Is there such a thing as too much protein? According to several healthcare institutions and nutrition experts, yes, there is. The recommended daily intake of protein a day as per the standard is 0.8 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. If you are physically active, you can probably consume more.
However, the big question is, what happens if you eat too much protein?
Protein helps to repair and build organs, muscles, and bones, and this makes it a vital part of a healthy diet. High-proteins also help in increasing satiety, retaining muscles, reducing fat, and losing weight. However, too much of it is also dangerous.
While there are diets like the keto diet, paleo diet, and other low carb diets that encourage one to consume a lot of protein, you still need to check how much animal or plant-based protein you are consuming so that you do not put health at risk. Health experts always recommend one to consume only the daily required amount, whether they are on a diet or not.
Risks of Consuming Too Much Protein
Any nutrients, when consumed in high amounts, can cause serious health risks and complications. When you are calculating how much protein you should consume in a day, you should also consider factoring in protein supplements that you take. To ensure you take the recommended amount of protein, you can also consider these options.
Here are some of the risks of taking too much protein.
Consuming processed food or dairy, and no fiber can cause diarrhea. This is especially risky if you are lactose intolerant or you have eaten a lot of poultry, fried meat, or fish. To avoid diarrhea, you should drink a lot of water, limit your fat consumption, avoid fried foods, avoid caffeinated beverages, and consume more fiber.
Although a high protein-based diet may lead to weight loss, this may be short-lived. This is because if you eat too many proteins, it will be stored in your body as fat as the excess amino acid is eliminated. Over time, this will lead to weight gain, especially if you eat a lot of calories.
Diets, where carbohydrates are replaced with proteins, tend to increase weight gain than those where fats replace the carbs.
When you increase your protein intake and consume less fiber and carbohydrates, you’re more likely to get constipated. To prevent this, you should increase your water intake and also take a lot of fiber. It can also be helpful if you can track your bowel movements.
Taking a lot of protein with no carbs can contribute to bad breath. When the body reaches ketosis, it produces some chemicals that give a very unpleasant smell. You cannot get rid of this bad smell by only brushing your teeth and flossing.
To combat bad breath, you should double the amount of water that you take, brush your teeth more often and take a breath mint or chew some gum.
Your body normally flushes out the extra nitrogen in proteins with water and other fluids. When this happens, you can remain dehydrated even if you do not feel as thirsty as you always do. To ensure that you stay hydrated, you should take more water than you normally do, especially if you are active.
Regardless of how much protein you are consuming each day, it is recommended that you should always remember to take a lot of water throughout the day.
If you are healthy, you may need to worry about too much protein causing any damages to your kidneys. However, excess protein in the body can cause kidney damage if you have pre-existing kidney disease. This is due to the excess nitrogen that is found in the amino acids.
Damaged kidneys have to work a lot harder to remove the excess nitrogen and other waste products from the body. This means, if you eat too much protein, your kidneys will have a lot of work to do. This will make them weak and damaged.
Poor Bone Health
As you take a lot of proteins, you lose a lot of calcium in your urine. Loss of calcium contributes to weak bones, and this increases the risk of osteoporosis. According to research, taking the recommended daily amount of protein has a significant role to play when it comes to the prevention of bone disease and bone health as a whole.
Increased Cancer Risk
Consuming high protein diets that have a lot of red meat has been linked to increased cancer risks and other health issues. If you eat a lot of processed meat and red meat, you might just be increasing your chances of getting breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. However, consuming other sources of protein can decrease cancer risks.
This difference is attributed to the hormones, fats, and carcinogenic compounds that are found in meat.
Consuming large amounts of full-fat dairy foods and a lot of red meat can cause heart disease. This is due to saturated cholesterol and fat. Women have a higher risk of getting coronary heart disease when they take a lot of red meat and high-fat dairy. On the other hand, eating fish, nuts, and poultry lowers this risk.
Taking a lot of red meat for a long time can also lead to an increase in trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is a chemical that is linked to heart disease.
Knowing What Happens If You Eat Too Much Protein Will Help You Manage Your Protein Intake
Whether you are on a protein-based diet or not, do not wait to find out what happens if you eat too much protein before you can decide to reduce your protein intake. Find out the best type of protein that you should take, and one that you can take for a long time and remain healthy.
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