As with any other diet system, Atkins – the popular low-carb diet that’s been changing how we eat since the 1960s – comes and goes. People shift their diets to steak and bacon and drop the bread and potatoes. And while Atkins and other high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets have been successful in helping people lose weight and reduce their risk of metabolic syndrome, savvy dieters have begun to see the flaws in the plan.
Specifically, while Atkins and other low-carb diets have encouraged smart dietary changes like swapping out pasta for quinoa in our pesto salad or reducing the amount of processed sugar we eat, the diet isn’t known for its nutritional balance. It’s often low on fiber ad high in fat. To balance out the power of protein for weight loss, we need a modern take on Atkins.
One of the most popular approaches to high-protein diets today is the addition of whey powder to your daily diet – and not just in protein shakes. So before you grab a snack, check out these 4 creative uses for whey powder and get some variety in your diet.
Know Your Whey
Whey powder is highly popular right now, so it’s no surprise that there are countless different varieties on the market. Before you start cooking, it helps to know what you’re looking for in a powder.
Most whey powders aren’t made specifically for weight loss, but there are several low calorie varieties like FitMiss Delight, which is packed with greens powder, or the tasty but pricy Ultimate Nutrition IsoCool. Regardless of what brand you choose, though, the key is to balance it out with the flavors and other dietary elements in these recipes.
Granola gets billed as a health food, but most of the time it winds up being high in sugar and fat and low in real nutritional value. This is especially true of prepackaged granola products from the grocery store. Luckily, granola is very easy to make at home.
To make a high-protein version of granola, you need to make a protein-based syrup to coat the oats. This is where the whey powder comes in. Mix it with your choice of liquid and heat gently for a few minutes before pouring it over the oats and other ingredients; this syrup will also help the granola stick together in the clumps everyone likes so much.
High-protein granola is the perfect addition to more fiber-focused meals like the acai and pitaya bowls that are currently popular. These fruit bowls are delicious and good for you, but tend to be high in sugar. The combination of fiber and protein will help to slow down the absorption of those sugars and keep your blood sugar balanced.
Muffins are perfect for when you need to eat breakfast on the go, but most will leave you dealing with a sugar crash an hour or two later. If you make your muffins using whey powder and quinoa, though, you can turn this breakfast staple into a nutritional powerhouse. Add dates for additional sweetness, some nuts, and whatever berries are in season, and you’ve got the perfect portable breakfast.
For a slower approach to “baking,” consider the many ways you can integrate whey powder into pancakes. Whether you’re looking for the extra boost found in green pancakes or a play on vegan tiramisu in the morning, pancakes don’t have to be an indulgence.
Yes, whey protein smoothies are ubiquitous, but they don’t have to be boring. Celebrate a childhood favorite like peanut butter and jelly using vanilla whey powder, soy milk, and the perfect balance of berries and peanut butter or warm up to fall with a French toast flavor that boasts just a hint of pumpkin spice. Smoothies may get a bad rap for sugar and calorie content, but when you add protein and keep the size in check, they can be a great treat.
You can use any brand of whey powder for these recipes; vanilla will work well for just about any recipe, but chocolate makes for a sweet treat, especially in pancakes or the protein syrup used in the granola – so don’t be afraid to experiment. Each why powder formulation is a little different so let your taste buds be your guide.