Protein, a new gold mine for the food industry

The evolution of customs, fashions, but also beliefs seems to push us to eat more and more protein. Our needs are not as high as we think and the protein supplement industry is now breaking records.

There is probably not a single vegetarian today who has never had to respond to this remark:  » You must not be eating enough protein « . In the era of « sport-health » and hype « healthy », everyone wants to optimize their intake of nutrients and especially proteins which have become a real obsession.

Yet protein is present in almost everything we eat. Essential to the proper functioning of our body, our protein needs are not as high as we think or want us to think. On average, an average adult male needs 56 grams of protein per day and a female needs 46 grams. A healthy and balanced diet is more than enough to provide the necessary intake.

This race for the perfect diet and the misunderstanding of nutritional and weight loss mechanisms has hoisted protein to the rank of golden goose in the food industry. According to a report published on Monday, April 3, 2017, the market for protein supplements (used to make protein powders, energy bars or meal replacements) will reach a value of $58 billion in 2022.

Except that we already consume enough protein and now we tend to consume too much. In the United States, we already consume twice as much. However, this does not improve our health, sometimes quite the contrary, since certain products such as protein bars contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar.  » In fact, they are just protein-enriched candies says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, physician and author of this nutrition and diet blog at Motherboard magazine.

On his blog, he analyzes the ingredients and nutritional intake of a new product labeled “healthy” and compares it to sweets rich in sugars and fats. As a result, the products are often the same with extra unnecessary proteins. According to him, if the evolution of fashions and beliefs push us to this overconsumption of proteins.

 » Meals that are too low in protein don’t provide a satisfying feeling of satiety, it’s true. But rather than worrying about the amount of protein absorbed daily in absolute terms, it is better to ensure that each meal contains a satisfactory proportion of protein and to favor fresh dishes and foods rather than powdered garbage. “, he explains.

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