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The Truth About High Protein Diets
by: Joel Kaye, MA
All you hear about today is how good protein is for you. It is advertised as the best way to build muscle and more than that it helps one lose weight. Hey, if a little protein is good for you then a lot is even better, right? WRONG! That statement couldn�t be further from the truth.

Diet gurus pushing high protein low carb diets are promising quick weight loss. This type of diet has become the most popular diet of today. Anyone promising quick weight loss along with greater muscle gains is sure to attract a lot of people but are they exposing the whole picture? Most of the high protein diets have people restrict their calories at the beginning of the diet and that is why there is weight loss. It doesn't come from eating more protein. So what is the problem if you reduce your weight by cutting calories and eat a lot of protein?

Well, there are many health concerns when eating too much protein. The American Medical Association calls high protein diets, "Potentially hazardous, and full of theories that are at best half truths." There are reported adverse side effects such as calcium loss, undesirable lipoprotein levels and decreased immune function. Due to carbohydrate restrictions, this causes elevated levels of acetoacetate, which is linked to increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When there is a restriction of calories in the amount that most of
these high protein diets recommend this can cause a low immune system response. When you restrict your calories this causes inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals.

The typical American diet today provides more then enough protein. The minimum amount of protein needed to fulfill protein needs is equal to 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight per day. If you weigh 150 lbs., you divide your weight by 2.2 then times it by .8 and the amount of protein needed is 54.5 grams a day. If you do a lot of aerobic exercising you should up it to 1-1.2 grams per kg of body weight. To build muscle you only need very small amounts of protein so the recommended RDA is enough to help build muscle.

You can get protein from animals, plants or vegetables. You will benefit more from getting your protein from meat that includes poultry and fish and to avoid red meats and dairy products. Individual plant proteins and grains don't contain all the essential amino acids, as does animal protein. However if you eat a variety of plant foods, cereals, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes in combination, then you will get the essential amino acids needed by the body in a much healthier way then getting your protein from animal sources. Animal sources may contain the essential amino acids but also are very high in fat.

In closing, protein is needed by the body but in small amounts and Americans are getting more then enough in their diets so you shouldn't eat a diet high in protein or take protein supplements.

About the author:

This article is based on the book, �The Right Brain Diet�
by Joel Kaye, MA. Joel holds a Masters Degree in
Physical Health Education and is currently teaching
classes at New York University�s Coles Sports Center
On Weight Management, Nutrition And Exercise And
Cancer Wellness. Learn more by visiting his website:
http://www.rightbraindiet.com


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