High-protein diets: safe or not?
High protein diets have become very popular these days. They help to increase muscle, lose weight and lose fat, get and stay lean. But are they safe? Do they have any contra-indications or negative consequences? Let’s talk about it.
High-protein diets are generally well tolerated by healthy adults. But a dramatic increase in protein-rich foods may be dangerous for people with liver or kidney disease as they lack the ability to get rid of the waste products of protein metabolism.
Everyone knows that some protein is essential to human life. It is found in bones, muscles, skin, organs, blood, hormones and enzymes.
Excess protein cannot be stored in body. During digestion and metabolism, protein is broken down into amino acids, which are considered the building blocks of protein. The body then uses these amino acids to create enzymes and other proteins. However, any “extra” amino acids are stripped of nitrogen. The non-nitrogen parts of amino acids go for energy or get converted into fat. The rest of nitrogen is eventually excreted by the kidneys and liver.
The waste products can cause kidney injury, and if there is liver disease, excess nitrogen tends to cause further problems. Besides, high-protein diets might increase the risk of kidney stones formation and osteoporosis development. This means everyone who wants to start a high-protein diet should consult with a doctor first.
High-protein diet gives fabulous results but when followed long term it can be harmful even for absolutely healthy people. Many high-protein foods, such as meat, milk, cheese and eggs, are very high in fat and cholesterol, that can lead to the increase of risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems.
So, be very careful. Don’t follow the diet for too long and watch your organism, it knows what you need.
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