature make them an attractive option for individuals following various dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and ketogenic diets. Additionally, the growing awareness of sustainability and environmental conservation has fueled interest in plant-based protein sources, further contributing to the demand for nut-protein powders.

However, according to Deepika Dua, a Delhi-based therapeutic dietician, protein powders are often packed with sugar and fats. Considering this, their consumption should be moderated. “In typical Indian families, daily, we already consume proteins required such as in the form of dal, soya, besan, etc. Moreover, if adults or kids are consuming it, it should be burned also by exercising or playing. Powders made with nuts, honey, and jaggery could be a better alternative. For, bodybuilders, a natural source of whey protein could be ‘paneer ka paani’ which can be consumed with vegetables.”

She continues, “Everything should be in proper proportion. It can lead to high creatinine levels, high purine levels in the blood, high uric acid, kidney problems, dehydration, and increased CRP levels. My recommendation is that one should take in only 75 grams of protein, also recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)."

Lastly, these powders represent a valuable component of a well-rounded diet, offering a host of health benefits ranging from protein provision to antioxidant support. Hence, by understanding their nutritional composition, potential side effects, and considerations, individuals can include nut-protein powders into their dietary regimen judiciously, reaping the rewards of enhanced nutrition and overall well-being. As with any dietary supplement, moderation and informed decision-making are key to optimizing health outcomes and achieving dietary balance.

More on this:
  • Are nut protein powders suitable for people with nut allergies?

    Generally, nut protein powders are not suitable for individuals with nut allergies. Even though the protein is extracted, there's still a risk of cross-contamination during processing. People with nut allergies should opt for alternative protein sources such as pea protein, soy protein, or hemp protein.

  • Can nut protein powders be used for weight loss?

    Nut protein powders can be a beneficial addition to a weight loss diet because they are often low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber, which can help promote satiety and reduce overall calorie intake. However, it's essential to be mindful of portion sizes and incorporate them as part of a balanced diet and exercise regimen.

  • How do nut protein powders compare to other protein supplements?

    Nut protein powders offer a natural, whole-food source of protein compared to other protein supplements like whey, casein, or soy protein isolates. They often contain fewer additives and are less processed, making them a preferred option for individuals seeking minimally processed, plant-based protein sources. However, they may have a slightly different taste and texture compared to other protein supplements.

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