So many people have a vested interest in high or low protein diets that it’s difficult to know where the truth lies. Well, we looked at a dozen different studies done of the past few years to find the pros and cons of protein. So, let’s list here the benefits of protein using all the available studies:
1) Protein is superior to other foods as a satiator. Protein stimulated the release of, CCK, the hormone which signals the brain to shut down the appetite center.
2) It takes more energy to digest protein (obligatory thermogensis) so that fewer calories are available to the body than with a meal of similar caloric value consisting of fat or carbohydrates.
3) Protein stimulates the metabolic rate (facultative thermogensis) so that even 2,5 hours after ingesting a high protein, the metabolic rate is two-fold higher compared with a high carb meal.
4) Diets high in protein spare muscle mass and produce a lower glucose and insulin response.
5) A diet high in protein has been shown to decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
6) Dietary protein increases circulating IGF-1, a growth factor that plays an important role in bone formation. In a test where doctors supplemented the diets of patients with 20 grams of protein per day for 6 months, patients responded with reduced rates of bone loss in the hip during the year after the fracture.
7) It has been found that a diet high in protein is of even greater importance in those trying to lose weight since it helps to maintain muscle mass. (Reduced calories should be at the expense of fats and carbs).
8) Wild animals that range freely, and eat what nature intended, have fat that is far more healthful than grain-feed, penned animals. Less of their fat is saturated, and more of it is the monosaturated form like olive oil.
9) On the downside, too much protein overwhelms the liver’s waste-disposal system, leading to protein poisoning – nausea, diarrhea, and wasting. Protein should account for no more than 40% of one’s diet.
A human being living 50,000 years ago had the exact same physiology as man today. What has changed is our diets. Our ancestors, the healthiest people to ever roam the face of the earth, ate a diet that contained five times as much fiber, 3 times the monosaturated fats, 8 times the omega-3 fats, and 3 to 4 times the protein (but 60-70 percent less saturated fats).
So, how much protein should we be eating? Between 1.5 -2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight. The upper level is recommended if energy restriction is substantial (little exercise) because this may assist in the maintenance of lean body mass and promote satiety.

Protein Kills Hunger
The benefits of a high-protein, lower carb diets are substantial. Not only does eating this way help you gain more lean muscle, but it helps you burn more fat – and numerous research studies support these claims. Accumulated studies find these diets to be safe and effective. Now there is a new study from researchers in London which finds another reason why high-protein diets help you get and stay lean. It introduces a hormone called peptide YY (PYY), produced by gut cells that are released into the blood stream, where it travels to the brain to decrease hunger and increase satiety.
Researchers had ten healthy, normal weight men and ten obsess men eat three different meals: high protein, high carb, or high fat. Each consisted of roughly 1000 calories. The high protein meal was 65% protein, the high carb meal 65% carb, and the high fat meal 65% fat. Blood samples were taken immediately before eating the meals and at 30 minute intervals for up to three hours after eating. Researchers concluded that the high protein meals produced the greatest reduction in hunger and the largest increase in PYY in both normal and obese groups. Three hours after eating the meals, the normal weight subjects were three times more satiated by the high-protein meal than he high barb meal, and almost two times more satiated than the high-fat meal. At that same time, the blood levels of PYY were 45% and 30% higher when normal-weight subjects ate the high protein meals than when they ate the high carb and high fat meals, respectively. Conclusion: Harness the appetite -decreasing power of PYY by simply boosting dietary protein. Get 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

How much is too much?
With respect to animal protein intake, no existing data has linked levels of protein independently to increased risk of cancer. In fact, insofar as intake of lean protein does not lead to insulin resistance and the associated metabolic consequences of high circulating levels of insulin and IGF-1, high protein intake may, in fact, represent a protective influence over the typical Western diet. In the most comprehensive study to date (more than 75,000 subjects) comparing mortality rates from cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, stomach, and lung, no differences were found between meat eaters and vegetarians

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