These days, the majority of food products claim to be 'high protein' with big brands like Mars and Weetabix all hopping on the bandwagon. But can a bowl of Weetabix really claim to be 'high protein' if it only has 7.6g per serving? The answer is no, not really. For me as a fitness professional, a product is not 'high protein' unless it has 25g of protein minimum as that's what I could get by eating a chicken breast or by drinking a protein shake, both staples of the high-protein food group. So why are companies doing this? And have you been sucked into their clever marketing ploys?
Once upon a time, 'low fat' and 'low calorie' foods were the big trend. But then everyone finally realised that if a product has zero fat, it probably contains a lot of sugar and is not actually that healthy at all. The high protein fad is just that, a fad. Yes, it's true that most people don't consume enough protein in their diet, but eating a bowl of Weetabix probably isn't going to help and you would definitely be better off just eating a chicken breast or drinking a protein shake. Companies realise that people will buy something just because it has the word 'protein' on the packet and will be willing to pay a large premium for it!
Check Your Facts
Don't just be drawn in by clever marketing and branding: just because a company has splattered the word 'protein' on the packet doesn't mean it's healthy. Let's use Warburton's as an example who have created 'protein' bread. Is no food product sacred? Bread is a staple carbohydrate source, it doesn't need to be high in protein! Let's compare the nutritional information of a regular loaf of their bread to a loaf of their high protein bread, like for like (per 100g, not per slice, because if you look closely their slice sizes differ per product).
First, Warburton's Regular Wholemeal Bread
per 100g Energy 974 kJ 231 kcal Fat 2.8g - of which saturates 0.5g Carbohydrate 37.8g - of which sugars 2.4g Fibre 6.4g Protein 10.6g Salt 0.95g
Next, their 'High Protein' Wholemeal Bread
per 100g Energy 953 kJ 227 kcal Fat 3.3g of which saturates 1.0g Carbohydrate 32.0g of which sugars 2.0g Fibre 7.8g Protein 13.5g Salt 0.98g
As you can see, the 'high protein' version actually only has 2.9g more protein per 100g than a regular loaf! As well as 0.5g more fat. Is that really worth going mad for? Is it worth paying nearly twice as much? (A 400g loaf of the regular bread is 75p while the high protein version in the same size is £1.20).
So how does the marketing work?
Warburton's claim that a slice of their regular bread is 23.8g on average, whereas a slice of the protein bread comes in at 29g. It's a bigger slice, so it's going to have a higher protein content anyway! Always be weary of suggested serving sizes as they are hugely manipulated by companies so that they fit their desired nutritional information. They will do this for fat and sugar content as well, for example they might say that one cookie is two servings so that the fat and sugar content 'per serving' is not as high. It's a very common trick that lots of food companies do.
The bottom line
As always, the best advice is to always eat as naturally as possible. These foods are not naturally high in protein, so chances are they aren't good for you. There are heaps of foods which are naturally high in protein such as chicken, turkey, nuts, seeds, and quinoa. You are far better eating more of these types of foods than highly processed, sugar-filled treats which happen to have a marginally higher protein content than their non-protein counterparts!
A Silicon Valley startup company have created what they call 'The Impossible Burger'. The Impossible Burger is 100% plant-based making it the perfect solution for vegetarians and vegans who miss eating their favourite foods. But what is it?
Who are Impossible Foods?
Founded by Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods is a Silicon Valley startup on a mission to make the global food system more sustainable. The fast-growing team includes scientists, engineers, chefs, farmers and foodies.
How did the company get started?
The company started in 2011 with the aim of answering the question “Why does meat taste like meat?” Brown and his team spent the next five years researching every aspect of the unique sensory experience of meat, from how it looks raw to how it sizzles. They then recreated the precise flavours, textures, aromas, and nutrition of ground beef using only plants. By understanding meat at the molecular level with the help of scientists and chefs, they managed to make a burger that truly tastes like meat yet is completely plant-based.
How does it work?
The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients found in nature, including wheat, coconut oil and potatoes. The secret ingredient, however, is heme. Heme contributes to the characteristic colour and taste of the meat, and it catalyses all the other flavours when meat is cooked. Heme is exceptionally abundant in animal muscle and it’s a basic building block of life in all organisms, including plants. Impossible Foods discovered how to take heme from plants and produce it using fermentation.
What's in the burger?
Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
How is the impossible burger better for the planet?
It takes a lot of land, water, food, and time for cows to turn plants into meat. Compared to a burger made from cows, making an Impossible Burger uses about 1/20th of the land, one-quarter of the water, and produces 1/8th of the greenhouse gas emissions.
What's the nutrition information?
Unfortunately for us here in the UK, the Impossible Burger is currently only available in the US, however Impossible Foods say they hope to expand internationally in the future.
Share your non-scale victories with us and you could win a Sundried prize worth £60!
At Sundried we appreciate every victory and know that fitness success is not all about weight loss. Which is why we want you to share your non-scale fitness success stories with us!
Maybe you ran your first 5k without stopping or you conquered a fear of heights at Tough Mudder? Maybe you completed your first triathlon or beat a PB that you've been working towards for a long time? Whatever it is, we want to hear it!
To get involved, comment below with your story!
Hello, my name’s Matt Boyles, I’m a Personal Trainer based in South West London – I’m also proud to be a Sundried Ambassador. In addition to this, I run the Male FitWear Style Blog, Xythlete (www.instagram.com/XYthlete) but today I’m going to talk about my other company, Wireless Fitness.
You might not know the name, but you’ve probably come across the concept in the last couple of years: silent disco fitness. You might even have seen us on Dragon’s Den 18 months ago…!
With my business partner Dom, we realised that fitness instructors needed to be able to run their music-based classes in the park, however, council noise restrictions mean you can’t just play music out loud via a speaker. So we took the best parts of silent discos (lots of people hearing the same music through wireless headphones), and made it better by adding a microphone to the transmitter, meaning that with our Wireless Fitness kit, instructors can now speak to their class and transmit music at the same time, in crystal clarity, without disturbing anyone nearby.
We sell the equipment to fitness instructors and boot camp owners who want to add a major USP to their classes in a cluttered market. We also sell lots of kits to Spin studios and gyms (often in residential areas) who have had, or are nervous about receiving noise complaints – once they use the equipment, it reduces the risk of being shut down by the council to 0. Our third main customers are instructors who are tired of paying £60 to hire a studio every time they want to teach: grab our kit, head outside and away you go – better still, they never have to turn away anyone from a full studio!
As I’m a Personal Trainer and I love music – I really love music – it made sense for me to start running my own class with the kit as well… So I did!
I curate amazing, themed playlists each week, covering musical themes such as animals, Easter, one-name musical icons (e.g. Cher, Coolio (!) Prince, Lorde, Rihanna, Madonna) and most recently, summer (and amazingly it didn’t rain during that class).
As a nice extra benefit to attending the class, I send out the playlist each week, so the members can re-live it in their kitchens the next day!
What I love about running the class is the energy I get back from the attendees. The class itself is a high energy mix of strength training, HIIT and a bit of endurance, so it really works you hard all over, however everyone always says the headphones distract you from the exhaustion, while simultaneously helping you work a bit harder – it’s win-win.
We’ve got a great group of regulars now; it’s a really friendly bunch with no attitude, just supportive people enjoying getting fit in the sun with amazing music and my terrible puns.
However, there is always space for a few more, if you would like to come down and try it out, it’s just £10 for the best hour of exercise in the UK – email me on email@example.com if you’d like to know more beforehand.
What better way is there to spend your Sunday lunchtime encased in a world of pain for an hour or more?
To be honest, other than Yorkshire puddings and roasties, I'm sure you'll agree not much beats a Sprint Triathlon (right?)
Southend-on-Sea provided a great location for the first Sundried Triathlon. The town really welcomed the event and a whopping 2500 people came out to support the 300 athletes, many of whom were competing in their first triathlon.
The swim took place in the Thames Estuary with a refreshing midday start, due to the tide times. 1 hour before the start all we could see was mud flats for miles. I'm familiar with a non-wetsuit swim, but a non-water swim? That would be a first.
There was no need to worry. A mini tsunami came in as scheduled and the bay rapidly filled with clean salt water. We flip-flopped our way 500m along the sea front to the start, (flip-flops were then deposited back at the start for us), and the swim was simply point-to-point parallel with the beach: great for nervous swimmers who didn't have to venture far out their depth, and nice for spectators who could walk along and see the race unfold.
After failing to hold the fast feet of the lead man who set off beside me, I found another set, then decided to have a go on my own and make it hurt. The speed that is easy in a draft becomes really hard when in front, and I probably should have stayed where I was, but as this was a training race there was no need for energy conservation!
A smooth transition and we were quickly on to the fast, flat but quite technical bike course. The organisers are talking about a closed-road multi-lap affair for next year which I think would really draw the crowds in further and give it the buzz of a French Grand Prix tri: something the UK scene could really benefit from. I lost one place to another fast boy through the 20km bike leg, finishing up that bit in 4th; feeling rather power-deprived throughout. Some days you're the firework, some, the damp squib.
The run was out and back along the sea-front where people out for their Sunday stroll probably wondered why all these lycra-loving lovelies were self-flagellating themselves upon this Day of Rest, but they were giving great words of encouragement and seemed really into the spirit of the event: Southend seems to be a perfect match for a triathlon.
So, back to the run. 2.5k in a straight line does seem a long way, and to turn around and repeat the feat was another painful prospect, especially when you could see the Sundried finish banner over a mile away in the distance, not getting any closer...
Coming into a shorter triathlon as a longer distance athlete, you have visions of it 'being over quickly' and being 'no big deal' but I tell you what, Sprint is long and Sprint is hard! And I could only seem to muster limited speed anyway, but it was hurting as much as I could make it, so will hopefully prove an excellent training session as part of my preparation for the European 70.3 champs in 3 weeks’ time.
Coming to the finish, I didn't have much time to celebrate the female win and 3rd place overall as I was very aware of the clock ticking close to 60 minutes, and I always enjoy dipping under an hour in a Sprint. Sadly, I was 25 seconds too fat, but this will come in the next few weeks as I start to sharpen up for my first peak of the season. A couple of kilos makes a lot of difference to speed!
I would like to thank Sundried for their support of me as a pro triathlete this year, providing great PR opportunities as well as beautifully crafted clothing, and now adding another string to their bow: by producing a fantastic first event. Sundried really does stand for quality through and through. I look forward to seeing how the Southend Triathlon develops in years to come, and will definitely be back for that sub 1 hour in the future!
About the author: Alice Hector is a prolific elite professional triathlete, having already won the Volcano Triathlon in Lanzarote earlier this year. She is also a professional fitness model and has done lots of work with Sundried as an athlete ambassador.
Read more about the inaugural Sundried Southend Triathlon and see more photos by following the links below