Do you know someone losing a kidney for consuming a diet high in protein? Probably not. Sounds like a pretty ridiculous question, right?
Chances are you've heard interesting things about this diet plan lately. It's definitely making a big comeback in popularity and being actively tested by the research community. To prove my point, how often have you heard the words "low-carb diet" in the media recently? Perhaps, enough times that you've even considered jumping on the bandwagon and trying it out, but you don't exactly know what "low carb" means, if it's safe, or how the diet actually works. For quick answers to these questions, read on...
Medical pros, nutrition know-it-alls, and even your partner in health class, have all chimed in with their opinion about the dangers of high protein dieting. You have heard the argument before. A lot of people think that low carb diets actually cause irreversible damage to your kidneys and can even affect other organs as well. Don't let this advice bother or scare you the least bit. Why? Because, you are going to learn the truth and what research has found past and present. So let's move on and get right to the facts...
The Facts: A High Protein Diet and Weight Loss
The current criticisms of the high protein or low carb diet actually lack scientific evidence. In fact, multiple studies have found that a low carbohydrate or high protein diet is not harmful to your heart or kidneys and is likely to be effective for losing weight in the short-run. However, there needs to be more long-term research in order to determine the true safety and effects of this diet.
Research has consistently found that low carbohydrate dieting doesn't have any real benefits over traditional calorie restricted diet plans for losing weight and keeping it off. In actuality, reduced-calories resulted in loss of body weight regardless of the macro nutrients (protein, carbs, fat) that an individual focused on. In other words, people lose weight because they are burning more calories than they are taking in or consuming, not because they are eating less carbohydrates or more protein. It has nothing to do with that.
I'm sure you have heard about this in the media lately. A recent study found that low carb dieters actually had higher follow through percentages when compare to another group of low-fat dieters. The research was done with obese individuals only, and was limited to a period of 24 weeks. More research is definitely needed and these finding should not be generalized to you till more research is conducted.
In summary of the research, high protein dieting may be a viable plan for losing weight, however, it's not due to a reduction of carbohydrates or because you're eating more protein. Individuals lose weight simply because they are eating less calories then they burn on a regular basis. However, it should be noted that low carb dieting appears to be safe in the short-term and may actually be easier for some subjects (obese) to stick with.