MHP Paleo Protein… with Modified CORN Maltodextrin? #FAIL

MHP has a brand new protein powder on the market.  Going by the name ‘Paleo Protein’  this product is an attempt to capitalize on the paleo nutrition lifestyle that is sweeping the country.  Paleo dieters everywhere are saying goodbye to processed garbage in their diets and returning to foods that nature intended for us to eat.

MHP Paleo Protein

Just Because it’s Egg and Beef Protein Doesn’t Necessarily Make it Paleo-Approved…

Most protein powders on the market are utilizing milk protein, or its components whey and casein.  This presents a problem for paleo athletes because protein supplements are one of the fundamental supplements most athletes use to supplement their dietary protein needs.

Word of a paleo-friendly protein product should be great news to paleo athletes everywhere, right?

Not always.

Jumpin on that Bandwagon…

However, you should be apprehensive of all products marketed at “trendy” market segments, and this one is no exception.  It gets a few things right as far as being paleo friendly, but as you are about to see there are numerous shortcomings in its formulation that ultimately make the product paleo in name only, and not in substance.

In the end, the product utilizes inferior protein sources, “paleo-illegal” corn products, and numerous heavily processed thickening agents in its makeup, all wrapped together behind a fancy label and premium pricing.

The paleo market should not stand behind products like this besmirching the paleo label.

Modified Corn? Processed Seaweed? Heavily Processed thickening agents? Oh My!

Let’s start with the first thing to trigger our alarms: non-paleo ingredients.

The product includes a number of ingredients that someone who did even a passing amount of research into paleo dieting would know are completely incompatible with the requirements of a paleo diet.

The product includes a significant amount of Maltodextrin.  This modified oligosaccharide is created by the partial hydrolysis of starch, and in the United States this starch is virtually always cornstarch.  Corn starch in a paleo protein product? Outlandish.

This is exactly what paleo dieters are trying to get away from!!

But Wait There’s More — In Come the Thickening Agents

MHP Paleo Protein Ingredients

This is Paleo????????

But that’s not all by a long shot. Included in the product are ‘cellulose gum’ and ‘xanthan gum’.  Cellulose gum is a heavily processed cellulose derivative where carboxymethyl groups are bound to the hydroxyl groups of the glucopyranose backbone of the cellulose molecules.  Sound complicated? It is.

Nothing undergoing this much chemical engineering should be included in a supposed paleo product.  Xanthan gum is a thickening agent produced by the fermentation of plant sugars…typically those of corn, wheat, dairy, or soy.  Yet another ingredient incompatible with the paleo lifestyle.

Finally, the product includes carrageenan, this is an extract of red seaweed that undergoes a tremendous amount of processing to make it suitable for use as a thickening agent in food.  It gets worse, carrageenan is known to cause colon inflammation in animal studies, and is a believed human carcinogen.  You can see a summary of these risks in this report by the cornucopia institute, a nonprofit research group that addresses food supply issues.

It is clear that MHP did not try very hard to look for natural paleo-friendly alternatives to the typical sweeteners and thickening agents used in protein products in formulating their supposed paleo protein product.

Jumpin on that Bandwagon…

However, you should be apprehensive of all products marketed at trendy market segments and this one is no exception.  It gets a few things right as far as being paleo friendly, but as you are about to see there are numerous shortcomings in its formulation that ultimately make the product paleo in name only, and not in substance.

In the end, the product utilizes inferior protein sources, “paleo-illegal” corn products, and numerous heavily processed thickening agents in its makeup, all wrapped together behind a fancy label and premium pricing.

The paleo market should not stand behind products like this besmirching the paleo label.

Paleo-friendly protein sources, but what about quality?

The product gets it right as far as utilizing paleo-friendly protein sources go, including beef protein and egg albumin as its sources.   What is confusing however is their choice to include beef protein as the primary protein source instead of egg albumin-

  • Beef protein bioavailability is inferior to that of egg albumin.  Protein bioavailability is measured by a scale of 1-100 called ‘biological value’.  This scale measures the percent of nitrogen in the protein that is utilized in the body.   Egg Albumin scores a 94 on this scale, whereas Beef Protein scores a lowly 74.3.
  • Egg Albumin protein has a superior amino acid profile to that of Beef protein.  The most important amino acids to an athlete are the BCAAs.  A protein source where a higher % of its protein is composed of BCAAs is therefore more ideal for an athletes purposes.  Egg

Albumin contains around 16.75% BCAAs, Beef Protein Isolate on the other hand only contains around 7.8% BCAAs.

So why the beef protein?  For profit of course. Beef protein is significantly cheaper than egg protein, and by including beef protein in the product MHP is sacrificing the quality of their product to improve their bottom line.

All of this at a price…premium?!

A scoop of the product contains 20 grams of protein.  At its average market price of $30 for a 2 lb tub containing 28 scoops of the product this comes out to around $.053/g of protein.  This is a very expensive price to be paying for protein, that would be okay if the product was actually paleo in makeup and not just in name.   Paying this much of a premium for a product whose ingredients are definitively not paleo would be a mistake.

The Bottom Line.

This product is a mockery of the paleo dieting movement, and a half-assed attempt to capitalize on uninformed dieters.   MHP clearly made no attempt to do anything other than give lip service to paleo athletes with a product that includes paleo in its name.

So What is the Paleo Protein Solution?

Honestly, if you’re a hardcore paleo dieter, I don’t totally know, and I don’t really care. I was a strict paleo dieter for over 2 years (before you even heard of paleo), and I honestly believe it held back many of my muscle gains. It’s great for fat loss, but needs modifications for building muscle.

We see absolutely no problems with pure whey protein isolate products, which are filtered of the nonsense from the dairy (ie lactose / milk sugars) that most people are trying to get away from.

I have no problems with some sucralose and Ace-K as artificial sweeteners, so long as there’s no filthy maltodextrin (or other thickeners), or nonsense amino acids like glycine an taurine added to the product.

This one fails at much of that, but many of the pure whey isolates don’t.

PricePlow Disapproved.

Readers can feel free to suggest pure paleo stuff below, and we’ll get it listed.

Due to the incredible number of non-paleo ingredients within, its poor protein source composition, and high price, we’re certainly looking elsewhere for paleo-friendly protein products, and you should too.

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