Are There Paleo Protein Powders?


Many Paleo eaters want to know the best option for a Paleo protein powder, and there are certainly plenty of mixed reviews on the internet. Often the Paleo community seems to be in favor of grassfed whey protein, but since it is dairy-based it can often be problematic for those who are sensitive to dairy or who wish to avoid it altogether. Many non-whey protein powders are plant-based, but these often contain grains, which are also not Paleo. So what gives? Are there any truly Paleo protein powders?

As a matter of fact, there are several protein powders that fall completely under the Paleo guidelines. Here’s a helpful guide for getting started:

aimees-favorites-nutiva-organic-hemp-protein-powder-193x300.pngHemp Protein Powder

This protein powder is a dark green color with a rich, earthy smell. It’s made from raw hempseeds, and it is also Pegan (Vegan Paleo) friendly. One serving of Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein contains 15 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. This protein powder blends best with fruit and vegetable based smoothies, and sweetens up nicely with some raw honey or coconut nectar.

pumpkin-seed-protein-powder-131x300.jpgPumpkin Seed Protein Powder

Pumpkin seed protein powder tastes similar to hemp in that it’s plant-based, and retains an earthy, seedy taste. It too is Pegan friendly, and blends well with fruit and veggie based smoothies, especially those that use berries and coconut cream. I’ve also found success sweetening this powder with a bit of liquid stevia and a few pinches of coconut sugar. One serving of Omega Nutrition Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder contains 10 grams of protein.

vital-proteins-marine-collagen-300x300.jpgCollagen Protein Powder

If you’re hardcore Paleo, chances are you’re already using collagen to make gummies or added to your coffee. But it also makes a perfect Paleo protein powder because it has no taste and is therefore fully customizable for whatever flavor you’re going for. I personally like to mix collagen with the other protein powders. Vital Proteins has two collagen powders available: Wild-Caught Marine Collagen (11 grams of protein per serving) and Grass Fed Pasture-Raised Collagen Peptides (18 grams of protein per serving).

Beef Protein Powder

Beef protein isolate is another Paleo-friendly protein option, although critics of protein powders as part of a Paleo diet argue that this isn’t a “whole food.” Still, if you’re in need of protein powder, Julian Bakery’s Paleo Protein doesn’t contain any anti-Paleo ingredients, and it contains 25 grams of protein per serving.

Egg White Protein Powder

Stretching to the outer limits of Paleo-acceptable ingredients, egg white protein powder also doesn’t contain any anti-Paleo ingredients, but it is also missing out on the nutrient-dense benefits of the yolk if you would be eating the food whole. Still, if you’re looking for a flavor-neutral protein powder, Julian Bakery’s Paleo Protein Pure contains 25 grams of protein sourced from GMO-free egg farms.

So what do you think? Are protein powders part of your Paleo diet?

Aimee McNewAimee McNew

Aimee McNew, MNT, CNTP, is a certified nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid disorders, autoimmunity, and fertility. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: A Healing Plan for Managing Symptoms Naturally (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.