If you're someone who likes to eat meat and lot's of fried foods and you
hate vegetables, a high-protein diet will make you a happy camper . Bacon
and eggs for breakfast. Fried chicken for lunch. Steak for dinner.
considering a high protein diet you should read beyond the books to what the
American Heart Association (AHA) has to say. The AHA has issued a warning
about the dangers of high-protein diets, saying that they have the potential
to put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, particularly heart
are no long-term or short-term studies proving their effectiveness.
diets have been around since the early 1960s but are enjoying a resurgence,
thanks to several best-selling diet books (including one by the father of
high-protein diets himself, Dr. Robert Atkins.) A study that was reported in
The AHA publication Circulation compared five different diets - the Atkins'
diet, the Zone, Protein Power, Sugar Busters and the Stillman diet.
to the AHA nutrition committee, the Protein Power diet has the highest fat
content with 54 percent of total calories from fat. Atkins has the next
highest with 53 percent, and Stillman, the Zone and Sugar Busters have 33
percent, 30 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
high protein diet plans advocate that you severely restrict carbohydrates
and replace them with high-protein foods. In respect, you bring on the meat,
eggs and dairy and cut out carrots, potatoes, and most other vegetables.
AHA isn't the only health organization to criticize low-carbohydrate,
high-protein diets. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says these meal
plans are "not in sync" with its nutrition recommendations.
High Protein Diets the Answer?
diets seem to work initially because "when you eat more protein and
fat, the body produces ketone bodies, which cause you to initially lose
fluid. The initial 'weight loss' is actually water."
bodies are the fuel our bodies get from fat. If we eat too few carbohydrates
or we starve ourselves, ketone bodies build up in the bloodstream. Ketosis
is the condition of having too many ketone bodies in the bloodstream, which
must be excreted in the urine. This is why fluid loss occurs. After time,
ketosis causes a loss of appetite and nausea, which eventually results in
consuming fewer calories. So the real reason people lose weight is not
because of some magical combination of protein and carbohydrate. Rather,
they eat less and have a dramatic loss of body fluids.
diets cause dehydration for this very reason. Most high-protein diets can
increase the below health risks:
High-protein diets are
high in fat and, therefore, can increase the risk of heart disease.
Since it's difficult to follow a high-protein diet without eating a lot
of meat, people will likely be consuming more saturated fat. It is
advisable to limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total
calories, which is difficult, if not impossible, on many high-protein
diet regimens that focus on mostly eating meats. Meat,
eggs and dairy products contain saturated fats, and eating too much of
them can raise artery-clogging cholesterol levels in the blood, a known
risk factor for heart disease.
High-protein diets can
actually accelerate the development of diabetic kidney disease. When
protein is broken down in the body, the kidneys process the by-products,
putting a tremendous strain on the kidneys.
High-protein diets can be
bad for your bones. High-protein diets eliminate or severely
restrict certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which help protect
High-protein diets lack
critical nutrients. Restricting carbohydrates means you restrict
plant-based foods, which are rich in "phytochemicals." These
phytochemicals are rich in anti-oxidants and offer protection against
cancer and other diseases, such as hypertension. Also, vitamin and
mineral deficiencies will more than likely occur because of the
limitation of healthful, nutrient-dense foods.
What's the Answer?
The popularity of high
protein diets indicates it's followers are still in what is referred to as a
"diet mode". They follow one diet after another to simply lose interest from
not seeing results and then they will look for the next diet that has the
most popularity at that particular time. Fact is it's not about "high
protein diets or for that matter any diet. It's about a "lifestyle change"
that professionals suggests would promote achieving and maintaining a
healthy weight without sacrificing your health in the process.
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