Cover image: @ellaolsson
There is a myth that is prevalent among the fitness sector that in order to build muscle and gain the lean physique that is so desirable, you have to boost your intake of protein with animal sources being the preferred way of doing so. In an effort to dispel these erroneous ways of thinking that almost seem to put vegans and vegetarians in a position of having to choose between being fit and eating the way they prefer, we're diving deep into everything you need to know about choosing the best plant-based protein.
Clean Protein: What it Means and Why it Matters
There's a great deal of talk about "clean protein" these days but what does the phrase really mean and why should you be concerned about it? Protein that is clean hasn't been exposed to the heavy metals -- such as cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury -- pesticides, toxins, and antibiotics that are so pervasive in the factory farming environment. This is why it's so difficult to find animal proteins that are clean.
Surprisingly, it isn't safe to assume that the plant-based proteins that you're consuming are necessarily clean. It takes a bit of effort, research, and label-reading to ensure that you're putting the cleanest sources of plant-based protein into your body as possible.
Here's How to Find Clean Plant-Based Protein
When you're doing your research and reading labels, keep the following tips in mind:
Go for plant proteins that are made with quality ingredients. These are sources that have been tested and found to be free of contaminants like heavy metals, antibiotics, pesticides and other substances that are harmful to your body.
There are new sources of plant proteins that are coming into the market all the time. Look at the ingredients. Make sure you know not only where they are sourced, but how they are sourced as well. Lentein, the main ingredients inside our Clean Green Protein, has been tested and is free of contaminants. It is grown in a highly-controlled aqua farm environment.
It's important to realize that there is a distinction between a protein being organic and one that is low in heavy metals. A number of recent studies have shown that just because a plant protein has earned the "Organic" label does not necessarily mean that is free of heavy metals. In fact, two top brands of plant proteins on the market right now -- including one that was touted as being organic -- ended up testing for the highest levels of heavy metals among all of the proteins tested.
There is a likely explanation for this surprising finding and it boils down to the material the company is using. Opting for cheap Chinese material in an effort to save on costs can lead to a lower-quality product. This is primarily due to that country's more lax pollution regulations as well as the fact that higher levels of heavy metals such as arsenic and lead are found within the environment.
To protect yourself, search for a plant protein brand that is Prop 65 and cGMP compliant for heavy metals. We have one right here for you.
North American Grown and Made:
As noted above, many other regions in the world simply don't have the same stringent requirements when it comes to regulating pollution and heavy metals in the environment. Stick to those plant proteins that are grown and made in North America.
The safety measures and regulations are both stronger in North American and they are well established. Clean Green Protein contains Lentein that’s grown and made in North America. Both have received the highest safety rating that the FDA hands down to supplement: GRAS -- Generally Regarded as Safe.
What's the Environmental Impact of YOUR Plant Protein?
Rice protein is a popular plant-based protein, but many people probably don't realize its impacts on the environment. Because rice protein produces potent methane, it is accelerating greenhouse gasses. Instead, opt for a plant protein that is better for your body and the environment that we all must share. Clean Green Protein is the proud recipient of the Eco-Excellence Award for being the protein powder that is most sustainable and ecological.
Lentein has a low environmental impact for the following reasons:
Being aware of what goes into the making of the plant-based protein you choose is better for your body as well as the environment. Finding that nearly-perfect source, such as Lentein, simply makes choosing a plant protein that much easier! If you are looking for quick and easy plant-based meals, be sure to check out the Lean Green Meal Plan from our friend Cory over at Lean Green DAD. You can also find some great plant-based food from our friend Marco from The Phytogenic Chef.