What is the High Protein Diet
There are many different kinds of high protein diets out there including the Atkins and Zone diets. These diets emphasis foods that are high in protein like eggs, cheese, and meats. In turn they restrict carbohydrates like vegetables, grains, fruits, and cereal. They have been shown to give the users rapid weight loss. There is more research needed to know if the High Protein Diet can lead to weight loss in the long term. The High Protein Diet causes an initial weight loss because of the carbohydrates reduction causing the user to lose water weight.
How the High Protein Diet Works
After the initial water weight is lost the High Protein Diet then continues to work because it causes ketones to be sent in to the blood. This is a process labeled ketosis that leads the user to lose their appetite. Also, with no carbohydrates to burn and with the body in ketosis, fat will be burned for energy. Under normal circumstances, carbohydrates are used to energize the body. When a person on the High Protein Diet reaches ketosis, the body then begins to burn the ketones, which are small fragments of carbon and are released from the fat, for energy. The result is that the person on the High Protein Diet has turned their body into a fat burning machine, instead of carbohydrates.
What Experts Say about the High Protein Diet
Most experts are concerned about the health effects of long term uses of the High Protein Diet. When the body is in ketosis for an extended period of time there can be damage to the kidneys from processing the ketones. The High Protein Diet is not recommended by most medical organizations, including the American Heart Association. This is because they believe that the High Protein Diet will not give the user the basic nutrients they need, nor give them a variety of foods to eat. Research has shown that those who stay on a High Protein Diet for a lengthy time are deficient in many needed minerals and vitamins.
Doctors believe that for a healthy person, the short term use of a High Protein Diet can be safe and lead to some weight loss. They do, however, believe that if used for a long time the High Protein Diet can have serious health complications. They fear that carbohydrates can be restricted so far that the dieter will have damaging deficiencies in essential nutrients, as well as fiber. This can lead to diverticulitis, constipation, and a high risk of developing some types of cancer. Also, they feel that the High Protein Diet includes high fat dairy foods and meats. This over consumption of fat can cause heart problems. Last, the High Protein Diet can damage the kidney and liver not only because they have to filter the ketene, but also because the body will not be able to process all the waste it needs to.
On the other hand, a diet that is too low in protein can have its own health problems. While some health conditions call for a low protein diet, like those involving problems with the liver and kidneys, it is not usually recommended by doctors. When the body does not get the proper amount of protein it leads to sever muscle loss. The body reacts to the lack of protein by removing amino acids from the muscles and other tissues in the body. Essentially the body begins to eat itself for energy to survive, a process called catabolism that makes the body lose muscle.
Sample High Protein Diet Meal Plan
- 2 scrambled eggs with margarine
- 2 slices of toast
- 1 link of sausage
- ½ of a grapefruit, sliced
- ½ c. milk
- 2 pieces bread, whole-wheat
- 3 oz. canned chicken
- ½ tsp. mayonnaise
- 1 c. vegetables
- 8 oz. tea, coffee, or water
- ½ c. cottage cheese
- ½ c. pineapples
- 2 celery stick
- 2 tsp. peanut butter
- 1 oz. mixed nuts or peanuts
- 1 c. of mixed vegetables
- 4 oz. beef steak