High protein diets have gained just as much popularity over the years as low fat diets and after reading this article you will know why. You will learn the requirements of a high protein diet, the way they work, exactly how much protein and the risks involved.
Why Are They Popular?
It’s not surprising that the idea of losing weight eating protein is a popular idea. Body builders already love protein and will jump with glee at the idea of building muscle and losing fat at the same time.
Body builders are not the only ones excited by this prospect. We have already been bombarded with the benefits of protein in the average person’s diet. Strong nails, hair, muscle, energy, skin, blood, the list goes on.
But above the recommended amounts of protein is it all it’s cracked up to be and does it help you to lose weight.
What is a High Protein Diet?
The premise of a high protein diet is fairly self explanatory; obviously, it means satisfying a high amount of protein in the diet, about 30%. This is more then double the recommended amount of protein suggested by nutritionists. But how does this diet help us to lose weight?
- It is believed that protein is more filling then carbohydrates and fat, reducing hunger and cravings for the foods we shouldn’t be eating, or ever more of the good foods which can still be high in calories.
- Protein can be well utilized for the production of muscle and the more muscle we have, the more efficiently we burn fat.
The Atkins Diet is one of the most popular diets which focus on high protein. It also places a high emphasis on low carbohydrates.
High Protein Foods
Eating protein doesn’t mean your meals should mainly consist of beef steak. There must be variety in your sources of protein and it is important that the sources of protein you eat are nutritious, lean or loaded with the good fats.
Speaking of which, that brings us to a few examples of foods high in protein and one of the best examples of good protein at the top of the list.
- Fish – such as salmon
- Poultry – chicken, turkey
- Other meats – go for the good, lean cuts
- Firm Tofu (very high in protein)
- Soy milk
- Peanut butter – take care, much of the peanut butter in the supermarket can be high in fat
- Low fat cottage cheese (very high in protein)
Does A High Protein Diet Work for Weight Loss?
As we have just mentioned above, if you choose the right proteins which are lean and low in calories, then there is a much great chance of the high protein diet working for you.
Weight loss can be fast in the beginning of a high protein diet because of the reduction in carbohydrate stores in the body, taking with them fluid.
High Protein Diet Criticism / Cons
It is argued that the weight lost in a high protein diet is predominately due to the loss in carbohydrates and fluid with no loss in fats at all.
Critics will often bring up that a high protein diet is too much a strain for the kidneys, thus putting dieters at great risk of kidney damage. Ammonia is a by product of protein processing in the body and is extracted via the kidneys. Too much protein means large volumes of ammonia through the kidney and great strain on this organ.
It is also said that a higher protein intake results in a loss of calcium which can lead to osteoporosis.
If you have kidney problems, you should avoid the high protein diet.
Before you do increase protein in your diet significantly, you must speak to your general practitioner about it first.