High Protein Diets and Health…..

October 6, 2008

I am always asked regarding the best diet to have to lose weight. People tend to adhere to diet fads for easy way out.  But studies after studies have shown that a fad will always fade and therefore will not have long term success.

High protein diets initially were received with overwhelming rejection by the medical community.  However, although it is hard to accept, the usual recommendation of healthy diets recommended by authorities never were popular because these diets never resulted in significant weight loss. Until the high protein diet came into full force.

A new study published in Current Opinions in Endocrinology, 2008 that looked at evidence regarding the benefits of high protein diet show that this diet really works albeit so far only on short term basis.  But coupled with other lifestyle changes and discipline, I bet this is the diet that will work well with diabetic and obese people trying to shed some pounds with a long term aim of beng able to maintain their weights.

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Abstract:
Purpose of review: High-protein diets, often with carbohydrate restriction, are quite popular among overweight Americans pursuing strategies for weight control. Recently, well designed clinical trials have evaluated the anthropometric and metabolic effects of these diets. This review focuses on the impact of high-protein diets on energy expenditure and satiety; the diets’ effects on weight loss, body composition, cardiovascular risk, and glycemic control; and potential detrimental consequences of high-protein intake.

Recent findings:

  • Current evidence indicates that protein-induced energy expenditure and satiety contribute to weight control.
  • Randomized, controlled trials continue to show comparable, if not superior, effects of high-protein diets compared with lower protein diets on weight loss, preservation of lean body mass, and improvement in several cardiovascular risk factors for up to 12 months.
  • Evidence that chronic high-protein intake affects glucose metabolism is inconclusive at present.
  • Further study of the long-term safety of diets with varying amounts of protein is warranted.

Summary:

On the basis of patients’ metabolic profiles and preferences, practitioners can recommend individualized, nutrient-rich diets within current nutritional guidelines for weight control.

Diets moderately increased in protein and modestly restricted in carbohydrate and fat, particularly saturated fat, may have beneficial effects on body weight, body composition, and associated metabolic parameters.

Key issues must be resolved regarding the long-term compliance and safety of chronic high-protein intake.

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This diet resulted in sigificant wieght loss which in turn resulted in significant improvements in cholesterol, blood sugar and reductions in markers of cardiovascular risk like CRP.  Cosmetic PLUS health: a bonus!

So, do I recommend this diet to my patients.  Acutally YES.  I have my own dietician and I specifically formulate the plan for my patients with specifics in terms of percent calories per food group. The choice of protein source however is important because one may have a high protein source but also high in saturated fat and therefore harmful to the body example is s Steak!!!!  I dont advocate a No carbohydrate meal with the high proetein diet because long term this will never work.

Then of course, any meal plan as long as there is discipline, determination to do lifestyle change and maintain the good habit of healthy choices and good clean living should result in more success than you think!

We’ll await more long term studies on high protein diets.  So far however as long as one is careful not to harm the kidneys further with a high protein load, one should be cautious in recommneding this diet to patients with renal or kidney disease.

A Better Weight BY Eating Right!

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