Keto on a budget, protein powder

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Ok, let’s get this right out of the way: if you’re thinking ‘protein’ spikes your BG, you’ve been drinking the wrong Kool-Aid. No, no it doesn’t. What you are doing is using protein WRONG. So, before we get to the details of Keto on a budget, Welcome to part 4, we’re going to honestly and intelligently discuss the Great Protein Controversy.

I know you’ve seen it because I have “Protein spikes blood sugar,” “too much protein is BAD,” “whey protein will give you kidney issues!” Bull. All of the above. BULL. Let’s hit those in order, shall we? 1) Protein spikes blood sugar: No it doesn’t. Protein DOES increase insulin but less than 2% of all protein ingested IF DONE WITH THE RIGHT STUFF AND PROPERLY becomes glucose. TWO PERCENT. And that’s 2% of the 56% of amino acids (proteins) that CAN be converted to glucose. So, you are asking ‘why Hobbit do I see this all over the place??’ Bad interpretation of science.
Agendas. Inability to actually READ the studies.

The most common study that gets dragged out did show a significant increase in BG after a group ingested protein in powdered form mixed with water. Now, first, I’d love to point to this study but I CAN’T FIND IT! Do you know why? Because it’s CRAP. Go ahead, try it. Open up Google and search “whey protein blood sugar spikes” then come back here. Did you do it? Did you find that study right at the top of the search results? Did you find endless results showing that whey protein spikes blood sugar? NOPE. You didn’t. You found just the opposite, didn’t you. HA! You know why that study posted in places is wrong? No one bothered to read the entire content. Yes, it did show a significant increase in BG, that I will agree. But, what people missed was how the study was performed. I read it. Something jumped right out at me. They gave 2 different drinks to the participants: Whey protein CONCENTRATE and the other BCAAs (branch chain amino acids). Both showed a significant increase in BG. They should, considering the screwed up way the study was done… Screwed up?? Yeh. Whey concentrate contains not only whey, but lactose… MILK SUGAR (it also contains casein which can cause inflammation). Ok, so with that in mind, we might see a small bump in BG from the lactose. Buuuuuttttt…. The part that SCREAMED at me ‘THIS IS CRAP’ is the BCAAs. Why? BCAAs CANNOT BE CONVERTED TO GLUCOSE! It’s chemically and metabolically IMPOSSIBLE. BCAAs bypass the liver. They are KETOGENIC aminos. They cannot be broken down into glucose. PERIOD. So, why the spike? Reading the study, BOTH DRINKS ALSO CONTAINED 50g of PURE GLUCOSE!! So, yeh, the BG spiked but NOT FROM THE PROTEIN!!!!!!

Now, keep this thought in your head as we go down further, I’m going to discuss something later that will help you with having protein and NOT spiking BG. Too much protein is BAD: Too much of ANYTHING is bad, but too much protein is not only extremely difficult to do, it’s the only macro that doesn’t get stored in the body in excess. That’s right. Protein can’t be made into FAT like fats and carbs can. You pee it out. How much protein is too much? Typically for a nonathletic individual, the proper protein amount is 0.8-1.5g per lean body mass, with little if no issues all the way up to 2.5g. For someone who is say, 200lb and has 40% body fat, that means about 120lb lean mass x 1.5 = 180g grams of protein. Yeh. 180g About 4 large chicken breasts. LARGE chicken breasts. End of discussion. Thank you.

Protein causes kidney issues: Yes, if you are T1D and hit ketoacidosis, you can have kidney issues. If you ALREADY HAVE KIDNEY ISSUES, you shouldn’t eat excessive protein. If you are not one of the above? Forget about it…

Sooooo, now that we know protein has the potential to be safe (and if you’ve read my posts on how to improve your body composition, you know it’s also IMPORTANT), what are the things we should be doing?

1) Get your protein primarily from natural sources if possible – that means meats and nuts.
2) Get your protein primarily from animal sources – plant protein is less bioavailable than animal protein.
3) Use whey in baking and for the occasional drink
4) Embrace whey ISOLATE (NOT CONCENTRATE) as a fantastic baking ingredient. Why ISOLATE? No lactose. No casein. Just the good stuff.

EAT protein PROPERLY. You should eat protein at the beginning of your meal, not at the end. Protein is insulinogenic, which means it increases insulin production. Insulin isn’t the devil. Insulin is what carries things into the cells like glucose and amino acids. Without insulin, that stuff would just float around and do you no good (and you’d be T1D). Insulin RESISTANCE is bad. That means your body makes insulin but the cells primarily reject it. So, the body floats that stuff around and eventually puts the glucose into fat cells. Here’s the deal, the liver starts releasing glucose based off the insulin production, not the other way around. So, if you are IR and have too much insulin floating around, the liver thinks you need more glucose and provides it. Yeh. High blood sugar is the result. And since there is more glucose and now more insulin, the cells fight back even harder since they already can’t take in everything that is floating around. So, then, why is eating protein first a good idea? It tempers the insulin release. Protein takes longer to break down so, you eat that first. While the faster digesting foods are being handled, the protein is still making its way through the process. The fast digesting foods start an increase in insulin, that is just starting to taper off when the aminos get their turn to do what they need to do, the insulin increase created by the amino release doesn’t overload the cells, they are ready for it, and the aminos go where they need to go, your BG stays level, and everyone is happy.

So, is keto on a budget possible? We see many comments in the FB groups about items being too expensive, which can be true. Can you eat well with keto and not end up getting a second mortgage just to put food on the table???? What about whey, that crap isn’t cheap!!!! Well, you are probably doing two things:

1) Buying it in the wrong place
2) Not looking at the quantity properly

Do NOT get your protein powder from GNC or another ‘healthy\fitness’ box store. WAAAAYYYY overpriced (and usually crap quality). If you have a Trader Joe’s (we don’t so I’m going off information from trusted others), the bulk bins there have affordable whey isolate. So most likely does your local health food store… and the beauty of bulk bins is you control how much you get so…how much you SPEND! All else fails, get it online. We ONLY get ours online. Sometimes Amazon (that Prime membership pays for itself fast) and other times from Z Natural Foods. Don’t be afraid of the interwebs, people!!!! Look to combine other items to get free shipping. BE SMART!! You can get Piping Rock unflavored (nice quality) for about $12.50 a pound. Yeh, that’s a small tub but this addresses number 2 – not looking at the quantity properly.

Look at my recipes. I use whey isolate frequently. In 1/4 cup or less measures. Yeh. So 1lb is about 18 recipes worth. Try to do that for $13 with a lb of almond meal… Or a 1/4 cup is 28g protein for less than $1. Right. One dollar a serving. See what I mean?

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