What Supplement Makers are Afraid to Tell You: Whey Protein vs. Whole Foods

The debate between whey protein and whole foods has been around for decades. Perhaps every argument has been laid out, or not, but the discussion still lingers. The supplement industry with its array of protein supplements claim that they have produced products that are just as good albeit a lot better than whole food protein sources. However, these manufacturers may not have bared it all for the world to see.

Marketing Secrets They Aren’t Telling You

There is a huge propaganda and marketing drive in support of protein supplements made from whey and other products. Part of that is already quite visible in the packaging of their products. They also publish pamphlets and other promotional materials that are designed to convince or at least drown the public in a lot of technical and medical jargon.

To demonstrate, pick up any product with its label still bright and intact. If you can’t get one of those things then just look for any article or pamphlet about a bodybuilding supplements. It doesn’t take that long before the very packaging label becomes completely alien to the customer. You’ll find words like ion exchange, glycomacropeptides, whey protein compounds, microfiltration, nitrogen retention, oligopeptides, and a ton of other things anyone will find hard to pronounce.

Part of the marketing strategy is to have a huge bunch of so-called experts explain it all for the benefit of the customer. Well, sometimes customers just end up getting even more confused. These experts will show tables, graphs, and interpret experiment results just to make their product a lot more believable than others.

Determining Protein Quality

The main focus of the issue has centered on the determination of the quality of protein that the general public takes in. The question is asked whether whole foods alone are able to provide athletes and other people with the high quality of protein that is needed to sustain an active lifestyle.

Health experts make use of several methods to determine the quality of protein. They use PER (protein efficiency ratio), BV (biological value), PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score), and NPU (net protein utilization) to determine protein quality.

The Case for Biological Value

Of all the methods mentioned above, many medical and health experts today prefer to use the biological value (BV) method. This is also considered by some to be the most effective method of measurement. It is actually a measure of the amount of proteins are absorbed and used by the body.

Different ingredients, whole foods, and formulations have been BV tested. If you check a BV table and find a certain ingredient or protein source scoring 100, this means that 100 percent of that protein was absorbed and used by the human body.

Eggs practically score a hundred on BV charts and whey and whey supplements on the other hand almost get a perfect score. Given these facts, you might ask why is it that some protein supplement makers say that their whey protein products get BV scores from 104 up to 157. The big secret here is that these manufacturers have manipulated these numbers. They basically do that all for the glory of marketing.

Does that mean these companies are lying then? Not necessarily. They dance around the numbers using chemical scores so that the BV of their protein supplements goes beyond 100. It is technically possible for whey protein to get such scores but that is practically a technical sleight of hand.

Jenny is a free lancer writer and content builder of many sites

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