Exploring The Health Benefits And Risks Of A High-Protein Diet
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Protein - the part of food that is most often sacrificed at the altar of taste. Call it the curse of modernity, but most processed foods that taste great these days have little to no protein in them, which is a tragedy because proteins are very important for strength and overall health. Proteins are made of many peptide-bonded amino acids. Twenty different amino acids are combined to form a protein. The sequence of this combination differs from organ to organ, thus making many different proteins. For example, within a given organism, the proteins in the brain will be different from those in the liver and kidneys. And because they are structurally different, they have different functions in the body as well. A few examples of proteins are:

1.    Immunoglobin:An antibody that helps protect the body against foreign particles like viruses and bacteria.

2.    Phenylalanine hydroxylase:Helps with the formation of new molecules and carries out thousands of chemical reactions in the body.

3.    Growth hormone:A messenger protein that helps transmit signals to coordinate biological processes between cells, tissues, and organs.This is the one that becomes crucial as we age. 

4.    Actin: ids in the formation of cell structures as well as our movement.

5.    Ferritin: Used primarily for the movement of atoms and molecules within the cells of the body and the body itself.

Nutrition and exercise are equally important for keeping our protein levels optimal. However, owing to the average person’s sedentary lifestyle and poor or irregular eating habits, obesity has reached epidemic levels in our society. The medical fraternity places very high emphasis on the consumption of protein-rich foods or protein supplements coupled with the right quantity of micronutrients and carbohydrates in conjunction with some sort of exercise routine. 

Proteins have a high thermic effect, meaning they help us burn more fat by making the digestive system work harder and longer to break them down. They boost metabolism and help reduce food cravings by helping an individual feel satiated longer. Fish, meat (chicken, pork), eggs, dairy products, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of dietary protein. Most of these foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for eye and brain health.

Nutritionists, dieticians, and medical practitioners recommend a high-protein diet when a person is severely obese or overweight and wants to lose weight quickly while remaining healthy. But this kind of diet is can turn harmful than helpful because "fitness enthusiasts," who tend to be younger, often end up using it the wrong way or abusing it entirely.In cases where such a diet is prescribed, there are some benefits and some possible side effects. Let us first look at the benefits of a high-protein diet.

    Feeling satiated for longer durations of time. By reducing the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and increasing the levels of the hormone peptide YY, protein consumption makes us feel fuller for longer.

    Helps build and maintain or retain already built muscle. By constantly working in the background to stimulate growth hormone, high-protein diets help build more muscle and maintain the muscle that has already been built. Even at rest, some calories might be burned.

    Inclination to pick nutrient-dense foods. As conventional and junk sources of fats and food in general are reduced to a bare minimum in a high-protein diet, an individual is more inclined to look for foods that give him or her "bang for their buck." meaning that they’ll more often than not start looking for foods that are dense in not only proteins but also in other micronutrients and fatty acids. For example, tuna is not only a good protein source; it is also an excellent source of fatty acids.

    Might be of some assistance in direct weight loss and muscle mass maintenance. A diet high in lean protein can help maintain muscle mass, boost metabolism, and keep you satiated for longer.

    Boosts marginal calorie burn. As stated before, proteins have a higher thermic effect, thus making the digestive system work a bit harder and better than before to break the proteins down. This process burns some calories. However, the number of calories burned is so low that basing a diet or exercise plan around such concepts may be counterproductive in the long run.

But we can have too much of any good thing, and so it is with proteins as well. Some of the possible harmful effects of a high-protein diet include:

    Neglected micronutrients and fiber. Because a high-protein diet is so full of protein and keeps us satiated longer, it will reduce our chances of consuming foods rich in necessary micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These micronutrients and fiber are essential for maintaining healthy bowel movements and preventing cancer.

    Processed and high-fat foods might be encouraged. Because sustaining a high-protein diet by procuring lean protein sources is quite a challenge, sometimes high-fat and processed sources like fattier cuts of meat, full-fat dairy, and cured meats are recommended. Such foods are associated with heart disease and cancer.

    Risky for some people with chronic diseases. People suffering from chronic kidney disease cannot embark on a high-protein diet without consulting their doctor. Excessively consumed protein will be broken down into glucose to be used as energy by the body, thus spiking sugar levels in the blood, which can be detrimental to patients with diabetes.

    Carbohydrate restrictive. Some high-protein diets restrict carbohydrate consumption to extreme levels, even going so far as to eliminate it from a person’s diet. This is bad because it will limit a person’s daily expendable energy. Also, many carbohydrate sources are great sources of dietary fiber. As a result, such severe restrictions can cause digestive issues such as constipation.

Moderation is the key. It is prudent not to rely solely on one nutrient type to provide all benefits and functions. Include whole grains, fruits, green leafy vegetables in particular, and vegetables in general that are high in fatty acids. 

The medical recommendation is that adult men should get about 60 grams of protein per day and adult women should get about 50 grams of protein per day to prevent deficiency. 

Individuals involved in sports like bodybuilding recommend 0.7 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. In metric terms, 1 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is a healthy long-term choice for your daily protein consumption. Slightly higher consumption is advised in certain cases, which are most likely sport-specific and, once again, not recommended for average people.