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High protein diet risks

Several people who are trying to lose weight follow special diets that recommend the elimination of carbs. To make up for the lack of carbs, such diets further suggest that the intake of protein be increased. Diets that are high in protein are known to speed up the weight loss procedure in the short term, by limiting the consumption of carbohydrates. Moreover, protein diets can make a person feel full for a longer period of time, since the body takes longer to digest protein, as compared to fat and carbs. However, there are some health experts and institutions that are aware of too much protein risks and therefore, advise people against such diets.
One of the dangers of too much protein is high cholesterol. In addition to that, too much protein intake is also believed to be a cause of cancer. One of the most common symptoms of too much protein is the increase of allergies, intolerance and allergic reactions towards certain types of food.

High protein diet risks

In case you are following a no carb and high protein diet, it is quite likely that you will shed pounds rapidly. However, a lot of the weight that is lost is nothing, but water weight. Therefore, there is a very strong possibility that you may regain some of the weight that you lost, when you stop following a high protein diet. Moreover, a high protein diet is not a very feasible long-term option as it does not help a person to change their eating patterns to include healthy eating. In fact, following a high protein diet on a long-term basis can be downright dangerous. Given below are some dangers of high protein diets:

•    People who follow high protein diets for extended amounts of time have the tendency to lose more calcium, as compared to people who follow other balanced and nutritious weight loss diets. Osteoporosis is one of the most common outcomes of lack of calcium.
•    When the body loses a lot of calcium, which is not replaced fast enough, it could also lead to kidney stones.  
•    While the objective of a high protein diet is loss of weight, one undesirable side effect that is associated with it, is loss of muscle tissue. Strange as it may sound, when you cut down on carbs and increase your protein consumption to slim down, you body starts burning the protein fuel at a higher rate, which reduces the protein stores in your body.
•    Due to the lack of other vital nutrients, high protein diets have been known to cause irritability, mood swings and headaches in some people.
•    High protein diets can restrict your consumption of fruits and vegetables. However, fresh vegetables and fruits are absolutely essential for the body, as they contain vitamins and minerals that are vital to the proper functioning of the body. Eliminating certain greens and fruits can lead to constipation, which leads to several other problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diverticulitis. It could also make you susceptible to a serious condition like bowel cancer.
•    Animal fats are usually an integral part of a high protein diet. However, consumption of excessive meat can increase the levels of fat in the body, thereby leading to heart diseases.
•    Many people are not aware of the fact that a high protein diet can lead to body odor as well as bad breath, due to the accumulation of ketones in the body.

While high protein diets are alright on a short term basis, they could lead to some side effects. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor or a health expert, before switching over to such a diet.

Submitted on September 30, 2010