NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodMcLennan CountyWaco


Heather's Healthy Habits: Local expert talks about the power of protein

Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 02, 2024

WACO, Texas — Protein can be a hot topic when it comes to diet. More people are leaning more toward eating higher protein and lower carbohydrates, but that might not always be sustainable. 25 News' Heather Healy dives into all the information you need to know about this important part of healthy eating.


Protein can be an important factor when it comes to getting in shape.

“Looking at quality and seeking out protein intentionally through animal protein, plant protein and being weary about supplemented foods that may not be necessary — I think the food industry is also reinforcing it by supplementing a lot of traditionally low protein foods with proteins," said Clinical Dietitian with Baylor Scott & White, LeAnn Rychlik.

"We see that in a lot of grain products: boxed cereals, instant oatmeals, so I think it’s a reinforcing message. We hear low carb diets promote weight loss and the food industry reinforces that message."

25 News shared information about trainer Matt Peppley from Train Waco a few weeks ago — he consumes protein in many forms.

Now, he's giving advice to you on what to look for to meet your goals.

“Maybe a protein powder mixed with water, maybe easier on the stomach than a protein bar, and I’ve got to say, these supplements are great, but they’re called a supplement for a reason, so get your whole food protein sources in,” Peppley said.

Making sure to read labels carefully — not all protein is the same.

“Things that I like to look for, and I’ve spoke on this before, is whey protein isolate, it’s going to be easy on the stomach easy to digest — other things I’m looking for is how much protein per scoop am I getting? Is it 10 or 15 grams, or something I prefer is more along the lines of 20 to 30 grams of protein,” Peppley said.

It's important to trust where you get your protein from.

“What you would look for and what I would look for would be that it doesn’t have any chemicals, how is it produced, just the quality of the product,” said CEO and owner of South Waco Nutrition, Berta Salas.

With eating right, it’s important to prioritize protein, but don’t forget the other two macros too — fats and carbs. They’re not the enemy. It’s important balance out your plate.

“For us to live and walk every day, we need to consume the protein so we can live a better life,” Salas said.