It’s a known fact that protein does wonders to the body. It’s an essential nutrient that plays a significant role in the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It also helps the body feel fuller for longer periods of time and prevent late night trips to the pantry. The body needs protein on a daily basis. However, some people eat more protein than they require in a day, and while protein is essentially healthy, there are risks when people consume too much of it.
Death by Meat?
If you think there’s no such thing as too much meat, think again.
A news report says that an Australian woman didn’t live to see another day after suffering from a protein overdose. The 25-year-old mother of two had increased her protein intake while preparing for a bodybuilding competition, but doctors were late to discover that she had Urea Cycle Disorder, an illness that prevents the body from metabolizing protein.
How Much Is Too Much?
The suggested Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) of protein is 0.36 grams per pound or 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This suggestion amounts to 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. But not everyone has the time to break out a scale and measure their food. How can you tell if you’re consuming too much protein?
- Bad Breath
Unless you admit to having poor dental hygiene, bad breath can be a cause of excessive protein consumption. When you don’t have enough carbs in a day, the body burns fat and protein for fuel through a process called ketosis. Unfortunately, ketones have an unpleasant smell that brushing and flossing can’t mask. Cutting back on your daily dose of protein and upping your carbs can remedy the issue, as well as doubling your water intake.
- Weight Gain
A Spanish study suggests that although a diet that’s high in protein and low in carbs may help in reducing excess body weight initially, it can result in long-term weight gain. Not only will you be more prone to gaining weight, but the majority of the weight will also be in the form of flab.
- Frequent Episodes of Nausea
When you don’t know how to hit pause on all the chicken tenders, pork chops, and eggs, your digestive enzymes won’t be able to keep up with all the protein you’re ingesting. This can lead to indigestion and nausea. Easing up on protein intake should calm a turning stomach.
More severe side effects include elevated risks of osteoporosis, kidney disease, kidney stones, heart disease, and cancer.
Balance Is Key
You don’t have to toss away the carton of eggs and slabs of bacon in your refrigerator. It’s important to remember that not getting enough protein has its fair share of risks. Having the insufficient amount of protein intake can lead to malnutrition and result in extreme weight loss and fatigue. It’s also best to get protein from plant-based sources such as legumes, beans, nuts, and soy products to steer clear of excess cholesterol. If you still prefer meat, opt for leaner options such as chicken, turkey, and beef tenderloin in moderation.
It’s all just a matter of balance. Health issues can result from consuming too much or too little of any food group.