While there is no question that protein is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, studies are finding that too much protein could do you more harm than good. For instance, if your diet includes more animal-based protein than protein that comes from plants, a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has found that this could cause as much harm to your health as smoking.
The study involved 6, 381 participants from the U.S., who were 50 years of age or older. It was discovered that participants who were under 65 and who regularly ate plenty of meat, dairy and eggs, were four times as likely to die from diabetes or cancer. Interestingly enough, the study also found that for those who were over the age of 65, a high protein diet reduced death from cancer by 60% and death from any cause by 28%.
When you take what this study has found into consideration and you think about the number of renowned and touted low-carb and high protein diets that are popular on the diet market, such as Atkins, the Dukan Diet, Paleo, etc., you may have a moment of pause. While weight loss diets that emphasize a dramatic decrease of carbohydrates and encourage you to eat lots of protein could turn out to be great for trimming your waistline, at the same time, they could be hazardous to your health. Thus, even if following these diets results in weight loss, will you have paid for these results by taking years off your life?
This might leave you wondering – how much protein should you consume in a day? According to U.S. researchers from the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, a person should consume a maximum of 0.8g of protein per day for 1 kilogram of body weight. For instance, a person who weighs 60kg, should consume no more than 48g of protein per day. Essentially, protein should not make up more than 10% of your daily caloric intake. Furthermore, it is best if the majority of ingested protein came from plant-based source.
A high protein diet is only as good as the type of protein consumed.That being said, if you are a meat lover, you don’t have to panic. Limiting the amount of animal protein you eat does not mean you have to become a vegetarian or vegan to be healthy. All it means is that you should eat less meat and eat more plant-based protein. You can still enjoy your favorite foods; just do it in moderation.