High Protein Diets Research Paper

Decent Essays
There are a number of high protein diets that have been very popular in recent years. Many of them were built on the premise that if protein was a fat burner, then more protein would mean more fat burning. These diets suggested that you could lose weight and be healthy by eating extreme amounts of protein while severely limiting the amount of carbohydrates (even the healthy ones). Protein can be dangerous in amounts over the recommended amount and may be even more dangerous to those who have certain health conditions or diseases. Before starting any kind of diet plan, it is important to consult your doctor for suggestions and recommendations.

How Protein Works in Your Body

When you eat protein, it is broken down by the body into amino acids.
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Not getting enough protein is a problem, but the average diet has more than enough. No matter what, the safest level that is recommended by doctors and even the American Heart Association is 35% of the total daily calories.

There are a few times when you need additional protein, including when you are sick, or recovering from trauma, burns, surgery or bed sores. There are also a few conditions that might benefit from additional protein, such as those who are HIV positive. Pregnant women should also increase their protein, with the recommendation of 60 grams or more per day.

The only person that can fully know how much protein is right for you is your medical professional. Diabetes and other diseases are serious and the nutrition that you get every day should be a top concern, so it is important that you follow all recommendations for you best health.

Too Much Protein

There are a number of reasons that a high protein diet can be a problem, especially for the serious athlete. Too much protein can hurt performance by:

- Lowering the amount of stored glycogen in the muscles and the liver

- Lowering endurance

- Lowering the maximum effort that you can give

- Lowering the serum glucose levels enough to put you at risk for hypoglycemia

It also can hurt the overall health
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A Better Protein Diet Plan

If the goal is to lose weight, experts suggest that a slight increase in protein coupled with a slight decrease in fat grams might be a better and much healthier suggestion. The protein is more satisfying, allowing you to reduce overall calories without feeling like you are starving (the reason that most diets fail in the first place.) The calorie intake should be 50% complex carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat for the day. (Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

Another option is a hybrid version of the old Atkins diet and the Mediterranean meal plans. Instead of suggestions of eating burgers without buns, slabs of bacon and dozens of eggs, this plan suggests fish as the main protein source at least every other day. It also suggests better, leaner animal protein sources than the old diet plans, including turkey or chicken breasts. The plan does drop carbohydrates down to around 30% of the overall calories, with most of them coming from healthy vegetables. Fat is not omitted from the plan, with olive oil being the best choice. (Source: Cochran, RD
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