Protein Diets: Good or Bad?
In the last 15 years, protein diets have taken the US by storm, supposedly helping some people lose lots of weight in a short amount of time. But are they good for you? For the majority of individuals, no. Protein diets, often referred to as low-carb diets, offer an unsustainable quick fix for weight gain. Over an extended period this is not healthy. When you set out to begin managing weight through diet, you should find a doctor who will meet with you and understand your particular situation. The “perfect” diet is something that doesn’t exist. However, with the help of a doctor or nutritionist, you can plan a dietary regime that is sustainable. Most importantly this diet will be good for your long-term health.
Trendy high protein diets target individuals that want to lose weight fast. Some of the many benefits that these protein diets claim include lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increased fat utilization, and more energy. However, over longer lengths of time, the cons seem to outweigh the pros.
Current Research on Protein Diets
In a long-term study examining the Mediterranean Diet (MD), over 8000 patients (both men and women) with an age range of 55-80 were observed. All patients in the study had a high risk for cardiovascular disease and were assigned one of three possible diets: MD with olive oil supplementation, MD with mixed nut supplementation, or a control group consisting of a low-fat/high-carb diet.
The study itself lasted six years, with participants filling out regular questionnaires about their diet and undergoing blood tests and body measurements each year. Among the data gathered from these surveys were:
- protein intake
- type of protein (animal or vegetable)
- stratification of protein sources
- average grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day
- and the individual protein as a percentage of daily caloric intake.
The Results of the Study
The results of the study showed that participants that died over the course of the study were twice as likely to have died from heart-related diseases. On the other hand, individuals that consumed a small percentage of protein as part of their daily caloric intake showed the opposite. Participants with the highest amount of calories coming from their protein were also almost 50% more likely to die from cancer.
In the long run, as this study shows, a high-protein diet is simply not a healthy option. This is one of the diets that some experts hate due to the greater levels of protein in comparison to some other diets out there. Moderation and maintaining a balanced diet is the key to long-term weight management success. It seems that fad diets have proven to be more dangerous than helpful. Excessive weight affects bio-mechanics and leads to obesity, which is a major factor of many back problems. Therefore, it’s even more important to find a healthier alternative to extreme fad protein diets.
Thankfully, weight loss is still possible to achieve while getting the nutrients you need to live a healthy life. With the help of a specialist like Dr. Michael Newman, you can shed pounds of fat without risking your health in the process. Call today to set up a consultation.
BY: Dr. Michael Newman
Back Health Miami, Health, Nutrition
COMMENTS: No Comments