Set Your Location to See Relevant Information

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.

Stamford Health is committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19. For details regarding the resumption of services and reopening of facilities, how to help and FAQs, visit here. To speak with a member of our care team, call 203.276.4111

Published on December 14, 2016

High Protein Diets: The Meat of It

By Jane Wynne, Hunter College Nutrition Student, and Lisa Zarny, MS, RD, CD-N, Clinical Nutrition Manager

When it comes to losing weight, many of us look for the latest trend and the Chicken and vegetables on plateeasiest way out. A well-known diet that continues to be followed is the low carbohydrate, high protein diet. While this diet is popular, there is limited evidence to show that it facilitates keeping any weight off that has been lost. In addition, there has been some health concerns associated with the nutritional intake of this diet. So before you run to the store for your next high-protein meal, here are some of the facts.

It’s true studies have shown that high-protein, low carbohydrate diets are successful in losing more weight in the first week compared to calorie-restricted diets alone. However, this weight loss is not necessarily fat loss. When carbohydrates are restricted, your body responds by burning glycogen stores in the liver and making ketone bodies, an alternate form of energy in place of carbohydrates. Since water follows the glycogen and ketone bodies in the kidney increase water loss, your body flushes out water weight. After this initial weight loss, these studies show that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet is not what causes further weight loss, but the calorie restriction. Patients who just simply restrict their calories have the same result as those who restrict their calories with higher protein levels.

Moreover, there are some health implications around consuming such high amounts of protein in the diet. This diet is low in fruits, grains and dairy, which can cause a deficiency in fiber, potassium, Vitamin D, calcium and folate. The body will use protein as energy, instead of its usual carbohydrate source, causing a loss of lean muscle mass. In addition, the kidneys may be overworked. Finally, ketones will be built up in the body, which can cause stress on the kidneys, as well as dehydration, nausea and weakness, just to name a few issues.

The best way to lose weight is to follow a lifestyle plan with portion-controlled meals from all food groups, as well as regular exercise. In addition, it is important to decrease total calories, which still eating enough to stay healthy and fit.

Sources Cited: 

  • https://patienteducation.osumc.edu/Documents/high-pro.pdf
  • http://general.utpb.edu/fac/eldridge_j/kine6362/ancillaryfiles/High%20Protein.pdf

Our website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to give you the very best experience. Your continued use of this site is considered permission by you to use cookies in this manner. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more information about the data we collect and the types of cookies we use. Please note, if you link off our website to a 3rd party site of any kind, that website has its own terms and conditions.