High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are the hottest thing at the moment, and has been like that for a long while. As a matter of fact, high protein diets were recommended since a century ago, and especially peecked in 1950 and 1970-ies.
Of course, protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other bodychemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
So is it more protein means healthier body? Lets take a look what the science has to say.
"Adults require no more than 0.8 or 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day, which is about your ideal weight in pounds multiplied by four and then divided by ten. So, someone whose ideal weight is 100 pounds may require up to 40 grams of protein a day. On average, they probably only need about 30 daily grams of protein, which is 0.66 grams per kilogram, but we round it up to 0.8 or 0.9 grams because everyone’s different and we want to capture most of the bell curve.
People are actually more likely to suffer from protein excess than protein deficiency. “The adverse effects associated with long-term high protein/high meat intake” diets may include disorders of bone and calcium balance, disorders of kidney function, increased cancer risk, disorders of the liver, and worsening of coronary artery disease. Considering all of these potential disease risks, there is currently no reasonable scientific basis to recommend protein consumption above the current recommended daily allowance. " - Says Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues.
There are the drawbacks of high-protein diets, says WebMD.
"Many people who have jumped on the high-protein/low-carb bandwagon think that they can pack away as much protein as they like. But nutrition experts urge caution. The reasons why have to do with how high-protein/low-carb diets are thought to lead to weight loss. When people eat lots of protein but few carbohydrates, their metabolisms change into a state called ketosis. Ketosis means the body converts from burning carbs for fuel to burning its own fat. When fat is broken down, small bits of carbon called ketones are released into the bloodstream as energy sources. Ketosis, which also occurs in diabetes, tends to suppress appetite, causing people to eat less, and it also increases the body's elimination of fluids through urine, resulting in a loss of water weight.
Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., tells WebMD that high-protein diets like the Atkins regimen may trade short-term benefits for long-term health consequences. Among the risks: The body produces ammonia when it breaks down protein. No one knows the long-term risks of higher levels of ammonia in the body."
The truth is, we need less total protein than we were told! It also matters from what food sources we are getting the protein from. Here are few excamples of vegan plant based sources for protein.
1.Beans: Beans contain more protein than any other vegetable protein. Plus, they're loaded with fiber that helps you feel full for hours.
2.Nuts: One ounce of almonds gives you 6 grams of protein, nearly as much protein as one ounce of broiled ribeye steak.
3. Whole grains: A slice of whole wheat bread gives you 3 grams of protein, plus valuable fiber.
4. Chia seeds: 1ounce provide 4.7 grams of protein;
5. Hemp seeds: by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein;
6. Spirulina: 1 tablspoon provides 4 grams of protein.
Plant-based foods like soy and legumes can give you the same amount of protein as meats. They not only give you a lot of protein, but they're healthy sources of fat, minerals and vitamins.
High-Protein diet and Skin Problems
"According to the Harvard Medical School, 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or more can be harmful and cause side effects. If you’re not used to eating large amounts of protein, these side effects can even occur if you’re consuming the recommended 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein.
Common side effects of high-protein diets mostly involve gastrointestinal symptoms. With the ketogenic diet, such problems are due to a lack of carbohydrates and fiber. The side effects can include anything from diarrhea to vomiting, leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. If you’re experiencing these side effects, dehydration-related secondary effects can occur, causing issues with your skin and eyes.
More rarely, diets involving high-protein can cause side effects like the rash known as Prurigo pigmentosa, that causes red, itchy lesions. This skin condition is a type of inflammatory dermatitis more common in females. Essentially, too much protein causes the itchy skin condition that can often be resolved by upping your carbs. If the rash remains, the high-protein diet may have to be abandoned" ( LiveStrong.com).
Prurigo pigmentosa is also called "Keto rash". This skin rash is not restricted to just ketogenic diet. People following any high-protein diet, like Paleoor Atkins, may also develop Prurigo pigmentosa. Usually simply re-introducing carbohydrates and lowering the intake of protein is enough to heal.