Are ‘High Protein Foods’ A Problem? 

high protein flapjack bar

Are ‘High Protein Foods’ A Problem? 

For many people, switching to a diet that is higher in protein can support health and weight loss. But as with all aspects of our diet, a considered approach is better than following fad diets or trends.

As high protein diets have increased in popularity, so have foods marketed as high protein. But these foods sold as ‘high protein foods’ are often not all they appear. They may not only be ultra-processed, but may even contain more sugar than regular versions of the same food. Confused? Read our guide to the high protein foods to avoid.

We are a team of qualified, experienced nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. We can help you overcome your weight challenges, achieve your ideal weight and maintain it long term. Schedule a 25-minute complimentary call with us today to find out how.


Some processed foods labelled as “high protein” may not be as healthy as they seem. Companies can claim a product is “high protein” if it contains over 10g of protein per serving. This based on the daily value (DV) for protein being 50g. But as consumers we need to get used to reading food labels carefully and considering how these claims are reached.


Food products labelled as ‘high protein’ may not always have a higher protein content when compared to the regular version of the same food. For instance, Morrisons’ low-calorie high-protein ice cream contains less protein than their standard cookie dough ice cream.
How is this possible? Well, for a food to state that it is ‘high protein’, or make similar claims likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, at least 20% of the energy value of the food must come from protein. So ultra-processed foods that are lower calorie can often be sold as ‘high protein’ by carefully balancing the portion suggestion and protein content to hit the required numbers. But eating a smaller portion of a higher calorie or even a less processed version of the food may actually result in a higher protein intake. 


Many whole foods fit this ‘high protein’ criteria such as eggs, meat, fish and tofu. These are the types of foods we should focus on getting the majority of our protein from, rather than processed foods marketed as protein boosting. You would never see a box of eggs stamped with ‘high protein’ on the side, would you? Which is how consumers can be tricked into switching from healthy, whole foods and reaching for ultra-processed, less healthy alternatives for ease, thinking they’re supporting a high protein diet.  


Increasing the protein content of certain meals can provide benefits. Combining protein with meals that are typically carbohydrate based, such as porridge, can help slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars. This also helps ensure you’re meeting your body’s protein requirements. Many of us eat meals that are carbohydrate dominated so balancing this out to provide a higher proportion of protein along with healthy fats can be beneficial. 

That said, many of the foods that are marketed as high protein are highly processed and not things that I would recommend. Take the Fuel 10K porridge. Its second highest ingredient is sugar and it contains three and a half teaspoons of sugar per serving. There’s more sugar in it than there is protein. You’d be better off making your own porridge and stirring in a scoop of high quality sugar free protein powder. Read my guide to the best protein powders here. 


Snack foods and convenience meals sold as being high in protein are often highly processed. Ultra Processed Foods (UPFs) have been shown to have a negative impact on our health, linked with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and some cancers. Read my guide to Ultra Processed Foods here.


Processed foods that are labelled ‘high protein’ will appeal to people who consume convenience food but want to feel better by choosing a healthier option, so they are likely being misled by marketing in many instances. 

Increasingly discerning consumers are learning to recognise ultra-processed foods, even those with health-related claims such as ‘high protein’. Despite this awareness, it is still easy to be deceived. With limited time for decision-making, consumers often make quick choices when buying food, leaving them susceptible to being misled. Along with protein in the marketing, consumers should also be wary of language such as ‘natural’, ‘healthy’ and ‘added sugar’.


With food labelling there can be a significant difference between the health claims made on the front of the packaging and nutrition information on back of the packet. That is where the truth is to be found. We tell clients to pay less attention to the claims on the front of food packaging and instead, focus on ingredients list and nutrition information. 

Processed food manufacturers are tapping into a desire to feel like we are making a healthier choice. Most people want to eat food that they enjoy, is quick to prepare and is healthy too. If they can provide all three of the above, they’re likely to increase the number of consumers for that product. Unfortunately, while these foods might be tasty and convenient, they are often not as healthy as manufacturers would like us to believe.


Much of the standard advice that works very well for some can be detrimental for others. While for some clients wishing to lose weight we advise calorie control and high protein, low-carb diets, some clients we will advise to stop fasting, eat more calories and reduce the intensity of their exercise. It may seem counterintuitive but sometimes these practices can exacerbate stress, elevating cortisol and prevent weight loss. 

Navigating weight loss, health and wellbeing in today’s world can be a minefield. Having an expert to help you gain clarity and identify what is right for you can make all the difference.


We are a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. If you’re ready to overcome your weight challenges, achieve your goal weight and maintain it long term, we can help. You can use this link to book in for a complimentary call. This is an opportunity to talk through your challenges with a member of our team and decide together whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you. Or contact us to request a copy of our brochure and we will get back to you soon.

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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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