Is There a Risk to High Protein Diets?

When this blog started it was very much a weight loss commentary. That was six years ago. I hope by now the concept has expanded to the point where – healthy eating is healthy aging. In other words we are able to maintain our weight be eating intelligently and working out regularly. There are no fad diets here. No low carb, high carb, low protein, no fat, etc. Eat balanced meals and exercise and you will be fine.

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For those reasons, I was struck by a piece inthe Wall Street Journal in the Personal Journal section entitled The Risk of High-Protein Diets.

By my reckoning the risk of any of diets like this is that they work over the short run, but don’t provide lasting health gains, they often result in damages to the body of the person depriving himself of sufficient amounts of a vital nutrient and lastly, the person just quits doing the diet and gains back the pounds.

As a senior citizen interested in living longer, I want to know about subjects like “Optimal protein intake for older adults” which was the name a panel cited in the Journal piece.

“In the human study, those consuming high levels of plant-based protein had a threefold increase in cancer mortality but no higher rate of overall mortality. Consumers of animal protein had big increases in both. That suggests, as other research has shown, that there may be benefits from minimizing consumption of animal-based protein. “These results indicate that respondents ages 50 to 65 consuming moderate to high levels of animal protein display a major increase in the risks for overall and cancer mortality,” the researchers concluded.

“For subjects 66 and older, the opposite proved true: Higher protein consumption was associated with greater survival. Gerontologists say this makes sense, because the ability to absorb protein appears to diminish in the aging body, requiring perhaps greater consumption.

“Even then, though, the takeaway is somewhat complicated. Americans tend to consume the bulk of their protein at dinner, and the body isn’t always able to process an entire day’s worth in one sitting, said Dr. Volpi, who wasn’t involved in either study. “It appears you can better use the protein you need if you distribute it across three meals, especially if you are a senior,” she said.”

My takeaway from this as a senior is that I want to consume more plant protein than animal and spread my consumption over three meals rather than rely on a big dinner. I understand that because I am over 65, I have to consume slightly more protein because my aging body doesn’t digest it as well.

Tony

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2 Comments

Filed under aging, protein, Weight, weight control, weight loss

2 responses to “Is There a Risk to High Protein Diets?

  1. Charlotte

    I have read from many articles that high protein is hard on kidneys. I have a special interest in that since I have only 1 kidney. Thanks for posting.

    Like

    • Thanks very much for your comment. I recommend you click the link and read the entire article in yesterday’s Journal for more details. I know that protein puts a load on the kidneys. Best of luck!

      Like

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