Is protein powder a suitable meat replacement?

Amid rising grocery prices, some Calgarians are looking at ways to get the most nutrients for the least amount of money. How does protein powder match up to meats, like chicken or beef? Jillian Code has the details.

Amid rising grocery prices, some are considering buying protein powder instead of meat. But are smoothies a suitable replacement for chicken or beef?

Registered dietician Vincci Tsui says while it isn’t necessarily a bad idea, you’ll need to get certain nutrients elsewhere if you’re cutting meat out of your diet completely.

“An individual can probably work out, are they really saving money by doing this?” Tsui said.

“Meat isn’t just pure protein, like, there are other nutrients as well. The ones that come to mind for me right now might be things like iron, or zinc, or vitamin B12.”


Justin Bartczak, team lead at Richmond Supplement King, says swapping steak or chicken for protein shakes will not be an equal trade.

“If you are using it to replace a steak, a steak is gonna have calories, it’s gonna have fats, it’s gonna have protein in there. You need to make sure that if you’re gonna replace something with a supplement or a powder of any kind, that you somehow still get the stuff you need to from another source.”

“It’s somewhere in between $55 to $65 for two pounds of protein [powder], which will last you a month taking one scoop a day,” says Zach Proudfoot, team lead at Richmond Supplement King.

Opting to buy protein powder may be more cost-effective than meat right now, however, Tsui says there are often other ways to diversify your protein intake.

“Look into plant based sources of protein; beans or legumes, or tofu, those sorts of foods as a way to get your protein,” Tsui says.

She adds asking questions and consulting with a dietician can help you feel confident in your meal decisions.

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