Will a high-protein diet harm your health?

Will too much protein damage my kidneys? Cause cancer? Reduce my lifespan? At Precision Nutrition we’re always getting questions (from fitness pros and clients) about the risks of a high-protein diet. In this article we’ll set the record straight and share why protein isn’t the villain it’s made out to be.

macro-manager-how-much-protein-is-too-much_05 Drinking Protein Shake Gym

Will eating a high-protein diet hurt me?

For years, people have been concerned with the safety of eating too much protein.

Will eating too much protein explode my kidneys?

How about my liver? My left femur?

The most common health concerns of eating more protein are:

  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • osteoporosis
  • heart disease
  • cancer

Let’s explore these.

Claim: High protein causes kidney damage.

This concern about high protein and kidneys began with a misunderstanding of why doctors tell people with poorly functioning kidneys (usually from pre-existing kidney disease) to a eat a low-protein diet.

But there’s a big difference between avoiding protein because your kidneys are already damaged and protein actively damaging healthy kidneys.

It’s the difference between jogging with a broken leg and jogging with a perfectly healthy leg.

Jogging with a broken leg is a bad idea. Doctors would probably tell you not to jog if your leg is broken. But does jogging cause legs to break? No.

That’s the same thing with protein and kidneys.

Eating more protein does increase how much your kidneys have to work (glomerular filtration rate and creatinine clearance), just like jogging increases how much your legs have to work.

But protein hasn’t been shown to cause kidney damage — again, just like jogging isn’t going to suddenly snap your leg like a twig.

High-protein diets do result in increased metabolic waste being excreted in the urine, though, so it’s particularly important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Verdict: There’s no evidence that high protein diets (2.2g/kg body weight) cause kidney damage in healthy adults.

Claim: High protein causes liver damage.

The liver, like the kidneys, is a major processing organ. Thus, it’s same deal as with kidneys: People with liver damage (such as cirrhosis) are told to eat less protein.

Yes, if you have liver damage or disease you should eat less protein. But if your liver is healthy, then a high-protein diet will not cause liver damage.

Verdict: There’s no evidence that high-protein diets (2.2g/kg body weight) causes liver damage in healthy adults.

Claim: High protein causes osteoporosis.

Eating more protein without also upping your fruit and vegetable intake will increase the amount of calcium you’ll lose in your pee.

That finding made some people think that eating more protein will cause osteoporosis because you’re losing bone calcium.

But there is no evidence that high protein causes osteoporosis.

If anything, not eating enough protein has been shown to cause bone loss. Bones aren’t just inert sticks of minerals — a significant proportion of bone is also protein, mostly collagen-type proteins.

Like muscle, bone is an active tissue that is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. And like muscle, bone needs those Lego building blocks.

Women aged 55 to 92 who eat more protein have higher bone density. So eating more protein improves bone density in people most at risk of having osteoporosis.

(Eating more protein plus adding resistance training: Double win for bone density.)

Verdict: High protein diets do not cause osteoporosis, and actually may prevent osteoporosis.

Claim: High protein causes cancer

Unfortunately, we still don’t have conclusive human studies on the cause of cancer and the role of protein.

There are studies that asked people how much protein they ate over their lifetime, and then looked at how often people got cancer. The research shows a connection between protein intake and cancer rates.

But these studies are correlational studies and don’t prove that protein is the cause of cancers. Plus, some researchers have gone so far to say that studies relying on subjects to recall what they ate are basically worthless because human memory is so inaccurate.

A big part of the proposed cancer and protein link comes down to confounding factors, like:

  • where you get your protein from — plant or animal
  • how you cook your protein (i.e. carbonized grilled meat)
  • what types of protein you’re eating (e.g. grass-fed steak versus a hot dog)

And so on.

In other words, we can’t say that any particular amount of protein causes cancer.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes cancer; many other confounding factors.

Claim: High protein causes heart disease.

Eating animal-based protein daily is associated with an increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease (70 percent for men and 37 percent for women), whereas plant-based proteins aren’t linked to higher rates of heart disease.

This suggests that where you get your protein from may matter more than how much protein you eat.

However, just like cancer, the link between heart disease and high-protein diets is from questionnaires rather than a double-blind randomized study (the gold standard in research).

There are many confounding factors. For one, consider the type of animal — does seafood cause the same issues as red meat, for example?

We don’t yet know the whole story here.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes heart disease and the source of protein is a major confounding factor.

Source : fiitnessplus

DRS Dieting Tricks That Work Wonders Quickly

There are certain dieting tricks that work very quickly if you’re trying to lose weight. These dieting tricks are really common sense though when you consider the benefits you’ll get from them. Anytime you start to feel your jeans get tight, or just don’t like the way you look in your clothes anymore, try a few of these dieting tricks to get you back on track.

Even healthy eaters can lose their focus and eat too much of the wrong foods. These dieting tricks can also improve your insulin levels, reduce bloating, and even help digestion too. Pick whichever ones sound relevant to your life and try a few this week. I’d love to know how they work for you!

1. Reduce Starchy Carbs

This little tip is one of the oldest and most tried and true dieting tricks out there. It’s not rocket science, since we all know starchy carbs lead to weight gain. Yet with trendy foods like sprouted grain bread, red potatoes, beans, couscous, and the new “it” grain, freekah, we might lose sight quickly of how many starches we’re really eating. You don’t need an excess of starches, no matter how healthy the source is you’re choosing. One or two a day should do, but if you want to lose weight, make it just one or even zero. Choose non-starchy vegetables, and high protein and low starch grains like rolled oats or quinoa as your main choices.


2. Eliminate Most All Fruit Sugars

Fruit seems so healthy in so many ways, but can be one of the reasons you gain weight. Fruit in itself is full of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for you, but it will quickly lead to belly bloat and even belly weight gain when you eat more than you need.

The reason is the type of sugar found in fruit, known as fructose. Fructose is only needed in certain amounts by the body, and then the rest gets converted to excess fat by the liver. High fructose fruits should be avoided, while low fructose fruits can be eaten in small amounts. Low fructose fruits include raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, goji berries, yellow bananas (not brown), papaya, and oranges.


3. Increase Lean Protein

Increasing lean protein has been found to effectively help increase weight loss and improve lean muscle. Increasing your lean protein by just 10% might be all the edge you need to improve your metabolism quickly. Protein takes more metabolic work to digest than any other macronutrient, and the more your metabolism has to work, the better for your weight loss.

Be sure you choose good, clean sources of lean protein though. You should always be kind to your body when choosing what foods to give it. Increasing your protein at each meal and snack by just adding ¼ the amount more than you normally eat should do the trick. This can also help keep you fuller longer and maintain better insulin function.


4. Eat When You’re Hungry

Never skip meals when it comes to losing weight. This will backfire quickly, and cause your insulin to spike, which increases the cortisol in your body, leading to fat storage. Cortisol, your stress hormone, is the first hormone your body sends out when it senses its under stress, including when you’re hungry and your insulin surges.

Cortisol also triggers your body to store fat as a survival mechanism for the stress its under. So eat when you’re hungry and quit ignoring your hunger pains! Eat three meals and two snacks through the day as you need them


5. Dieting Tricks: Watch Your Fats

Yes, healthy fats should be eaten and yes, I love them, but when it comes to weight loss, be sure you watch how much you’re eating. They are easy to overdo.

In fact, one of the best ways to gain weight is to increase your healthy fats. So, have 1 or 2 tablespoons a day at the most, but no more if you’re really trying to lose weight. This includes nut butters, oils, avocados, and nuts. Seeds like flax, chia, and hemp are much more diet friendly, and also have more fiber to fill you up faster.


6. Decide On Dairy

Most people find ditching dairy can help them lose weight, but some find fat-free dairy like Greek yogurt actually helps them lose. So, decide what works for you. If dairy digests well for you, choose the leanest option – this being organic, fat-free Greek yogurt.

Avoid milk, cheese, and most all other dairy products if you want to lose weight though. Choose unsweetened almond milk instead of milk, and avoid any dairy products with added sugar. I also suggest avoiding vegan cheeses and vegan dairy products outside of unsweetened almond milk. Most all are high in preservatives, excess fat or sugar, and a lot of fillers.

These are some of the DRS dieting tricks to help you lose weight that don’t require a fancy plan or a lot of thought. Implement some of these into your routine, and you should notice the weight start to come off quickly.

Most importantly of all, please remember, sugar is not your friend, so kick all sugar and alcohol out of your diet and increase your intake of veggies, lean protein, and eat some healthy fats and some healthy starches. This will give you a better quality of life, a leaner body, and improve your metabolism and mood.

Do you have a safe and effective dieting trick that’s worked wonders for you?

Source: fiitnessplus