Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Low-Carb Diets: Are You Losing More than Weight?


The average American eats about twice as much protein than what they require. Some people, in the pursuit of thinness, are going on low-carb diets and are eating up to four times the protein their body needs. Protein deficiency is certainly not a problem in America. So exactly how much protein do you really need? Much less than you think.

Protein is a vital nutrient, essential to your health. In its purest form, protein consists of chains of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids that combine to form different proteins, and 8 to 9 of these must come from the foods we eat. Our body uses these amino acids to create muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. Proteins help replace and form new tissue, transports oxygen and nutrients in our blood and cells, regulates the balance of water and acids, and is essential for making antibodies.

However, too much of a good thing may not be so good for you. Many people are putting their health at risk by eating to much protein. Excessive protein consumption, particularly animal protein, can result in heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. As important as protein is for our body, there are many misconceptions about how much we really need in our diet, and the best way to obtain it.

According to the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health, as little as 50-60 grams of protein is enough for most adults. This breaks down to about 10-12% of total calories. Your body only needs 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. To calculate the exact amount you need, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 (if using kilograms, multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8). This will give you your optimum daily protein requirement in grams. Infants, children, pregnant and nursing women require more protein.

People on low-carb diets are consuming up to 34% of their total calories in the form of protein and up to 53% of total calories from fat. Most of these people are unaware of the amount of protein and fat that is contained in the foods they eat. For instance, a typical 3-ounce beef hamburger, which is small by American standards, contains about 22 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat. You achieve quick weight loss on these diets because of this high fat content.

High fat foods give you the sensation of feeling full, faster, so you end up eating fewer total calories. However, this type of protein and fat combination is not the healthiest. Animal proteins are loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Many people on these diets also experience an elevation in their LDL (the bad) cholesterol when they remain on this diet for long periods. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, clog arteries and is the chief culprit in heart disease, particularly heart attack and stroke. So while you may lose weight in the short-run, you are putting your cardiovascular health in jeopardy in the long-run.

Another reason weight loss is achieved on these low-carb diets, at least temporarily, is due to water loss. The increase in the amount of protein consumed, especially from meat and dairy products, raises the levels of uric acid and urea in the blood. These are toxic by-products of protein breakdown and metabolism. The body eliminates this uric acid and urea by pumping lots of water into the kidneys and urinary tract to help flush it out. However, a detrimental side effect of this diuretic response is the loss of essential minerals from the body, including calcium. The high intake of protein leaches calcium from the bones, which leads to osteoporosis.

Medical evidence shows that for every 1 gram increase in animal protein ingested the body loses an average of 1.75 milligrams of calcium in the urine. Additionally, as calcium and other minerals are leached from our bones, they are deposited in the kidneys, which can form into painful kidney stones. If a kidney stone becomes large enough to cause a blockage, it stops the flow of urine from the kidney and must be removed by surgery or other methods.

Plant-based proteins, like beans, legumes and soyfoods, also provide fiber, which helps lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL (the good) cholesterol. This prevents the build up of arterial plaque, which leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The amount and type of protein in your diet also has an important impact on calcium absorption and excretion.

Vegetable-protein diets enhance calcium retention in the body, and causes less calcium excretion in the urine. This reduces the risk of osteoporosis and kidney problems. Interestingly, kidney disease is far less common in people who eat a vegetable-based diet than it is in people who eat an animal-based diet.

By replacing animal protein with vegetable protein, and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat (like olive and canola oils), you can avoid the pitfalls of the typical high-protein low-carb diet. You will improve your health and regulate your weight while enjoying a vast array of delicious, nutritionally dense, high fiber foods.

Remember, eat everything in moderation and nothing in excess. Also, the healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat nutritiously and make permanent lifestyle changes that allow you burn more calories than you take in.

Copyright 2005 Monique N. Gilbert. All rights reserved.

Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc. is a Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Counselor, Recipe Developer, Freelance Writer and Author of Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook. To learn more about Monique's personal coaching program, go to http://www.MoniqueNGilbert.com

*****

Author Bio . . .

Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc. has offered guidance in natural health, nutrition, fitness, weight-loss and stress management since 1989. Through her coaching and writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living. For more information, visit http://www.MoniqueNGilbert.com

*****


MORE RESOURCES:

Fox News

Speed of weight loss may have little impact on success at keeping it off
Fox News
The long-held belief that losing weight gradually produces better long-term outcomes seems to stem from the perception that obesity is a behavioral problem and that gradual weight loss allows more time for habits to change, the Australian study team ...

and more »


HCPLive

Study Compares 2 Common Weight-Loss Surgeries
WebMD
THURSDAY, Oct. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A comparison of two of the most common types of weight loss surgery found that laparoscopic gastric bypass helped patients shed more excess pounds than adjustable gastric banding, but carried a higher risk ...
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass or Gastric Banding? Benefits and RisksMonthly Prescribing Reference

all 3 news articles »


Fox News

Gastric bypass surgery leads to more weight loss, complications, study finds
Fox News
In a new study published in JAMA Surgery, researchers analyzed the weight loss and complications for laproscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) with adjustable gastric banding (AGB), and found that gastric bypass surgery resulted in greater weight ...
Weight Loss Still Greater With Gastric-Bypass ApproachMedscape
Bypass Surgery Brings More Weight Loss Than Banding: NIH StudyNewsmax Health
Study compares gastric bypass procedures in weight loss, complicationsMedical Xpress

all 23 news articles »


Bizarre Weight Loss Tricks That Work (VIDEO)
Huffington Post
The hosts of The Doctors reveal unusual strategies to help you slim down or avoid over-eating, starting with Dr. Travis Stork, who suggests sleeping naked! “You've got white fat in your body and brown fat," he explains. "That brown fat is what burns ...



Fox News

Weight-loss superfood: 6 tips for a healthy gut
Fox News
Over the years, I've noticed that clients who added a certain item to their diet seemed more likely to lose weight. And this happened even when their calorie intake remained the same. What is this superfood? It's nothing weird, and it's not a ...

and more »


Philly.com

Weight loss on the way to the New York City Marathon
Philly.com
When Kim and Daniel Held attended a baby class before the birth of their first son, they got more than just a wake up call that they were about to become parents. They got a wake up call about their own health, too. "We were sitting, and he couldn't ...

and more »


High-Protein Snack Recommendations for Weight Loss
eMaxHealth
Studies show that the amount of snaking a person does in one day typically equals a fourth daily meal when it comes to calories consumed. While a snack is usually allowed in most diet plans to stave off that mid-afternoon hunger pain, you have to be ...



Weight Loss Surgery Safe for Diabetics
MedPage Today
Weight Loss Surgery Safe for Diabetics. Published: Oct 31, 2014. By Nancy Walsh, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today. save. |. A. A. Post Test Complete · Take Posttest. Gastric bypass surgery in patients with diabetes should be considered a safe ...



Protein Fasting: Your Ticket to Weight Loss and a Healthier You?
Uncommon Wisdom Daily
It's called a protein fast. This type of fast can generate a wide range of health benefits from weight loss to anti-aging. A protein fast involves very little to no protein (fewer than 15 grams) during a 24-hour period, but still consuming fats and ...



Hoops Habit

Big 12: Texas Forward Jonathan Holmes' Weight Loss Means More Size For ...
Hoops Habit
The commitment led to the evident understanding that in order for Holmes to remain as a primary focus in the Texas offense, he must be able to become more versatile and this, in turn, ultimately led to Holmes seeing some noticeable weight loss over the ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.