How much is too much protein? That’s a fair question. There have been numerous diets that called for minimal amounts of carbs, with just a bit of healthy fat and the rest protein. The Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet and the Stillman Diet are a few examples of these. They promise fast weight loss, but often fail to tell you about some of the side effects of the diet. Investigating faddish diets thoroughly, before starting is important, even if your neighbor said it worked great for them.
The effects of too much protein start with the nutrients you’re not getting.
There’s nothing wrong with having protein in your diet, unless it’s at the cost of omitting other foods you need. Fresh fruit and vegetables can supply a wealth of nutrition, add fiber and don’t boost your calorie count up in the process. Luckily, you can get quite a few veggies in your diet, while still maintaining a moderate percentage of the overall calories. The problem comes when reducing the carbohydrates to zero and excluding fat. You need all three types of foods for a diet that’s healthy.
Watch out for signs of dehydration when you eat a high protein diet.
When you burn protein, it forces the kidneys to work extra hard to eliminate the residue left. It’s one reason a high protein meal leaves you feeling thirsty. Not only are your kidneys working harder and you’re eliminating more, you’re also losing valuable nutrients in the process. Magnesium, sodium and potassium are just three. Healthy carbs like fruits and veggies contain a higher water content and provide extra nutrition, including those lost in urine. If you’re reducing carbohydrates while boosting your protein, you miss out on the fluids and extra nutrition.
Say What? You have smelly breath.
A high protein meal that’s lower in carbs and fat can bring on ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body exists in the fat burning stage. It comes from the
chemicals that are released and no matter how often or how diligently you brush your teeth or even scrape your tongue, you’ll still end up with stinky breath. The good news is that you’re burning fats and proteins for your energy. Hopefully, some of it will be body fat.