meatThe popularity of high-protein diets overshadow the risk it brings to people at risk of heart diseases, a new study suggest, that may even increase the likelihood of early death.

An international team of researchers reported their findings at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic about the dangers of high-protein diets and how counterproductive they really are in terms of fostering good health.

High-protein is not the way to go

Monica Bullo from Pere Virgili Health Research Institute in Reus said that the findings ‘do not support the generalized use of high-protein diets as a good strategy for losing weight.’ When people replace carbohydrates with protein, the risk of gaining weight does not decrease but actually increases to almost ninety percent. Additionally, the risk of death rises to an alarming sixty-six percent.

The researcher also cites an older study that shows a link between the consumption of animal protein to changes in metabolism, how the body makes use of insulin, and even kidney disease.

More than enough protein

High-protein diets are regularly depicted as a natural way to lose weight, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that Americans are already have more than enough protein in their ‘normal’ diets. The problem further increases due to the fact that not many people do not actually know how much protein they need to consume. This creates a vicious cycle where more and more people are ‘tricked’ into shifting to high-protein diets without actually knowing how much protein their bodies need to consume.

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Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center explains that many are attracted to high-protein diets ‘because people are given free rein to eat as much bacon, steak, and pork as they like.’ While cutting the carbs does provide quick and apparent weight loss, she also notes that popular high-protein diet programs such as South Breach and Atkins has hidden risks, such as colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

The problem is also psychological nature; Heller further explains that high-protein diets not only makes people cut down on carbohydrates, they also cut back on eating healthy food items such as vegetables and legumes, fruits, and whole grains in favor of a meal entirely composed of high-protein food. The way the meats are processed is also worth looking at, along with how they are prepared and how the body processes it.

While high-protein foods may help reduce weight, it is still important to have a more balanced diet that not only includes protein and carbohydrates, but also food items rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits and vegetables.

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