The Top 5 Whole Foods Protein Powders in 2018

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Whole Foods Protein Powder: An Introduction

As a result of the global trend toward living a healthier lifestyle, the term whole has entered the main stream, and evolved into a whole new industry.

Food manufacturers have created products which are marketed as containing whole foods, bakeries promote bread and other goods as being made with whole grains, and of course, many proteins are marketed as being whole food protein powders.

In reality, most people understand that whole foods have inherent health benefits, however, they do not know exactly what a whole food is.

Our goal here is to discuss the topic of whole foods, identify what types of foods contain whole foods, and review what we have identified as being the top 5 whole food protein powders.

What Are Whole Foods?

whole food

Whole foods are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.

These foods are unrefined, unprocessed, or more realistically, processed and refined as little as possible, before being eaten.

There are different views on what constitutes a whole food, as some exclude animal-based products, various oils, and flavor enhancers such as salt.

For our purposes, we will include both plant and animal based foods.

Whole foods contain the highest level of nutrients and contain no additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial coloring.

Because they do not contain any added sugar, salt, saturated fats, and trans fats, which are often found in processed foods, whole foods can contribute to better overall health, and can reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

In addition, they are inherently lower in calories, and ideal for losing or managing weight.

As mentioned, whole foods are those foods which are not refined or processed.

Protein powders by nature are processed, begging the question, “Can a protein powder be called a whole food protein powder”? We think they can as long as the ingredients remain as long as they are as close to their natural state as possible.

What Foods Are Considered Whole Foods?

whole food protein powder

We looked closely at a number of different whole food diets, found common foods and food groups in each, and developed the following list of foods which are considered whole foods.

  • Beans and Legumes including Adzuki beans, Black beans, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Navy beans, Pinto beans, Split peas, and White beans
  • All Fruit including Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Grapefruits and more
  • All Vegetables such as Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery and more
  • Condiments which can include Balsamic vinegar, Herbs and spices, Mustard, Naturally sweetened ketchup, and Non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Whole Grains which include 100% Whole wheat flour, Barley, Brown rice, Bulgur, Steel cut oatmeal, and others
  • Dried Nuts preferably Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, Raisins, and other dried

The Top 5 Whole Foods Protein Powders in 2018

AZ Healthy Families Editors Choice

#1 Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein

Our pick

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Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein, is a whole food protein powder which is made from 100% ultra filtered whey from the milk of top quality cows, and lecithin derived from premium soy.

Each serving of Jarrow Whey Protein delivers 18 grams of protein, 8 grams of essential amino acids, and contains only 94 calories.

It is sold in 16 ounce and 32 ounce containers, and is available in chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored flavors.

Pure And Clean

Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein does not come from cows raise with any recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), which is a type of artificial growth hormone that increases milk production.

Further, it contains no growth hormones, additives, or artificial flavors.

In addition, it is a complete protein meaning that is contains the 9 essential amino acids which cannot be produced by the body and must be acquired through diet.

Who Is It For?

This whole food protein appeals to a wide variety of groups including those who are looking at losing or managing weight, diabetics who need to control their blood sugar, and people whose immune systems may be compromised and need a boost.

Additionally, individuals who have an active lifestyle can use it to provide a boost of energy or maintain muscular structure.

What Are Customers Saying?

Many customers said they preferred the unflavored version as it allowed them to create different flavors at will by mixing it with their own liquids and fruits and vegetables.

One person mentioned that he preferred savoury over sweet and found that it mixed well with soups and stews.

A few customers mentioned that the shipments were somewhat inconsistent, exhibiting different smells, tastes, and textures.

Others were concerned about the higher salt content that similar products.

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Pros

  • Truly a whole food protein powder
  • Clean and pure containing no rBST or other growth hormones
  • Made from the highest quality ingredients
  • Complete protein with 9 essential amino acids

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Cons

  • Inconsistency with different orders
  • Slightly higher sodium content than similar products

Price: Click here to check the price of the Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein Chocolate on Amazon’s website

 

#2 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, is second on our list of whole food protein powders, and is made with protein extracted from organic pea, brown rice and sacha inchi.

Each serving contains 24 grams of high quality protein, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and delivers only 120 calories.

It is distributed in 1 pound, 3.3 pound, and 5 pound containers, and is available in 22 different fascinating flavors.

USDA Certified Organic

In keeping with its corporate philosophy, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder has been certified by the United States Drug Administration (USDA) as being organic.

In order for a food, drug, or supplement to qualify, it must go through rigorous testing and be free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering.

A Complete Protein Powder

ON Gold Standard is considered a complete protein as it contains the 9 essential amino acids which must be obtained through diet or supplements.

These amino acids include, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

They are vital to the proper functioning of the body ranging from the digestive process to ensuring the tissues remain vitalized.

What Are Customers Saying?

Quite a few users stated that this protein powder is one of the, if not the most cost effective protein supplements on the market, and absolutely love about the taste.

The double rich chocolate, cookies and cream, and strawberry flavors seemed to top the list as being the favorites.

Others said that it had a great satiation effect by subduing hunger for long periods of time.

On the downside, many found the flavor very sweet which is quite common with any powder flavored with stevia leaves.

A few other customers found the vanilla flavor to disagree with them and said the texture was quite chalky.

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Pros

  • Complete protein with impressive amino acid profile
  • Delivers 4 grams of naturally occurring BCAA’s
  • Derived from Pea, Brown Rice & Sacha Inchi proteins
  • USDA Certified Organic with no GMO’s, artificial sweeteners, or colors

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Cons

  • Very sweet for some
  • Thick, chalky texture

Price: Click here to check the price of the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder on Amazon’s website

 

#3 Optimum MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

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Optimum MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder, is another protein powder made from whole foods.

Each serving contains 25 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and only 96 calories, making it ideal for those looking to add muscle and burn fat.

It currently has one of the highest protein to calorie ratios in the protein powder industry.

Additionally, MusclePharm has added BCAA’s to intensify the protein benefit, glutamine to stimulate protein synthesis, & enzymes to enhance digestion.

Fast, Medium, And Slow Release

MusclePharm Combat is made from a blend of 5 different proteins including whey protein concentrate and isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, micellar casein protein, and egg albumin, resulting in round the clock release of proteins, providing muscle building and recovery during down times.

Whey protein delivers immediate release, micellar casein protein releases slowly, and egg protein is considered a medium release protein.

Great Flavor And Variety

Optimum MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder Combat has received a number of positive reviews regarding flavor, and previously made our list of best tasting protein powders in the market.

It is sold in 7 different sizes ranging from 1 pound to 12 pound lots and is available in 10 different flavors including Banana Cream, Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies ‘N’ Cream, Strawberry, and Vanilla.

What Are Customers Saying?

Many customers were impressed with the high quality and unique blend of the 5 different protein sources.

The also said they liked the round the clock release of proteins, alleviating the need to purchase 2 or 3 different types to achieve the same results.

Others found that MusclePharm filled them up and kept them from feeling hungry for long periods of time.

On the negative side, some customers felt that the formula may have changed as certain flavors were not as good as they were previously, and the mixability seemed to have gone down hill.

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Pros

  • Delivers a slow, fast and medium release of proteins and amino acids
  • Mixes well with a variety of beveridges including water, milk, almond milk, fruits, and vegetables
  • Certified by Informed Choice to ensure it does not contain banned substances
  • Added Branch Chain Amino Acids enhance the protein benefit

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Cons

  • Formula seemed to have changed
  • Poor mixability

Price: Click here to check the price of the MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder – Essential blend of Whey on Amazon’s website

 

#4 Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate Powder

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Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate Powder, a low carb protein powder, made with ingredients derived from whole foods, and specifically designed for those looking for high protein to build and maintain muscle.

This low carb and low fat protein powder is specially formulated with each serving containing 24 grams of high absorption whey protein.

It is available in 14, 28, and 70 serving quantities, and is available in 8 creative flavors including Molten Chocolate, Whipped Vanilla, Cinnamon Swirl, Peanut Butter Marshmallows, Cookies N’ Cream, Strawberry Milkshake, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Complement Of Enzymes

In order to facilitate proper digestion and support protein absorption, Cellucor Cor-Performance has added an impressive profile of enzymes including lactase, protease and protease A-S.

Ideal For Shakes And Cooking

Cor-Performance mixes extremely well with your favorite fruit or vegetable juice and is ideal for shakes or smoothies.

In addition, it is a perfect substitute for flour in pancakes, cookies, breads, and more.

What Are Customers Saying?

Many users commented that Cor-Performance provided great value for the money.

Further they found that it was easy on the stomach and, for the most part had a wonderful flavor.

In addition to muscle building properties, numerous customers used it for weight loss due to its low carb, low fat, and low calorie formulation.

On the flipside, and contrary to many positive reviews, some found the taste unpleasant and commented hat it did not mix well.

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Pros

  • Packed with whey protein to rapidly build and strengthen muscle
  • Very low in carbs, low in fat, low in calories
  • Includes additional enzymes to assist in the digestion process
  • Excellent flavor selection

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Cons

  • Contrary to promotion of excellent taste, numerous complaint about poor flavor
  • Poor mixability in many liquids

Price: Click here to check the price of the Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate Powder with BCAAs on Amazon’s website

 

#5 Sunwarrior – Warrior Blend Plant Based Raw Vegan Protein Powder

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Sunwarrior – Warrior Blend Plant Based Raw Vegan Protein Powder is our last whole food protein powder, and made from a blend of goji berries, legumes, and hemp seeds.

Each 1.5 gram scoop contains 27 grams of protein, 15 calories, and 3 grams of fat making it ideal for anyone looking to shed a few pounds.

Warrior Blend is available in 4 quantities including 15, 20, 30, and 40 servings, and comes in 5 flavors.

Contains MTC

To increase brain power, endurance, stamina, and energy, Sunwarrior – Warrior Blend Plant Based Raw Vegan Protein Powder has added a substance called medium-chain triglycerides (MTC’s).

What Are Customers Saying?

Most of those who bought Warrior Blend Plant Based Raw Vegan Protein Powder raved about the incredible taste as compared to other plant based proteins they have used.

They also liked the fact that Sunwarrior is competitively priced and adds lean muscle at the same level of its whey protein counterparts.

Still others stated that a dose in the morning provides them with energy throughout the day.

On the contrary, many customers were dissatisfied with the new and improved formula providing less value at a higher cost per serving.

Others found stevia sweetener too sweet and leaving a terrible after taste.

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Pros

  • Contains all natural rich plant protein sources
  • MTC from coconut added to boost energy
  • Certified organic containing no glute, soy, dairy or sugar
  • Packed with 27 grams of natural protein

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Cons

  • New formula and packaging is now at a higher price
  • Lingering after taste

Price: Click here to check the price of the Sunwarrior – Warrior Blend on Amazon’s website

 

Summing It Up

Awareness of whole foods and whole foods diets are on the rise.

The protein powder industry has jumped on the bandwagon by creating specific products for those looking for whole food ingredients.

Many protein powders are made with whole foods, making our choice for the top5 best whole food a difficult task.

Our #1 choice for the best whole food protein powder is Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein.

We felt that the attention to quality, right form the choice of ingredients to distribution to retail outlets was second to none.

In addition, it is extremely pure, clean, and is truly a whole food protein.

The Top 5 Whole Foods Protein Powders in 2018
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