High Protein Diet is in the spotlight these days, but think twice before you embark on one. It could be as deadly as smoking cigarettes.
Negatives of a high protein diet
High-protein diets typically restrictive in carbohydrates have been the foundation of many fad diets. Some people use high-protein diets – such as Atkins or Paleo – for short-term weight loss, but they have negative effects in long term.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
In addition to large amounts of protein, these diets are typically restrictive or even eliminate entire food groups.
Eliminating or severely restricting food groups may cause some weight loss, but it will not provide all the essential phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, fiber and antioxidants that your body needs.
Protein is the building block of your body
The typical diet consists of 12 to 18 percent of calories from protein. In a high-protein diet, more than 25 to 35 percent of calories come from protein.
Protein is also a key player in helping the immune system fight off bugs
But we need to be very careful how much protein we’re consuming and how often. Your body can only process certain amounts of protein in a day. Eating more protein than your body can process is pointless, as it can’t be stored like carbohydrates.
Here’s what a high protein diet may contribute to your health
Cardiovascular Diseases: Some protein sources – like fatty cuts of meat, whole dairy products, and other high-fat protein foods – are extremely high in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, increasing your chance of heart disease, hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia.
If you have any kidney problem, eating too much protein puts added strain on your kidneys.
This could worsen kidney function. High protein intake causes the kidneys to produce more concentrated urine, a sign of dehydration caused by the extra fluid needed to eliminate the waste products.
This puts a strain on the kidneys, affecting their ability to absorb calcium. These strains on the kidneys can cause a permanent, complete loss of kidney function in people who have impaired kidney function.
High Protein diets also present a marked acid load to the kidney, increasesing the risk of kidney stones.
Latest studies show a strong relationship between High Protein Diet and cancer. Excessive amounts of protein (especially red meat and processed) may cause colon cancer if it is used on a long term basis. Experts agreed that cutting down on red meat had been proven to lower the risk of cancer and a balanced diet is the best option.
Carbohydrate-rich plant foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes, are the only sources of fiber in the diet. High-protein diets are typically low in fiber and, as a result, often lead to constipation, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Another issue. Too much protein is leeching of calcium from the bones. If you aren’t getting enough calcium, your body will take calcium from your bones.
When you’re on a high-protein diet, you may urinate more calcium than normal. This could cause osteoporosis.
Risk of diseases of the gallbladder, including gallstones, gallbladder inflammation, and cholestasis (a sludge-like build up in the gallbladder), is increased with obesity, fasting and rapid weight loss. A low-fat diet is usually the dietary treatment for acute gallbladder inflammation.
The consumption of meaty diets has been shown to nearly double the risk of gallstones.
Bad breath may occur on high-protein diets, especially during the induction and weight loss phases, when carbohydrate is severely restricted, part of the fat particle cannot be metabolized and builds up in the fluids outside the cells.
These particles are converted to ketones (an “emergency” energy source), and unused ketones are excreted in the urine and expired air, resulting in acetone-smelling breath.
Is an excruciating type of arthritis characterized by joint swelling and pain caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint fluid. The condition is associated with meaty diets, among other nutritional factors. Fasting can also precipitate an attack of gout.
What about weight loss?
High protein diets have been touted as the best fat burners because protein is harder to digest so it burns more calories and keeps you full for longer.
This is true. And most people starting a High Protein Diet do lose weight because they are less hungry.
You’re likely then to eat less and the short- term result is often weight loss. But in the long term, what you are gaining? Heart problems, kidney diseases, GI problems and others.
So there’s no need to go overboard on protein and think twice before starting a High Protein Diet. Everything looks good when it is used in moderation!
Connect with Expert Yumna Sadiq.