High Protein Diet Pros and Cons

Of the many diets that have been popular in recent year, the emphasis on high proteins is one that has attracted many people for good reasons. Proteins are used by the body to build muscle tissue and does not cause the body to generate fat like sugars or carbohydrates. However, despite all the positives that proteins bring there are some negative factors as well.

Still, there are many diets which emphasize proteins such as the Paleo version which is quite popular. For those who want to lose weight fast, there are a number of reasons why you should look at going on a high protein diet.

The Pros of a High Protein Diet

Fast Weight Loss:
Studies have demonstrated that people who go on a high protein diet tend to lose the excess fat quite fast. This is because of the lack of sugars and carbohydrates which normally get turned into fat if the energy is not used and because protein protects the muscles which means the body has to go to other sources for energy and the stored fat is one of them.

Motivation:
One of the reasons why many diets fail is because when dieters do not see quick results they tend to give up. However, given the fast weight loss that accompanies most high protein diets they see the results very quickly which is an excellent motivator.

Lower Cholesterol:
While this is more a side effect of losing the weight rather that the direct consumption of proteins, the speed in which the weight is lost means that those who have dangerous levels of cholesterol can get relief rather quickly by using this particular diet.

Better Hunger Satiation:
Proteins take longer to digest than carbohydrates or fats so they remain in the stomach longer and help the person feel fuller and more satisfied for longer periods of time. For those tend to gorge on food, having more proteins can help curb this tendency.

The Cons of a High Protein Diet

LDL Cholesterol Eventually Increases:
While there is an initial drop of LDL or “bad” cholesterol initially because of the weight loss, it quickly returns because of the emphasis on protein-laden foods such as meats which tend to push the cholesterol back upwards again.

High Saturated Fats:
Many foods that have lots of protein are also loaded with saturated fats as well. This can lead to a very unhealthy situation especially when combined with the raising of the LDL cholesterol as well.

Headaches & Irritability:
When the body is denied having enough carbohydrates for energy it goes into a state of ketosis which not only causes the rapid weight loss, but also can create headaches and irritability which makes being on the diet miserable for some.

The end result is that going on a high protein diet is one of the best ways to lose five to ten pounds very quickly. However, for longer term diets it is best to augment the increase of proteins with other foods such as fruits and vegetables to help avoid some of the drawbacks that this type of dieting brings.

Furthermore, there are great sources of proteins such as lean meats and legumes or beans that offer the amount of protein needed without the risk of raising LDL cholesterol levels or consuming too much saturated fat.

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