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24 Jul 2006

Effects Of High Protein Diet
Please can someone help me with this.
I have a very close friend who has embarked on a high protein diet and I am concerned for her well being. Although her weightloss has been rapid, about 6kg's in two weeks, she has extremely high cholestrol and is eating mostly animal protein and full fat dairy products, she eats everything with Mayo and orders cappachino's with cream etc.

I have also noticed that she has developed very strong smelling breath and I'm very concerned for her health.

What would the negative effects be on her health?

Thanks for your response.

Answer 427 views
Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Struggling
You are right to be concerned about your friend's health. The reason why I and my dietetic colleagues have a problem with high-protein diets is that such diets automatically will expose users to high levels of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol because all animal protein foods such as meat, eggs and poultry contain animal fats which in turn contain these 'bad' fats which in turn can exacerbate high blood cholesterol and lipid levels predisposing to heart disease and certain cancers. A high protein intake may also have a negative effect on kidney function and leach calcium out of the body. There is also not yet sufficient evidence that shows that these high-protein diets sustain weight loss in the long-term, which is after all the purpose of trying to lose weight. Then there is also the problem of a lack of protective nutrients (bioflavonoids, phytochemicals, etc which are mainly found in plant foods) and dietary fibre, so that using a high-protein diet for long periods can cause certain deficiencies and constipation. Her bad breath is due to the ketones she is producing and is just another negative side-effect of these diets.
You can only advise your friend to be sensible and rather use a balanced, low-fat diet and regular exercise to lose weight instead of exposing herself to the dangers of a high-protein, high-fat diet.
Best regards
DietDoc
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