Can You Lose Weight By Eating A High Protein Diet High Protein Diets – Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies

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High Protein Diets – Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies

Without question, protein is the king of all nutrients. It provides the building blocks for enzymes and hormones, enables nerve and brain cells to communicate effectively with each other, and promotes the repair and growth of muscle tissue. Every cell in your body contains protein; Life cannot go on without it.

However, protein intake is perhaps the most controversial of all nutritional topics. Unfortunately, many nutrition professionals have not kept abreast of the latest research and continue to espouse outdated theories on the subject. This has given way to many myths which have been taken as gospel by the common people. Following are some common misconceptions about dietary protein intake:

mythology: High protein foods make you fat.

the truth: Eating more protein will no doubt pack on the pounds – but so will eating more calories from carbs or fat! Weight gain is governed by the law of thermodynamics: if you consume more calories than you expend, you gain weight. Consequently, it is not protein copy that causes weight gain; It is excessive consumption of calories. No matter what you eat, if you eat too much of it, you will eventually gain weight.

In fact, if you eat a meal containing only protein, carbohydrates, or fat, the protein meal causes the least amount of weight gain. You see, a large percentage of calories are burned from protein during the digestion process. This is called the thermic effect of food. Of all the macronutrients, protein has the highest thermic effect, with protein burning about 25 percent of calories consumed. By comparison, only 15 percent of calories from carbohydrates are burned in digestion; Fat has virtually no thermic effect. Thus, all other things being equal, a high-protein diet is less likely to lead to fat storage than a high-carb or high-fat diet.

Furthermore, unlike carbohydrates, protein does not stimulate a significant insulin response. Insulin is a storage hormone. Although its primary purpose is to neutralize blood sugar, it is also responsible for shuttling fat into adipocytes (fat cells). When carbohydrates are consumed, the pancreas secretes insulin to clear blood sugar from the circulatory system. Depending on the amounts and types of carbohydrates consumed, insulin levels can fluctuate wildly, increasing the likelihood of fat storage. Since the effect of protein on insulin secretion is negligible, the potential for fat storage is reduced

What’s more, protein intake increases the production of glucagon, a hormone that opposes the effects of insulin. Because glucagon’s primary function is to signal the body to burn fat for fuel, fat loss is promoted instead of fat gain.

myth: High protein foods can damage your kidneys.

the truth: Protein metabolism involves a complex sequence of events for proper synthesis to take place. During digestion, protein is broken down into its component parts, amino acids (through a process called deamination). A byproduct of this phenomenon is the production of a toxic substance called ammonia in the body. Ammonia, in turn, is quickly converted to relatively nontoxic urea, which is then transported to the kidneys for excretion.

In theory, a large accumulation of urea would overwhelm the kidneys, impairing their ability to perform vital functions. This is supported by studies on people with existing kidney disease. It is well documented that a high protein diet aggravates uremia (kidney failure) in those on dialysis (ie an artificial kidney machine), while a low protein diet can help alleviate the condition. Proteinuria and other complications have also been observed in this population.

However, there is no evidence that a diet high in protein has any harmful effects on those with normal kidney function. Healthy kidneys are able to filter urea easily; Any excess is simply excreted in the urine. Consider the fact that over the past century, millions of athletes have consumed large amounts of protein without incident. Surely, if high protein diets caused kidney disease, these athletes would be on dialysis by now. However, in otherwise healthy individuals, no peer-reviewed journal has documented any renal abnormalities due to increased protein intake.

Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids while eating a high-protein diet is beneficial. It helps flush your system and flushes urea out of the body. For best results, drinking at least one gallon of water per day is recommended, drinking small amounts throughout the day.

mythComment: High protein diets lead to excessive consumption of unhealthy saturated fat.

the truth: The majority of Americans get their protein from red meat and dairy products — foods with a high percentage of saturated fat. High-fat protein sources such as bacon, T-bone steaks, hard cheeses, and whole milk are staples of the American diet. Moreover, Dr. Ketogenic “diet gurus” such as Robert Atkins encourage consumption of these products, promoting them as viable dietary options. Likewise, high-protein diets are synonymous with artery-clogging fat intake.

However, there is no reason that high protein intake should be obtained from cholesterol-rich foods. There are many protein sources that are low in saturated fat. Skinless chicken breasts, egg whites, and beans are excellent, low-fat protein options. By simply choosing the “right” foods, a high protein diet can be maintained with minimal impact on fat intake.

In addition, it is important to realize that certain fats, particularly unsaturated, omega fatty acids are beneficial to your well-being, aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and facilitating the production of various hormones, cell membranes and prostaglandins. These “essential” fats cannot be produced by the body and must therefore be obtained through nutritional means. Cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, and trout), tofu, and peanut butter are protein-based foods that are also sources of essential fats. Their consumption has been shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

mythology: High protein diets are unnecessary for athletes.

the truth: If you believe the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there is no difference in protein requirements between athletes and couch potatoes. This is reflected in the RDA for protein, which is the same for all individuals regardless of their activity level.

However, contrary to the USDA position, studies have shown that athletes actually need more protein than sedentary individuals. When you exercise, protein stores are broken down and used for fuel (through a process called gluconeogenesis). Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), in particular, are preferentially mobilized as an energy source during intense training, as are alanine and glutamine. When athletes consume a low protein diet (equivalent to the RDA for protein), whole body protein synthesis is reduced, indicating catabolism of muscle tissue.

On the other hand, consuming enormous amounts of protein in the hope that it will improve athletic performance is unwise. Bodybuilders often subscribe to this “more is better” philosophy and indulge themselves with protein-rich foods and supplements (one popular bodybuilder claims to consume 1000 grams of protein per day!). Unfortunately, the body is only capable of utilizing a limited amount of protein. Once the saturation point is reached, excess protein provides no benefit to the body and is either used as energy or converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. In general, optimal protein synthesis can be achieved by consuming one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Thus, to increase strength and performance, a 150-pound person should consume about 150 grams of protein per day.

It is important to realize that protein, by itself, has no effect on muscle gain. Contrary to the claims made by various supplement manufacturers, protein powders are not magic formulas for building muscle. You can’t expect to just drink a protein drink, sit back and watch your muscles grow. It may copy good advertising, but it doesn’t translate into reality. Only through intense strength training can protein be utilized for muscle repair and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue.

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