Many Americans follow popular diets, such as the Zone, Protein Power, Sugar Busters and Stillman diets. These high protein diet plans restrict healthful foods that provide essential nutrients and don’t provide the variety of foods needed to adequately meet nutritional needs. People who stay on these diets very long may not get enough vitamins and minerals and face other potential health risks.
These diets can cause a quick drop in weight because eliminating carbohydrates causes a loss of body fluids. Lowering carbohydrate intake also prevents the body from completely burning fat. In the diets that are also high in protein, substances called ketones are formed and released into the bloodstream, a condition called ketosis. It makes dieting easier because it lowers appetite and may cause nausea.
But these diets have other effects besides inducing quick weight loss. Most Americans already eat more protein than their bodies need. And eating too much protein can increase health risks. High-protein animal foods are usually also high in saturated fat. Eating large amounts of high-fat foods for a sustained period raises the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer. People who can’t use excess protein effectively may be at higher risk of kidney and liver disorders, and osteoporosis.
The best way to lose weight is through a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods and is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables along with regular physical activity can help most people manage and maintain weight loss for both cardiovascular health and appearance.