Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can You Ever Eat Too Much Protein?

Wednesday 24th February 2010

Everywhere I turn it seems more and more people are ditching a good balanced diet and replacing it with one that is low in carbs and high in protein.

While there are advantages to consuming protein, such as a decreased sense of feeling hungry and the stabilising of blood sugar levels, eating too much protein can have a negative effect on the body. In this blog post we are going to find out exactly what eating excessive amounts of protein is doing to your body and exactly how much protein you should be eating.

Surprisingly the average non vegetarian person consumes a diet which exceeds the RDA (recommended daily amount) of protein. This is particularly true for athletes, body builders and weight lifters who often consume up to five times the RDA of protein.

According to recent studies there are consequences to eating too much protein, and when I say too much, I mean more than 25% above the RDA.

Firstly there is an increased stress on the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for filtering out the proteins we consume and it has been suggested that those who already have a mild kidney problem, could have that problem inflated if they were following a high protein diet. Another thing to remember is that a high protein diet can also lead to dehydration, so if you are following a high protein diet plan, remember to help your kidneys by drinking lots and lots of water.

Studies have also shown that older women who eat large amount of protein tend to have a higher rate of bone density loss than those who don't. This happens because too much protein results in the excess amino acids being converted into organic acids. When the body processes these organic acids it does so by pushing out calcium into the urine, the calcium that is needed to maintain good bone health.

Consuming levels of protein beyond a certain amount probably won't give you any additional benefit unless your aim is to build large muscles via bodybuilding and weight training.

To calculate a suggested daily intake of protein for yourself all you have to do is grab a calculator input your body weight (in pounds) and multiply that by 0.37. To promote overall better health and reduce your risk of disease and illness, decrease the amount of protein you get from animal sources and add more vegetable sources of protein such as beans, lentils, and nuts. This is also a good general recipe for better health and longevity.

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