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Too Much Protein?

Too Much Protein?

Considering the popularity of protein-heavy diets, I feel it is important to understand the need for balance. How much is too much? If more than 30% of your calories come from protein (complicated math), then you are possibly getting too much protein.  (You can read about the best sources of protein here.)

Too much protein:

  • Usually accompanies limiting carbohydrates (not all carbs are the same) which causes a buildup of ketones. Ketones must be eliminated through the kidneys, so they have to work harder to flush out excess ketones – causing dehydration
  • Puts undue stress on your heart
  • Can cause muscle and bone calcium loss
  • linked to cataracts, kidney stones and some cancers
  • Can cause bad breath (due to dehydration)
How much is not enough? Most experts feel that less than 15% of your calories in protein is not enough.
Too little protein:
  • causes hormonal imbalances
  • can compromise immune system function (especially the ability to create antibodies against pathogenic microbes), blood clotting ability and scar formation.
  • lends to the formation of excess body fat (those calories come from somewhere and if its not from protein, it is from fat and carbs)
Just the right amount: There is some disagreement among health professionals about the right amount of protein. I will just add my opinion to the mix!
     If you want to have a toned, lean body, you need to build muscle. Therefore, you must take in enough protein to support the process of building muscle. For the average 150 pound adult, this would equate to a range of 75-150 grams of protein per day.  (100 grams equals 3.5 ounces; roughly the size of four adult fingers) Again, this is not a lot of “meat” but it is a good amount of nutrient-dense plant-sourced food that will be easily digested and beneficial for great health. By the way, in order to achieve that toned, lean body you HAVE TO LIFT WEIGHTS!!! You can also use your body for resistance – but you have to work it baby!!

 

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