Are High Protein Diets Safe?
The body is in a constant state of flux, constantly breaking down and rebuilding its own tissues.
Under certain circumstances, our need for protein can increase. This includes periods of sickness or increased physical activity. We need to consume enough protein for these processes to occur.
However, if we eat more than we need, the excess protein will be broken down and used for energy.
Even though a relatively high protein intake is healthy and safe, eating massive amounts of protein is unnatural and may cause harm.
Traditional populations got most of their calories from fat or carbs, not protein.
Exactly how much protein is harmful is unclear and likely varies between people.
One study in healthy, strength-training men showed that eating around 1.4 grams per pound of body weight (3 grams per kg) every day for a year didn’t have any adverse health effects
Even eating 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight (4.4 grams per kg) for 2 months did not appear to cause any side effects.
But keep in mind that physically active people, especially strength athletes or bodybuilders, need more protein than less active individuals.
At the end of the day, there is no evidence that eating protein in reasonably high amounts causes harm in healthy people. On the contrary, plenty of evidence suggests benefits.
However, if you have kidney disease, you should follow your doctor’s advice and limit your protein intake.
But for the majority of people, there is no reason to be concerned about the exact number of grams of protein in your diet.
If you follow a balanced diet that contains plenty of meat, fish, dairy or high-protein plant foods, your protein intake should be in a safe and healthy range.