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The Negative Health Effects of High Protein Diets

Some athletes and active people are huge advocates of a high-protein diet. They believe that consuming large amounts of protein will help to build muscle. This is not actually true. Although protein is good for you, especially in the morning, if you consume too much, the health benefits fade away and can be detrimental to your body.

First of all, too much protein can cause your body to dehydrate. In fact, when the scale goes down after you have been on a high-protein diet for a while, you may have only lost water weight. The reason for this is that when the body gets too much protein and not enough carbohydrates, toxic ketones begin gathering in the blood. Your kidneys start working overtime to get rid of them, which causes dehydration. The excess of protein and a deficiency of carbohydrates can also coincide with a lack of fiber. Fiber is extremely important for your body, and a shortage of it can cause constipation and fatigue. A lack of fiber has also been associated with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

An oversupply of protein in your body may also increase your chances for osteoporosis. Usually, this is related to not getting enough calcium in your diet. Calcium helps to break down protein, and if there is not enough calcium available, your body will gather calcium from your bones. This will deplete the nutrients in your bones, making them weaker.

If you obtain a lot of your protein from fatty meats, this can also have adverse effects on your health. Fatty meats are high in saturated and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats can raise your LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels. People who eat a lot of saturated and trans fats are at high risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The key to a healthy diet is truly to have a balance. There are a lot of diet fads out there that recommend eliminating carbohydrates, fat, or consuming more protein. In reality, none of these diets will work for you long-term. You may have immediate results, but the effects can be negative in the long run. If you truly want a healthy lifestyle, you need carbohydrates, fat, and protein, but all in moderation. Know your facts. Talk to your doctor about how much you should be consuming of each nutrient. Also check nutrition labels. Know what you are eating. Stick to good fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and stay away from saturated fats. If you eat everything in moderation and stick to nutrients that are beneficial to you, then you are more apt to live a healthy and long life, to keep excess weight off, and you will be able to build muscle and train effectively.