Published on December 28, 2017

Protein powder supplements or whole foods for weight loss…  That is the question

With the start of a new year and perhaps a new diet, many are wondering what they can do to shed those holiday pounds. Some people turn to protein supplements to speed up their weight loss efforts. However, you may wonder whether the supplement is worth the cost or if you should eat whole foods, naturally high in protein instead.

We asked Essentia Health Registered Dietitian Stephanie Fennessey for her opinion about protein supplements for getting to a healthy weight.

“For weight loss, adequate protein intake is important for optimal metabolism, to keep you satisfied between meals, and to build muscle,” says Fennessey. “Whole food sources of protein are typically recommended over supplements. However, when whole food protein sources are not available or convenient, protein supplements with high-quality ingredients may serve as a practical alternative.”

If you’re looking for a protein powder, Fennessey recommends choosing a supplement from a reputable manufacturer and following the instructions on the label. You should look for whey and casein supplements because they contain favorable levels of essential amino acids.

In general, quality protein sources should be consumed throughout the day, and after a workout. Foods naturally high in protein include eggs, milk, chicken, fish, beans, seeds and nuts to name a few.

If you have more questions about your diet or would like a personalized nutrition plan, contact your local Essentia Health clinic or hospital to set up an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.

Essentia Health Dietitian services now available near you

Seeing a registered dietitian to answer your questions about diet or make a personalized nutrition plan is now more convenient for people living in Baxter, Crosslake, Hackensack, Pequot Lakes, and Pine River. Essentia Health clinics in these communities are offering telehealth appointments for medical nutrition therapy for obesity, diabetes, renal disease, food allergies, and lipid/cholesterol control.

Telehealth is the use of technology—including video conferencing and online media communications—to support long-distance health care. Thanks to high-resolution cameras, microphones and a secure network connection, the registered dietitian and patient can talk with each other as if they were in the same room. This technology allows patients to get care in their communities and avoid lengthy trips to out-of-town specialists.

“We’re very excited to offer this service”, says Teresa Farrell, Essentia Health licensed and registered dietitian. “Now our patients will be able to see and speak directly with me and other specialists anywhere, anytime, no matter how far away we may be from each other.”

Individuals are encouraged to check with their insurance plan to ensure it provides coverage for registered dietitian services. If so, telehealth services are covered just like any other office visit.

A referral is required from a primary care provider. Once the referral is given, call 218-828-2880 for an appointment at a clinic conveniently located near you.