Tag Archives: high protein

Eat More Protein For Better Health | The Paleo Diet

New research affirms the hypothesis that protein is much more valuable than we may have previously thought.1 And, to many individuals’ surprise, plant protein seemed to be as beneficial as animal protein. In fact, eating more protein was just as effective as curbing the top four negative health behaviors including smoking, alcohol consumption, salt intake, and leading a sedentary lifestyle.2, 3 Consuming a Paleo diet – which is by nature high in protein, low sodium, and promotes leading an active lifestyle – is highly beneficial for overall health.

The Paleo diet encourages introducing alternative proteins, animal and plant proteins alike, to reap the wealth of nutrients and health benefits from each group. Two of the most important biomarkers tracked (and improved) by more protein consumption were lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Though researchers admit that the mechanism for lowering of these biomarkers of health are not yet clearly understood, eating a healthy diet high in real foods is beneficial to our overall health and wellness. In a world where 7 out of 10 people are overweight, and many more are on some form of medication, isn’t this what really matters?4, 5

Americans protein intake is dreadfully low. This is partly why we are caught in a health crisis.6 The real key here is amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. There is no such thing as essential carbohydrates, but there are essential amino acids.7 Consumption of amino acids is likely the mechanism which underlies the success seen in this particular study. Unfortunately, as mentioned, most of us in the Western world overeat carbohydrates, and skimp out on protein.8, 9 However, if you’re following a real Paleo diet, protein deficiency is virtually impossible if you’re eating a diet with a steady supply of nutrient-rich vegetables and complete proteins.

Athletes on the other hand often can overdo protein. Whereas the women in this study, on average, consumed only 80 grams of protein daily, the fitness community would perceive this startlingly low. The takeaway is balance. Dr. Cordain’s The Paleo Diet for Athletes is a great primer for understanding how best to maintain glycogen stores, a healthy pH, prevent or reduce inflammation, and optimize body weight by obtaining the right amino acids and keep your carbohydrates in check. While many official guidelines still continue to recommend 60 grams of protein daily for women,10 this inaccuracy should soon be addressed and corrected. It is much easier to overconsume calories when your brain does not receive a satiety signal,11 and protein is far more satiating than carbohydrates.12

The new research drives the point home. Protein is essential to overall health and wellness, weight loss, and athletic performance. So keep on eating your salmon and grass fed beef. And don’t pay much mind to the vegans who chastise you for doing so. Instead, point them to this article, or the new study. On a near-daily basis, science is discovering new benefits of the foods we eat, and the more it discovers – the better a Paleo diet seems to fare!

 

REFERNECES

[1] Jennings A, Macgregor A, Welch A, Chowienczyk P, Spector T, Cassidy A. Amino Acid Intakes Are Inversely Associated with Arterial Stiffness and Central Blood Pressure in Women. J Nutr. 2015;145(9):2130-8.

[2] Puddey IB, Beilin LJ. Alcohol is bad for blood pressure. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006;33(9):847-52.

[3] Sanders PW. Vascular consequences of dietary salt intake. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2009;297(2):F237-43.

[4] Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm. Accessed September 4, 2015.

[5] Available at: http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americans-take-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olmsted-medical-center-find/. Accessed September 4, 2015.

[6] Phillips SM. A brief review of higher dietary protein diets in weight loss: a focus on athletes. Sports Med. 2014;44 Suppl 2:S149-53.

[7] Volpi E, Kobayashi H, Sheffield-moore M, Mittendorfer B, Wolfe RR. Essential amino acids are primarily responsible for the amino acid stimulation of muscle protein anabolism in healthy elderly adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(2):250-8.

[8] Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Augustin LS. Too much sugar, too much carbohydrate, or just too much?. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;79(5):711-2.

[9] Spreadbury I. Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:175-89.

[10] Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods. Accessed September 4, 2015.

[11] Ahima RS, Antwi DA. Brain regulation of appetite and satiety. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2008;37(4):811-23.

[12] Abou-samra R, Keersmaekers L, Brienza D, Mukherjee R, Macé K. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter. Nutr J. 2011;10:139.

Kidney Function | The Paleo Diet

Professor Cordain,

I just finished The Paleo Answer and I’m eager to start dieting. However, I’m a bit concerned about the diet’s impact on my one kidney. I lost one kidney in a snowboarding accident about 15 years ago. I’ve been taught that for the kidney, proteins are bad and carbs are good. Having read your book, I’m beginning to doubt this.

My main question: Is the Paleo Diet good for kidney function? Subsequently, should I tailor the diet to include less protein and more carbs? I have no renal issues and annual checkups show 100% functionality. Weight loss and better blood chemistry is my goal, but kidney function is most important.

I appreciate any input and any interesting studies. I’d love to read them.

Thanks,

Matthew

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Hi Matthew,

There are at least two randomized controlled trials in healthy normals showing that high protein diets don’t adversely affect kidney function. 1, 2 The data shows that the kidney responds like muscle tissue to “increased loading” – it improves function by increasing the amount of protein by-products that it can eliminate. So, increasing dietary protein does not cause albumin to appear in the urine and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the rate the kidney filters the blood, when normalized by increased kidney volume remains normal and healthy. Nevertheless, I suggest that you check in with your nephrologist before and a week or two after you begin The Paleo Diet.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

The Paleo Diet | Dr. Loren CordainDr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of five popular bestselling books including The Paleo DietThe Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

REFERENCES:

1. Skov AR, Toubro S, Bülow J, Krabbe K, Parving HH, Astrup A. Changes in renal function during weight loss induced by high vs low-protein low-fat diets in overweight subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Nov;23(11):1170-7

2. Friedman AN et al. Comparative effects of low-carbohydrate high-protein versus low-fat diets on the kidney. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2012;7: 1103-1111

Rice Diet

The Rice Diet, one of the most renowned diet centers in the country has closed it doors after 70 years of operation. The Rice Diet promotes low-calorie, low-salt, high-carb consumption, specifically that of white rice and fruit. As Paleo dieters, you know full well that a low calorie via high carb is a poor strategy because it dramatically increases the glycemic load and leaves you starved.

A recent large randomized controlled trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off was with a high protein, low glycemic load diet. While diet programs enter the mainstream regularly, their widespread adoption by the population depends on the scientific community that touts the diet is sound from a scientific and medical point of view. The tenets of the Rice Diet are simply inconsistent with the thousands of direct and indirect experimental studies that point to the best scientifically sound diets of the 21st century.

The Paleo Diet on the other hand is a high protein, low glycemic load diet. It promotes weight loss, improves overall health and has shown  to cure disease. The glycemic index gauges how much particular foods raise our blood glucose concentrations. High protein are the most effective to improve blood chemistry, meanwhile real foods such as grass produced or free ranging meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits and veggies typically have moderate to low glycemic indicies. Foods like rice, white bread, and cereal grains have high glycemic indices, causing rapid and marked increases in our blood glucose levels. These foods tend to promote diseases of insulin resistance such as Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, obesity, gout and detrimental blood chemistry profiles. Knowing this, the Rice Diet Program just doesn’t make the cut.

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Affiliates and Credentials