Feb 24, 2021Can You Eat Too Much Protein?
As one of three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is a key factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Incorporating a high amount of protein in your diet has been linked to a number of health benefits, such as lower blood sugar levels and improvements in body composition.
But a recent article on Healthline.com asked the question, can you have too much of a good thing? Below is an excerpt from the article on the author’s findings.
The amount your body needs depends on many factors, including your weight, age, body composition goals, physical activity level, and overall health.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight.
However, it’s important to note that this is the minimum intake most people need to prevent muscle loss, meet amino acid requirements, and maintain nitrogen balance. Eating higher amounts of this nutrient may offer some benefits.
Some experts argue that physically active individuals need much higher amounts than the RDA. Many professional organizations recommend 0.54–0.9 grams per pound (1.2–2 grams per kg) per day.
For athletes, needs may be even higher.
Benefits to High Protein Diets
Higher protein diets increase feelings of fullness, reduce hunger, and boost resting energy expenditure, all of which may encourage weight loss. It can also help improve body composition by increasing muscle mass. Studies have demonstrated this in different populations, including trained athletes and older adults.
In addition to improving body composition and possibly enhancing fat loss, it may increase blood sugar control, reduce blood fat levels, and increase bone density in older adults.
Are There Downsides to High Protein Diets?
There have been some concerns over the safety of these sorts of diets, including their effects on kidney, heart, and bone health.
However, most of these concerns are not supported by scientific research.
Research has shown that even though high protein diets increase the workload of the kidneys, they don’t negatively affect people with healthy kidney function.
Another study that included 12,066 adults found no association between animal or plant protein intake and increased heart disease risk. Additionally, a 2020 study in 38 adults with excess weight found that a it did not harm heart health or blood vessel function after a 34-month intervention, compared with a moderate protein diet.
However, the study found that higher plant protein intake may have a protective effect against death from heart disease, while higher animal protein intake may be associated with an increased risk.
To read the full story from Healthline.com, click here.