Protein: How much is too much?

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: athletic training, beauty, body weight, caloric intake, calories, clean eating, cooking, diet, exercise, fat loss, fitness, food, health, healthy food, lifting, nutrition, Strength training, vitamins, weight lifting, weight loss, weight training, workout |

I have had several conversations lately about protein, and how much is too much. As I track my food on SparkPeople.com I always get just the right amount that is recommended for me, or I go over. It’s not surprising since I eat egg white every morning, have a small lean protein for two snacks a day, and eat turkey or chicken every day for lunch and dinner. So what happens when you get too much protein? I know it’s good for me to have in my diet since I work out a lot, and the protein is used to repair my muscles. But I’ve heard two things: If you get too much it’s okay because your body disposes of it anyway; and it’s bad to get too much because your body stores it as fat.

So I read up on it via the internet, so hopefully the sources are credible! Here’s what I found:

According to Sparkpeople, “A very high protein diet can cause the kidneys to work harder and cause the bones and teeth to excrete calcium since protein foods (meats) are usually higher in fats (depending on your choices). This can increase the unhealthy saturated fat and be a risk factor for heart disease, certain cancers, weight gain and high blood pressure. It all comes down to how much is too much and what else you are eating. A healthy diet should be made up of 10-35% protein. For someone eating 2000 calories/day, that is 50-175 grams daily.” http://www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_the_experts.asp?q=34

According to WebMD, “But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.” http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/benefits-protein

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Most people eat more protein than they need without harmful effects However, protein contributes to calorie intake, so if you eat more protein than you need, your overall calorie intake could be greater than your calorie needs and contribute to weight gain. Besides that, animal sources of protein can be sources of saturated fat which has been linked to elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease. In addition, for people with certain kidney diseases, a lower-protein diet may be recommended to help prevent an impairment in kidney function.” http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html

Even the website for the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health didn’t say anything about too much protein causing weight gain. However, it did discuss the best kind of proteins are the ones lowest in fat, such as chicken without skin, fish, eggs, soybeans, etc. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002467.htm

So I’d say that similar to other vitamins and minerals our bodies only need so much of, our body just disposes of what we don’t need. This doesn’t mean go out and eat 3 hamburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow, because those have lots of fat. Try making skinless, grilled boneless chicken breast for salads, sashimi tuna, or just drink milk!

If you are interesting in finding out how much protein your body requires, check out some of those links. There should be information on there to help you. But you also have to account for the activity you do as well. So if you are a workout fanatic like myself you are most likely going to need quite a bit more than
What the RDA tells you.

Kyra Williams
The Get In Shape Girl

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One Response to “Protein: How much is too much?”

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i am curious why i eat how much,i am not fat.a little confused!i like to research food and cooking.on free time,i’d like to play cooking games online.so interesting about those games.


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