High-protein diet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
High-protein diets are usually rich in meat, dairy products and eggs

A high-protein diet is a diet in which 20% or more of the total daily calories comes from protein.[1] Most high protein diets are high in saturated fat and severely restrict intake of carbohydrates.[1]

Example foods in a high-protein diet include lean beef, chicken or poultry, pork, salmon and tuna, eggs, and soy.[2] High-protein diets are considered a type of fad diet and have received criticism from the medical community for increasing health risks and promoting misconceptions about carbohydrates, insulin resistance and ketosis.[1][3]

Health effects[edit]

The diet has been described by nutritionists as unhealthy and unbalanced.[4] In 2001, the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee issued a strong recommendation against high-protein diets such as Protein Power and the Atkins diet.[3] The committee noted potential health risks of high-protein diets and how there are no long-term scientific studies to support their efficacy and safety.[3][5] A 2011 review concluded that a "long-term effect of high-protein diets is neither consistent nor conclusive."[6] A 2014 review noted that high-protein diets from animal sources should be handled with caution.[7]

High-protein diets can cause a build-up of ketones in the blood (ketosis) which can cause the body to produce high levels of uric acid, a risk factor for gout and kidney stones.[8][9]

High protein intake on the order of 200 g per day, coupled with inadequate intake of other calorie sources (fat or carbohydrates), can cause a form of metabolic disturbance and death commonly known as rabbit starvation. Even when consuming other calorie sources, consuming more than 285 g of protein per day (for an 80 kg person) may be unsafe.[10] Endocrinologist Robert H. Eckel has commented that "It's important for the public to understand that no scientific evidence supports the claim that high-protein diets enable people to maintain their initial weight loss."[8]

High-protein diets may strain the kidney. An increased load on the kidney is a result of an increase in reabsorption of NaCl. This causes a decrease in the sensitivity of tubuloglomerular feedback, which, in turn, results to an increased glomerular filtration rate. This increases pressure in glomerular capillaries.[11] When added to any additional renal disease, it may cause permanent kidney damage. A 2017 review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that high protein diet may contribute to life-long risk of kidney damage including chronic kidney disease.[12] Although this was disputed in a different review, a year later.[13] In 2019 two new studies concluded that "a high-protein diet is not as safe as claimed, as it may compromise kidney health and result in a more rapid kidney function decline in individuals or populations at high risk of CKD".[14]

High protein diets that are high in animal protein and lack fiber, minerals and vitamins increase the risk of coronary artery disease, cancer and osteoporosis.[1][3][15][16] Vitamin B deficiencies can develop if the diet is followed for a long period and negative effects associated with the diet include bad breath, constipation, fatigue and nausea.[16][17]

Legumes and nuts provide dietary fiber, which meat lacks.[18]

Sports training[edit]

While elevated amounts of protein consumption are beneficial during athletic training, particularly when attempting to gain muscular mass and strength, there is little evidence of any benefit from increasing protein intake above 2 g/kg bodyweight/day.[19]

Notable high-protein diets[edit]

The following high-protein diets have been criticized as fad diets[1][3][20][21] :

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Longe, Jacqueline L. (2008). High-protein diet. In The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition. Gale. pp. 524-526. ISBN 978-1-4144-2991-5
  2. ^ "High-Protein Diets: Do They Work?". WebMD. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e St Jeor ST, Howard BV, Prewitt TE, Bovee V, Bazzarre T, Eckel RH (October 2001). "Dietary protein and weight reduction: a statement for healthcare professionals from the Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism of the American Heart Association". Circulation. 104 (15): 1869–74. doi:10.1161/hc4001.096152. PMID 11591629.
  4. ^ Longe, Jacqueline L. (2008). The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition. Gale. p. 526. ISBN 978-1-4144-2991-5 "Nutritionists find high protein diets, especially high protein, high fat, severely carbohydrate restricted diets, to be unhealthy, unbalanced and generally unnecessary because of the well-documented risks."
  5. ^ "High-Protein Diets Not Proven Effective And May Pose Health Risks". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  6. ^ Lepe M, Bacardi Gascon M, Jimenez Cruz. (2011). A: Long-term efficacy of high-protein diets: a systematic review. Nutr Hosp 26: 1256-1259.
  7. ^ Schwingshackl, L., & Hoffmann, G. (2014). Comparison of high vs normal/low protein diets on renal function in subjects without chronic kidney disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 9(5): e97656.
  8. ^ a b Avoid 'Fad' Diets. FDA Consumer. Volume 36, Issue 1. p. 24
  9. ^ Starr, Cecie; Taggart, Ralph; Evers, Christine; Starr, Lisa. (2011). Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life. Cengage Learning. p. 732. ISBN 978-0-495-55792-0 "High-protein diets force the kidneys to work overtime to dispose of nitrogen-rich breakdown products. Such diets also increase the risk for kidney stones. These hardened deposits form when uric acid, calcium, and other wastes settle out of urine and collect in the renal pelvis."
  10. ^ Bilsborough, Shane; Mann, Niel (April 2006). "A review of issues of dietary protein intake in humans" (PDF). International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 16 (2): 129–52. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.16.2.129. PMID 16779921. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  11. ^ Walter F., PhD. Boron (2005). Medical Physiology: A Cellular And Molecular Approach. Elsevier/Saunders. p. 771. ISBN 978-1-4160-2328-9.
  12. ^ Kalantar-Zadeh K, Fouque D (2 November 2017). "Nutritional management of chronic kidney disease". N. Engl. J. Med. 377 (18): 1765–1776. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1700312. PMID 29091561.
  13. ^ Michaela C Devries et al. (2018). Changes in Kidney Function Do Not Differ between Healthy Adults Consuming Higher- Compared with Lower- or Normal-Protein Diets: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, The Journal of Nutrition. DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxy197
  14. ^ "High-Protein Diet Could Be Harmful, Even for Healthy Kidneys". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  15. ^ Margolis, Simeon. (2005). High-Protein Diets. In The Johns Hopkins Medical Guide to Health After 50. Black Dog & Leventhal. p. 41. ISBN 978-1579124694
  16. ^ a b Hoeger, Wener; Hoeger, Sharon. (2007). Fitness and Wellness. Thomson Learning, Inc. p. 130. ISBN 0-495-01256-4
  17. ^ Bodinski, Lois H. (1987). The Nurse's Guide to Diet Therapy. Wiley. p. 77. ISBN 978-0471011965
  18. ^ "High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss". WebMD Medical Reference. 5 November 2016.
  19. ^ Tipton, K. D.; Wolfe, R. R. (2004). "Protein and amino acids for athletes". Journal of Sports Sciences. 22 (1): 65–79. doi:10.1080/0264041031000140554. PMID 14971434.
  20. ^ Alters S, Schiff W (22 February 2012). Chapter 10: Body Weight and Its Management. Essential Concepts for Healthy Living (Sixth ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 327. ISBN 978-1-4496-3062-1.
  21. ^ Nouvenne A, Ticinesi A, Morelli I, Guida L, Borghi L, Meschi T (2014). "Fad diets and their effect on urinary stone formation". Transl Androl Urol (Review). 3 (3): 303–12. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2223-4683.2014.06.01. PMC 4708571. PMID 26816783.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]