The Unnecessary 9: Protein Isolates
2 Minute Read

The Unnecessary 9: Protein Isolates

What are protein isolates?


Protein isolates are highly purified forms of protein obtained from various sources like soy, whey, or peas. They undergo extensive processing to strip away almost everything that isn't protein, leaving a product that is usually 90-95% protein. Because they have very little fat or carbs (not a good thing in our books), they are often used in dietary supplements and food products.


Why do we avoid protein isolates?

〰️ Nutrient Deplete

The extensive processing can strip away beneficial nutrients naturally found in whole foods, like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and diminish protein quality. This can lead to a less balanced diet compared to consuming whole protein sources like beans or nuts.

〰️ Digestive Discomfort

Highly refined proteins can cause digestive discomfort or issues, such as bloating, gas, and constipation for some people.

〰️ Contaminant Potential

Protein powders, including isolates, may contain harmful contaminants like heavy metals or BPA due to less stringent regulations compared to whole foods. 

〰️ Artificial Additives

Many protein isolate products contain artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives to enhance flavor, texture, shelf life, and mixability.

〰️ Glyphosate & Pesticide Exposure

Protein isolates derived from plants like soy, peas, or rice may carry a risk of glyphosate and pesticide exposure if the crops were conventionally grown using chemical herbicides and pesticides.

Sources: PMID: 31835834, 36238463, 24482589

 *Not all protein isolates are equal. Variations in quality, purity, and nutritional content exist between brands and types.


What are some common protein isolates?

🌱 Plant Based

  • Soy Protein, or Soy Protein Isolate
  • Pea Proetin, or Pea Protein Isolate
  • Rice Protein, or Rice Protein Isolate
  • Hemp Protein, or Hemp Protein Isolate
  • Pumpkin Seed Protein, or Pumpkin Seed Protein Isolate

🐮 Animal Based

  • Whey Protein, or Whey Protein Isolate
  • Casein Protein, or Casein Protein Isolate


How can you avoid protein isolates? 


The best way to avoid gums and emulsifiers is to inspect ingredient lists and seek whole food protein options 🕵️ 🔎.

Sources: Kiki Milk, NotMilk, & Sproud

Disclaimer: The information provided in this email is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.