It's time to re-think high protein diets for weight loss

Posted at 5:11 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 17:11:25-04

High-protein diets may help you lose weight, but a new study found too much protein can affect an important health benefit of weight loss.

A small study from the Washington University School of Medicine was conducted where  34 obese women ages 50  to 65 were split into groups. 

One group ate the standard daily amount of protein and after six months had between a 25 to 30% improvement in insulin sensitivity. The other group ate higher amounts of protein had no changes in their insulin sensitivity. Both these groups lost 10% of their body weight.

Insulin is produced by your pancreas and it’s a hormone that regulates glucose in your blood.  Insulin sensitivity describes how sensitive your body is to the effects of insulin. For many overweight or obese people, insulin doesn’t properly control their blood-sugar levels and this can lead to type 2 diabetes. That’s why weight loss is recommended and with the goal of improving your insulin sensitivity.

Partha’s RX

1. Avoid weight loss trends and eat a "balanced" diet
The best eating plan is one that you can stick to long-term.

2. Eat the Recommended Daily Amount of Protein
This is roughly 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams for men.

3. Choose your protein wisely
Healthy choices are beans, nuts, fish, chicken, lean beef, pork and dairy products. Try to avoid processed meats.

4. Make sure to exercise
Physical activity can increase insulin sensitivity in muscles.

If you eat a high-protein diet for an extended time, there can be health problems like nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber. Anyone with kidney disease needs to be aware that kidney function can worsen because your body may have issues getting rid of all the protein waste products.