What Are the Side Effects of a High Protein Diet?

We are all being told that obesity is a major problem in the U.S., and urged to do something to lose the spare tire around our middle. One popular way to do this is any of a variety of low carb/high protein diets. They can net a quick weight loss, and it can be maintained fairly easily. Is this the answer to all of our weight challenges?

Not really.

The American Heart Association and most doctors don’t look with favor on this sort of diet, due to the shortage of needed nutrients not found in many protein sources. That’s not the only drawback that can be applied to this sort of diet. Unless planned properly, these diets are high in fat, cholesterol and purine. These substances can wreak havoc on your body.

Before going further into the drawbacks of a high protein diet, let me point out that not all low carb diets are bad. If your doctor and nutritionist have you on a low carb diet and are monitoring it properly, then it is probably a good thing. You may find out in the information below why they insist on some of the supplements and tests. Here are some of the pitfalls that can occur without proper monitoring.

Gout: This is a very painful condition, possibly one of the most painful diseases on the planet. You go to bed fine and wake up in the middle of the night in agony. A bed sheet is to heavy for the stricken joint, usually the right big toe the first time it flares up. Walking is nearly impossible.

Gout occurs when there is excessive amounts of uric acid circulating in the bloodstream The acid turns to crystals, and get deposited into your joints and cause pain, redness and inflammation. Uric acid is the result when large amounts of purine are consumed. Purine is found in most, if not all proteins, both plant and animal.

When planning a low carb diet, it is important to find out which proteins contain the smallest amount of purine. Skip those high in the substance, especially organ meats from all animals and many processed foods.

High Cholesterol: High protein diets can be very high in fat and cholesterol. This can lead to cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. Unless you have regular blood tests, you may not know of the problem until it is too late. Choosing your proteins carefully can help prevent this problem. Plant proteins are naturally cholesterol free, and there are many low cholesterol cuts of animal proteins.

Kidney Disease: Gout is an early warning sign that your kidneys might be working too hard. The kidneys are responsible for removing waste products, including uric acid. Ignoring this warning sign can lead you to a decline in kidney function.

Deficiency Problems: Feeling tired? Having nose bleeds? Got a little constipation problem? You may be suffering from the lack of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. You see, these all have carbs, and a high protein diet usually shies away from them. However, you need them.

These carbs aren’t bad carbs. In fact, consuming the right amounts of them can actually benefit both your weight loss goals and your overall health. They contain vitamins, minerals and that all important fiber, which is what moves what you eat through your lower digestive tract.

High protein diets must be done correctly if you are to succeed. You will need the help and guidance of both a doctor and a nutritionist to find the right combination for your goals. Following a diet out of a book ignores the individual factors that make us all unique, and they can hurt you. Weight control is not a one size fits all deal.

Michael Ortiz

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