All protein all the time might not be as good as you thought
By Ea Francisco | Photo by Benjamin Faust/Unsplash
Not too long ago, a high-protein and low-carb diet was a popular trend, which was no surprise considering the importance of the nutrient. It helps with weight loss and builds muscle. However, just like all things, too much of it can be harmful.
While there are people who say they’ve lost weight from increasing protein intake, eating too much of it can have the opposite effect. Many high-protein foods are high in calories. If you consume more than you need or burn, the excess protein is converted and stored as fat.
Protein processed in digestion turns into amino acids, which are absorbed by the small intestines. Since the body cannot contain excess protein, these amino acids are sent to the liver. The kidney then converts it into ketone. While ketone is needed by your brain, too much of it being processed overworks your kidney, which can also cause dehydration. And for those with diabetes, too much ketone with not enough insulin can cause the life-threatening ketoacidosis.
In addition to calories, some protein foods, mainly those from animal meat, are high in cholesterol. Too much of these can cause arteries to harden and lead to heart diseases.
While there is a scientific and logical basis behind diets such as these, you should always remember that one nutrient cannot completely replace another. Protein provides us with many benefits, but your entire diet can’t be full of that and no carbs. Nutritional balance is still the key when maintaining a healthy diet.