Fats and carbs are unpopular macronutrients, while protein is the darling of dieters and the food industry. That’s why you’ll see many packaged foods boasting their protein content. A big debate over the years relates to protein consumption – is there an upper limit after which protein becomes detrimental to the human body?
The evidence is inconclusive. However, after a certain level of consumption protein will no longer be beneficial for weight loss or increased muscle mass. Consuming excess protein in the diet (over 35% of total calories), especially with carbohydrate restriction, can lead to the buildup of toxic ketones, substances made when the body uses its own fat cells for fuel in the absence of sufficient carbohydrates. Ketones can harm the kidneys as they try to excrete these substances. This is accompanied by a corresponding loss of water through the kidneys, leading to dehydration. Symptoms of consuming a ketogenic diet can include fatigue, headache, dizziness, heart palpitations, and bad breath. There is excess stress on the heart, and muscle mass and bone calcium both decline. The American Heart Association does not recommend high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets because they often contain high-fat foods and can lead to deficiencies in some nutrients like fiber and certain vitamins. A healthy and balanced diet is by far the best choice for those who want to lose weight and/or improve strength and endurance. You have a certain amount of body which requires a certain amount of nutrients. Excessive amounts of anything can cause you to gain weight and that doesn’t necessarily mean muscle weight.
Here is a suggested amount of protein based on body weight:
|Weight||130 lbs||150 lbs||170 lbs||200 lbs|
|70 – 100 grams||81 – 115 grams||92 – 131 grams||109 – 154 grams|
Most Americans have no problem at all reaching their daily protein goals, simply because there are so many protein rich foods in our diet. Try to focus on getting your protein from whole foods instead of foods with added protein or powdered supplements.