The Healthiest Protein Powders On the Market

Years ago, I started adding a very delicious vanilla whey protein to my smoothies that I got from GNC. I was religious about using this one brand, and when they suddenly discontinued it, I became outraged!  I called every GNC in town searching high and low for it. It was the best tasting whey protein on the market and I didn’t want to go on a hunt for another kind. Well… long story short, I got to the botttom of why they discontinued it – the health department found rat droppings in samples of the protein at the manufacturing plant! WHAT. I’d been drinking rat droppings for all those years? @#$%&%&*^%^$$!

Needless to say, I have never looked at protein powders the same again. I research the heck out of them before I ever consider putting them in my body.

The key to finding a high quality protein powder is figuring out the right questions to ask…. Is it organic and free of pesticides? Is it GMO free? How is it processed? Does the processing retain it’s nutritional quality, vitamins and minerals? Does it contain artificial or refined sugars? Do they have heavy metals?

Yes…I said heavy metals. Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening investigation that revealed that several popular highly processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and GNC brand all contained arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Yikes.

This is just another reason why it is incredibly important to know what you are buying, where it is from and how it is produced.

So today…I want to share with you my Food Babe approved list of protein powders that are free of pesticides, GMOs, all those nasty chemicals and other grossities…



    1. Health Force Nutritional’s Warrior Food Extreme ($45.99 from Amazon for 45 servings) – This company practices the highest quality processing methods and uses ingredients that are beyond organic – holding the word “organic”  true to it’s original meaning which they call “TruGanic.” This includes authentic standards for production, non-toxic cleaning agents and pest control, electromagnetic radiation, processing agents additives, air quality, and actual verification of purity. The protein here is half “enzyme active” sprouted brown rice and half hemp seed based. The addition of organic raw vanilla and a little raw whole leaf stevia make it tolerable to consume even by itself without any add ins.
    2. Tera’s Organic Whey ($25 from Amazon for 12 servings) – There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not to consume whey within the health food community and from what I have researched – the benefits of consuming whey are valid for muscle building, muscle recovery and weight management. It just depends on what kind of whey you get and from where. You either you can pick low quality heat processed alkalinity stripping whey protein isolate – or you can pick cold processed whole food whey concentrate made from organic fed cows not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics. Tera’s whey is actually made in small batches and takes considerable care in how the whey is processed. Tera’s whey also comes in some very delicious flavors like blueberry and coffee that are real food based – not loaded with ambiguous “natural flavors.”(One caveat, I’d like to mention – if you decide to go with a whey protein, it’s crucial to maintain a diet high in other plant-based foods. This whey, although a good product that retains its nutritional profile, can be acid forming in large quantities just like a diet with an over emphasis on meat and dairy. Remember keeping your body alkaline is key to avoiding disease and eating a diet full of plant based foods is the only way to keep it that way.)
    3. Nutiva’s Hemp Protein – ($21.99 for 30 servings) – The ingredient label of this very nutritional protein supplement has one beautiful ingredient “organic hemp seeds.” This protein powder may not be for everyone, because the taste is definitely something to get used to.  But when combined with the right tasty ingredients like fruit, raw cacao and/or almond butter, it can be very appetizing. Finding the right balance of hemp protein to additional ingredients is the key to enjoying this rich in Omega 3 fatty acid supplement.
    4. I have removed Garden of Life from my approved protein powders due to a recent controversy surrounding new laboratory results released by Consumer Wellness Center Laboratories by Natural News.

I’d love to know if you have tried any of these before or found any protein powders you like better.  Please leave a comment and let me (and others) know.

Bottoms up!

Food Babe

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1,715 Responses to “The Healthiest Protein Powders On the Market”

  1. Vegan Steven

    I think #3 is a good one, especially if you make shakes. I’ve ordered #3 many times. Hemp, unlike some other plant proteins is nearly a “complete protein.” That’s important to know, because an incomplete protein is of no use. I like to mix my hemp powder with some banana, carrots, water, and some berries. Makes a beautiful morning drink :). See more vegan protein powders here:

  2. Valerie McCullough

    I’ve been doing my own research on vegan & gluten free protein powders. After a ton of work, I finally found 5 protein powders that are all vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and non-GMO. We should all be able to enjoy the benefits of protein powder without the worry of harmful additives. :)

    Check out my top 5 vegan & gluten free protein powder picks here:

  3. nicole

    Has anyone tried or know if the garden of life raw fit is good? It is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, usda organic, and non gmo verified. Thanks!

  4. Wendy

    What are your thoughts on Orgain Organic Protein plant based powder? Everything I’ve read about it, it’s great, but would love your thoughts on this product. I too, will not do artificial anything and certainly avoiding GMOs!

    • Deanna (to Wendy)

      I’m curious about the Orgain Organic Protein plant based powder as Wendy noted also. Please give us your thoughts. I wonder about the fact that it contains “Natural Flavors” (what’s that?) and Stevia. Seems like everything else looks heathy.

  5. Maria Ines

    Hi Vani,
    I know you are a fan of beachbody workouts and I am wondering what you think of their shakeology product? And how it would compare with your number 1 & 2 protein powder shakes?

  6. Gerald Minniti (to Amanda)

    Hi Amanda,
    I am a surgeon in private practice. I am not beholden to any insurance company, pharmaceutical company, or corporation/company of any sort. I have devoted my life to science, and consume a large amount of literature involving medicine and nutrition.
    That’s correct, no evidence that artificial sweeteners cause disease in humans.

  7. Rita S (to Gerald Minniti)

    Gerald…curious if you have read fellow scientist and neurosurgeon, Dr. Russel Blaylock’s book, “Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills” ? There is actually much scientific evidence on the effect of artificial flavorings, sweeteners, food colorings and effects in labortory research. Another great source is The Feingold Foundation, dedicated to providing parents of children who are diagnosed with autism, ADD, ADHD, etc. in managing thier child’s behaviors through nutritional helps. A friend’s child has such a diagnosis, when he eats organic and clean he is an easy kid, give him food that is artificially colored and flavored and he becomes a different person – angry, hard to handle – within minutes.
    I encourage you to look beyond what may be provided to you in a medical facility setting.

  8. Tracy (to Rita S)

    AGREE with you Rita!

  9. Cathy (to Tracy)

    I also agree with you, Rita.

  10. Mopey (to Gerald Minniti)

    Ants do not eat it. When they do….I will.

  11. Augustin (to Gerald Minniti)

    then you must not do your profession well and are certainly not educated as you should be. Artificial sweeteners contain Aspartame and Aspartame causes cancer. I know that and im no doctor, I would suggest you step out of your medical field as you are incapable and incompetent to practice what you so called “studied”.

  12. brian (to Gerald Minniti)

    GMO, cold processed, No chemicals etc.

  13. roseann (to Gerald Minniti)

    Your comment is misleading and can adversely affect people’s health. Artificial sweeteners do very definitely cause adverse affects on health.

  14. Robert C Griffin jr (to Gerald Minniti)

    Nah, they jus taste like crap!

  15. Chris (to Gerald Minniti)

    I will assume you are a plastic surgeon who also believes it is safe to implant peoples bodies with cancer causing agents also…….

  16. Karen Nolen (to Gerald Minniti)

    False. False. False. It took Nutrisweet 10 years to get on the market because of cancer found in the animals they were testing it on

  17. April (to Mopey)

    Mopey. No disrespect meant, but I’ve heard the same comment before and I’d like to respond to it. Although, like the ants, I wouldn’t touch artificial sweetener with a ten foot pole, I don’t think for a minute I’d eat dog food or rotten apple bits dropped on the sidewalk. Maybe you shouldn’t eat things only an ant will eat ;)

  18. Gina (to April)

    (To April) if an ant will eatdog food and rotten apples but not artificial sweetener, what does that tell you? No disrespect meant

  19. Susan K (to Gina)

    tells me that the ant is hungry … & still won’t eat the sweetner.

  20. Gloria (to Augustin)

    I was diagnosed with lupus ( the external kind) several years ago. I used to get lumps under my skin that would last for two or three weeks then go away, usually having several all the time. I read aspartame exacerbates the symptoms of lupus, so I eliminated it from my diet…..symptoms all but gone. Now instead of three lumps at a time coming and going, I probably don’t get them more than one or two a year, if that.

  21. CWS (to Augustin)

    Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, not a component of all artificial sweeteners. Everything you said in your comment is wrong.


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