New research has claimed that consuming extra protein can actually damage your metabolism.
Protein shakes and bars have been advertised as the ‘healthy meal’ for the last decade. The Protein Industry has surpassed the trillion dollar mark already, all thanks to its revolutionary products. Celebrities, sportspeople, CEOs, influencers, and dieticians have all recommended consuming protein to keep a check on obesity, and boost hair growth and ‘longevity’. But apparently, consuming extra protein can very much reverse these effects and cause damage to the body’s natural metabolic baseline.
Why is protein so important in our diets?
Since elementary school, children are taught about the importance of having healthy, balanced, and nutritious meals. The culture has made it popular to consume protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. To be fair, protein is actually quite good for our bodies.
It helps in boosting metabolism rates which burn calories easily while smoothly digesting the food. Therefore, the fat around the waist remains stable and the body’s digestive system works naturally. Thereafter, protein helps boost hair follicles’ health, hence exacerbating hair growth on the scalp. Also, the overall immune system improves 10 tenfold after consuming protein.
Hence, there is no doubt about the importance of protein in our diet. People can eat vegetarian protein sources like tofu, yogurt, paneer, lentils, soya, etc. whereas nonvegan sources of protein can be meat, fish, eggs, pork, etc. Nutritionist all around the world suggests that you should be consuming 1 g of protein for 1 kg of your weight every day. That means, if you weigh 55 kg, then you shall have 55g of protein each day.
What are the conflicting results of the research?
In theory, eating protein is good. But this research states that eating the above-mentioned amount of protein can potentially harm a person’s health. According to Rafael Ferraz-Bannitz, the first author of the article and currently a postdoctoral researcher at Joslin Diabetes Centre at Harvard Medical School in the United States, it is better to consume 0.8 grams for every kilogram of body weight.
Also, protein intake in large amounts can cause metabolic syndrome. It is a medical condition in which the body becomes more prone to cardiovascular diseases, obesity, hypertensive and digestive problems. Metabolism is all about how easily our body processes the nutrients that we eat and produce relevant and important molecules from that food.
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This research was conducted on 21 researchers for a duration of 27 days. Their diets were micro-managed. Half of the people were fed a normal American diet whereas the other 50% were made to eat 10% less protein. Turned out, they lost a similar amount of weight and their insulin levels got regulated at the same rates. This completely bashes the myth that protein consumption is important for weight loss.
The aftermath of the research
The experts are voicing opinions against the research stating that something that worked on 21 people might not necessarily work in masses. Moreover, the well-being and fitness industry is threatened if these results are proven on a larger scale. Considering the fact that protein powder and other nutrient supplements are sold in larger numbers, it again highlights the need to stick to natural diets.
Also, there have been raging debates about vegetarian vs non-vegetarian diets. Nutritionists are questioning whether consuming non-vegetarian food like meat, eggs, etc. is actually harming both the planet and humans. Evolutionary evidence states that human bodies are masters of processing vegan food but our bodies fail to do so for non-vegetarian food. Our heart’s arteries get stiffened immediately after 6 hours of eating meat. Moreover, the methane released by cows is a major source of greenhouse emissions that lead to global warming.
Therefore, to tend to the growing demand for ditching meat, companies are coming up with lab-manufactured meat that tastes similar to actual meat. This ‘natural meat’ has taken the meat industry by storm. So, it will be a sight to behold when the results from large-scale research are released. It will improve our understanding of our bodies and how they process food to keep us alive and healthy.