(NaturalNews) A study from Sweden recently found concerning health implications for individuals who follow a high protein diet. After the influence of the Atkins diet reached its peak in the 1990s, many people have come to demonize carbohydrates as a one of the causes of obesity and the many associated health problems. Likewise, dietary fat has long been condemned as a major player in stubborn weight loss.
Different dietary orientations with the same problem
The high protein, low carbohydrate diet is popular with athletes, body builders, and vegans. While the subscribers to the dietary trend might at first seem like an unusual pairing, they follow these diets for significantly different reasons. People looking to reduce the body fat and increase muscle mass, like body builders, have long relied on an increased protein intake for several reasons. Muscle is made of protein, and in order to build more of it, the body will obviously need an additional supply of the materials with which it is built.
The fact that many vegans and vegetarians find themselves on a high protein diet is often less intentional. People following a meat-free diet often find it relatively easy to replace the protein source with legumes, seeds and nuts, but, as these sources contain fewer calories, individuals often find themselves increasing their intake beyond their protein needs to meet energy needs.
More protein, more problems
Over 43,000 Swedish women between the ages of 30 and 49 years old participated in the nearly 16-year-long study. The study indicated that individuals who focus their dietary change on decreased carbohydrate and increased protein, but without careful attention to the variation or the quality of either, increased their risk for cardiovascular diseases. A decrease in carbohydrate intake of as little as 10 percent or an increase in protein intake of 20 percent was all it took for the participants to produce a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack or stroke. This correlation may be of significant concern to people following a high protein diet, regardless of their reasons.
Sources make the difference
However, additional concern arises from the impact of the protein oriented dietary habits of individuals looking to build muscle. In addition to the risk generated by their protein increase, many also increase their health risks by supplementing their diets with protein powders. Shake powders, while indeed packed with proteins, are also often very high in simple sugars.
While complex carbohydrates make the body work for its fuel, simple carbohydrates rapidly elevate blood glucose levels, which can lead to pre-diabetic conditions. Complex carbohydrates, which ultimately end up being converted into blood sugar the same way as simple carbohydrates do, enter the blood stream and organs very slowly, providing the body with the rationed energy it needs but without the chaotic damage that can be caused by simple carbohydrates.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.
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