Beware the food label claims!

I really am fed up of seeing these sorts of claims on plant-based products.

“PROTEIN BOOSTING”? Nonsense. “HIGH PROTEIN”? Absolute rubbish.

Let’s look at the facts.

The label on the back tells us that this Garden Pea and Spinach soup has 3g of protein per 100g of soup. Given the claims, you would expect this to be high relative to the protein content of other foods.

It isn’t.

Animal foods have far higher protein concentrations (per 100g) than this:

  • Salmon: 25g
  • Beef: 29g
  • Chicken: 30g
  • Cheese: 25g

(And that’s ignoring the importance of bioavailability – the fraction of the protein that is digestible/absorbable – which we know is much higher in animal protein than plant protein.)

How can you say that 3g of protein per 100g is “high protein” when there are many foods with 8-10x that amount.

What sort of scale are they using?

Maybe 3g/100g tops the scale for plant foods. If it does, perhaps we could give the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt. Except it doesn’t:

  • Humous: 7g
  • Falafel: 12g
  • Baked beans: 5g
  • Peanut butter: 26g

If the best thing you can say about this soup is that it’s high in protein, when it’s actually very low in protein, what does that say about the soup (and the company that makes it)?

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