Beware of High Protein Diet Dangers
High protein diet dangers usually manifest themselves when individuals excessively load their diets with protein and are deficient in other necessary vitamins and nutrients. Moderation is the way of the wise. There is an ancient proverb that advocates “Too much of the best leads to the worst”. Our body needs a balanced measure of all kinds of nutrients namely protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. This is because each of them contributes in an irreplaceable way towards healthy and optimum energy production and absorption in the body.
Many people feel that a “high protein diet” means a zero or low carbohydrate diet which is not the healthy high protein diet I advocate. I advocate adding protein into your diet without taking away necessary complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. When people take a protein diet too far, high protein diet dangers are one of the big health concerns in the medical world today.
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A protein rich diet is advisable by most nutritionists around the world. For those interested in increasing their fitness level, consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is advisable. Any more than that I recommend consulting with your doctor to make sure you are also consuming enough liquids to process the protein so it is not taxing on your kidneys. Thus one of the protein diet dangers could be excessive ingestion of protein where your body is unable to process it. Your body may expel excess protein in your urine if it cannot absorb it.
Protein drinks are fantastic because most contain the proper amount of liquid to help the body digest the protein in the drink.
Studies have shown your body is capable of absorbing up to 60 grams of protein per hour. Any amount consumes about this will most likely be flushed out of your system. High protein diet dangers like taxed kidneys can occur when an individual “protein loads” and consumes too much protein within a short amount of time. Proper nutrient timing is important. Your body benefits from having protein absorption throughout the day, not just in one big high protein meal per day.
Another of the high protein diet dangers may be your body converting excess protein to fat, to be stored for future use. During our normal day our diet may contain varying amounts of protein and hence some protein reserve is maintained by the body. A study conducted by American Geriatrics society published in 1992, reiterates that high protein diet dangers include building up of additional fat and muscle mass when the level of physical exertion or exercise is not augmented to the required level to burn out the accumulated fatty tissues. In other words, more protein in diet calls for more disciplined exercise regime.
Sacrificing carbohydrates for protein dominant diet (ketogenic diet) only leads to body fighting back in flushing it out of the system rather than helping to build more muscle mass as normally assumed. Also if the kidneys are not able to flush the excess out, building up of toxic ketones has been identified as one of the high protein diet dangers. In doing so, kidneys need to lose significant amount of water and this water loss is often misinterpreted as weight loss. In extreme cases, it could also lead to dehydration. This in turn results in additional load on the heart and kidneys.
As a long term effect, ketogenic diet leads to loss of calcium from the bones, loss of muscle mass, bad breath, fatigue, dizziness etc to name a few. And as a last straw, recent studies show that if this condition is not detected in time and corrected, it may lead to kidney stones and irreversible damage to the kidneys. While protein helps in fluid balance, synthesizing hormones and enzymes, immunity, blood clotting, scar tissue production, in addition to hordes of other functions, prudence is the key to choosing a well balanced and nutritious diet in order to keep high protein diet dangers at bay.