Protein Diet

It is possible to get differing opinions on almost any dietary advice. There is an exception. Protein has ability to unite all experts in favor of it. Protein plays key role in building and maintaining muscle. Those who exercise regularly should make sure they are eating enough protein. Protein is not only good for muscle gain, but also for weight loss.

Nine essential amino acids only protein based food group can provide. These amino acids help make muscle tissue, as pointed out by Dimple Thakrar, dietitian of British Dietetic Association. Making muscle would not be possible without these amino acids. Lack of these amino acids can cause malnutrition and muscle wasting.

Bodyweight and activity level determine how much protein a person should consume a day. A person who is inactive should consume about one gram of protein per kg of bodyweight, as pointed out by Thakrar.

How Protein Helps Lose Weight

Body deals with different food groups in different ways. How body deals with protein is what matters and makes it a better choice to eat more of it. Protein and carbohydrates yield roughly the same number of calories. Unlike carbohydrates, protein foods keep a person fuller for longer, which reduces overall consumption of food, as said by Thakrar. Protein rich foods such as dairy, fish, meat and lentils take longer to digest. They take up to four hours before leaving stomach and keep a person feeling fuller for longer. Metabolic rate gets enhanced significantly more by consumption of protein than by consumption of carbs or fat. This also contributes to weight loss.

Risk of Consuming too much Protein

Overconsumption of any food group is problematic. Too much consumption of protein is particularly bad for those who have kidney disease or are very old. For a healthy person, consuming excess protein is un-useful. More than thirty grams of protein at one sitting is considered overconsumption. Extra amino acid is of no benefit to muscle building. Body will expel extra amino acid and keep only as much as it needs.

High-Protein Diets

  • The Dukan Diet

Dukan diet is one of the very popular high-protein diets. The Dukan diet has four phases. First phase is based solely on protein. The remaining three phases include and gradually increase other food groups and carbs. Protein is still in focus in the last three phases.  

  • Demerits of Dukan diet

Dukan diet may be good for short term but it is not good for long term. There is no evidence that establishes link between high-protein/low-carb diet and weight loss, as said by Thakrar. According to Thakrar, these diets are too restrictive and eliminate healthy foods, which make them unsustainable for life. These diets can be nutritionally deficient and may not be good for people with liver or kidney issues.

  • The Paleo Diet

This protein diet includes unprocessed food that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were used to eating in the distant past. The menu   include unprocessed seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. People started eating processed food in post Neolithic revolution era. The suggestion is that humans should consume food that would have been available in the Paleolithic era. And processed-foods aren’t well-adaptable for human.

  • Demerits of Paleo diet

The basis of the Paleo diet is not sound. We are not biologically same to our Paleolithic ancestors. Less than ten studies suggest promising outcome with the Paleo diet specially for diabetes patients in terms of regulating blood sugars and weight loss, as pointed out by Thakrar. According to Thakrar, there is lack of sufficient research to back this diet to be a mainstream approach.

There are some positive aspects of this diet. It enhances awareness of what people are consuming. It reduces consumption of processed foods significantly. This diet encourages greater consumption of vegetables and fruits and decrease in consumption of sugar and salt by default.       

  • Low-Protein Diet

In low-protein diet, people reduce intake of protein. A low-protein diet is usually prescribed for people with metabolic disorders, kidney or liver disorders. Low protein consumption is linked with reduced risks of bone breakage. There is a lack of uniform   description of what makes up low-protein diet. Amount or composition for low-protein diet for a person with a particular disorder, can be different from amount or composition for low-protein diet for a person with a different disorder.

Professional advice is of great importance in making a right choice regarding   high-protein diet or low-protein diet.

Last update: July 03, 2017 04:49:01 pm

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