No ‘Whey’ Man! | What you should know about whey

This is not the tale of Little Miss Muffet. Instead, it is the tale of the controversial ingredient, whey, and why we, at Ki’s Kitchen, do not recommend the consumption of it. Whey is the residual product leftover from cheese production and is one of two proteins found in milk (casein is the other).

For many years, professional athletes and people in the weight loss community have been touting the benefits of whey protein – it is low in fat, high in nine amino acids, and has been linked to lowering cholesterol and reducing weight. It has been a mainstream ingredient in body-building supplements, nutritional drinks (Ensure, etc), as well as in infant formula.

However, more and more research is showing that an over-consumption of whey protein can lead to a vast number of unpleasant and unhealthy side effects:

  1. Disruption to the delicate balance of microbes in your intestinal tract.
  2. Headaches and fatigue.
  3. Acne – hormones and bioactive peptides in whey protein powder can stimulate sebum production.
  4. Increased insulin resistance.
  5. Some cheaper brands have shown high levels of toxic metals – cadmium, lead, mercury, and even arsenic.
  6. May contribute to kidney or liver problems.

And, unlike other sources of protein, whey protein is not a nutritionally balanced source. We are much better off getting our protein from whole foods, as opposed to processed powders.

With that said, many people ask me, “How do I ensure that I am getting enough protein in my diet if I cut out the whey?” I am here to tell you that ALL PLANTS MAKE AND CONTAIN ALL 9 ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS.  As long as you are consuming 80% of your foods from whole plant based sources, you’re getting all the protein you need.  There are so many wonderfully balanced, healthy, and delicious protein options out there for us – and a wide variety of amazing plant-based options as well.

Here are some of the heavy hitters that we recommend:

1.Lentils– are tasty, are also high in fiber, and have a great texture.

2.Hemp seeds– also contain omega 3 fatty acids and can be sprinkled on top of most dishes or added to smoothies.

3.Chia seeds– absorb liquid, so can be used to thicken dishes and to make pudding. They are also high in omega 3 fatty acids.

4.Quinoa – can be consumed as an alternative to rice as it contains protein as well as carbohydrates. Has a nice, nutty flavour.

5.Spirulina– a dried powder made from seaweed, it is packed with protein, iron, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals. Try adding a tsp. to your smoothie.

6.Nutritional yeast– found in a powder/flake form and has a yummy “cheesy” taste. Is a great source of B vitamins and protein. Can sprinkle it on popcorn or on pasta dishes.

7.Seeds – (sunflower, flax, sesame, pumpkin) can be used in granola, sprinkled on top of salads, or ground us to use as flour in desserts.

8.Nuts– (cashew, brazil, almonds, walnuts, pistachios) – high in vitamin E, healthy fats, and protein. Can be blended into nut butter, ground for flour, or eaten whole.

9.Beans – great source of protein, iron, and magnesium.

10. Non-GMO tempeh/tofu/edamame/soy beans/unsweetened soy milk – are all highly anti-inflammatory extremely rich in protein and many important vitamins and minerals. Choose organic, non GMO, and consume in moderation.

At Ki’s Kitchen, it is always our preference to get our recommended amount of protein from our whole-food diet. Made with quality ingredients, diverse in flavours, and packed with nourishment, our ready-made meals are designed to give your body all that it requires…and then some. We ensure that our meals contain the healthiest and most digestible forms of protein, and are composed of anti-inflammatory ingredients.

However, if you are traveling, or feel that you must take a protein powder as a supplement to your diet, make sure it follows these guidelines:

  1. Is an organic, plant-based protein.
  2. Only contains ingredients you recognize as real food.
  3. Does not contain added refined sugar.
  4. Uses a low-heat, all-natural, enzyme-based method to separate the protein from the plant.

So, in summary, we recommend that you put the container back if it lists “whey protein isolate” in the ingredients. Our bodies don’t need it, and, it can have some potentially uncomfortable (even dangerous) side effects. Vegan plant-based protein powder ingredients, on the other hand, are typically a combination of hemp, pea, and brown rice (overall, a healthier alternative).

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

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From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Joy


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  1. […] Find a list of plant based proteins here […]