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Are you eating too much protein? How much protein is too much? Get ll the protein facts and learn how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Are you on a low-carb or low-fat diet and eating lots of protein to help make yourself feel full? Perhaps you’ve been eating too much protein unknowingly and have been subjecting your body to the conditions spoken of in this article. Let’s discuss some protein fact. 

How Much Protein is Too Much?

According to statistics, most individuals in the US take in 3-5 times more protein than they need. An ideal protein intake is about 0.5 grams (500 mg) of protein per pound of lean body mass.

This calculates to about 40-70 grams of protein per day. While high protein diets are extremely popular, eating excessive amounts of protein can be damaging to your health.

Protein Facts: The Dangers Of Eating Too Much Protein

If you eat more protein than your body really can use then this can cause problems with your overall health and fitness in several ways.

Too much protein can lead to these health issues:

• Increased blood sugar
• Weight gain
• Too much body fat
• Stress on your kidneys, which must get rid of excess protein
• Loss of minerals from your bones
• Dehydration
• Cancer cell stimulation

Of course, your body cannot live without protein. While some amino acids can be made by the body, several essential amino acids cannot be made by the body tissues and so must be taken in through food sources.

Your amino acids are what make the protein that helps grow muscle, creates bony tissue, enzymes, and several hormones your body needs to survive.

You need more protein during pregnancy so the fetus can use that protein in order to grow, while those who are aging require less protein and should focus on eating proteins of the highest quality.

Daily Protein Requirements for Adults

Regular people who are not aging or pregnant can stick to eating 40-60 grams of protein daily as suggested.

There is an upper limit as to how much protein your body has the ability to make use of. We eat, on average, much more protein than our bodies need as well as too much carbohydrate-containing foods and not enough foods high in healthy fat.

Part of the problem is that the consumption of meat has risen to a great degree in the last century. Most of this meat is not high-quality meat and comes from animal farms where animals are fed grains that have been genetically altered instead of grass in a pasture.

This is why it’s important to eat meat that has been pasture-fed, but even this can lead to protein excesses in the body.

What Protein Does In Your Body

When you eat protein, your body takes what it needs and converts all of the rest of it into sugar and finally into fat.

When your blood sugar levels are increased from eating too much protein, you put yourself at risk of getting infections by yeast (called Candidiasis) and pathogenic bacteria. The growth of cancer cells is stimulated by the excesses of sugar and fat in your body.

There is a biochemical pathway known as the mammalian target of rapamycin that is stimulated by having too much protein in your system. This pathway plays a role in cancer formation. In order to avoid stimulating the pathway, you want to keep your protein levels in the proper amounts.

Too Much Protein and the Kidneys

Eating too much protein causes stress on the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for removing the nitrogenous waste products in the bloodstream and when there is too much protein, both the excess protein and water is lost through the kidneys, resulting in dehydration.

This was proven in a research study that involved athletes who engaged in endurance sports. Related reading: Signs of Dehydration and 6 Healthy Rehydration Drinks to Add to Your Diet

Less Protein May Prolong Your Life

There have been recent research studies that relate to calorie restriction and longevity. In particular, restriction of protein intake leads to a longer life, particularly restriction of the amino acid known as methionine.

This is found in high levels in meats. Other research indicates that the balance of amino acids might be the most important factor in gaining a long life.

Calculating The Amount Of Protein You Need

You need to know exactly how much protein you need to consume in order to be healthy. A serving of protein is about the size of one deck of cards. The required serving for you can be calculated as taking in 500 mg of protein per pound of lean body mass, usually about 40-60 grams of protein daily.

If you are excessively exercising or are pregnant, you need to take in about 25 percent more than that.

Your lean body mass is your percent body fat subtracted from a hundred. Make that into a percentage and multiply that by your total weight in pounds. Multiply that number into 0.5 grams per pound to get your protein requirement for the day. Here’s a lean body mass calculator to make it easier for you. 

What Proteins Should You Eat?

To get the protein you need, but not too much, choose protein found in eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Forty grams of protein isn’t really very much: about two hamburger patties.

You do not need to be a vegetarian to avoid eating too much protein. Read food labels and look up the amount of protein in the foods you are eating. If you are eating too much, just adjust your diet so you are eating the right amount of protein.

Learn what it takes to eat a balanced diet. Get the basics of proper nutrition for proper weight management. Essential if you're trying to lose weight or maintain your weight loss goal.

How This All Fits Into Proper Nutrition

Nutrition is defined as nourishment or energy that is obtained from consuming food or the process of consuming nourishment and energy in the proper amounts.

Unfortunately, for many of us, proper nutrition is far from what we get from our daily diet. We are obsessed with junk food, fad diets, low-this and high-that. 

The term “proper nutrition” is often misinterpreted by people and most people don’t fully understand how to implement into their daily lives. Here we break down exactly what proper nutrition means.

The World Health Organization defines proper nutrition as an adequate, well-balanced diet combined with regular physical activity.

According to the World Health Organization, there are five key points to defining a proper, well-balanced diet for an adult.

The Essentials of a Healthy Diet – Fruits and Vegetables

The main part of a healthy diet is the presence of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. It is important to get 5 portions or 400g of fruits and vegetables a day.

  • It is essential to get a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, get as many different colors as possible.
  • Some examples of legumes are lentils and beans.
  • Whole grains include whole wheat, steel cut oats, millet, oats and brown rice.

Starch

Potatoes and starchy roots are not classified as fruits or vegetables, they are in fact starches, like grains and should be limited.

Sugar

Less than 10% of your total daily calories from simple sugars, ideally this amount should be less than 5%. This is equivalent to about 12 level teaspoons for a 2000 calorie a day diet.

Simple sugars, include table sugar, sugar found in fruit, added to processed foods and found in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.

Fat

Less than 30% of total calorie intake should be from fats.

• Most of your fats should be unsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, olive and canola oils, which are preferable over saturated fats, such as those found in fatty meat, butter, cream, ghee, lard, cheese, and palm and coconut oil.
• The American Heart Association advises 7% or less of total daily calories come from saturated fats, which are found in meat, chicken, butter and tropical oils.
• Trans fats found in processed foods, fried foods, snack foods, fast foods, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarine, and spreads are not part of a healthy diet and should be limited to 1% or less of daily caloric intake.

Salt

You should be consuming less than 1 teaspoon, or 5g, of salt per day.

Iodized salt is the healthier option.
In order to maintain proper nutrition, there are some principles that you need to apply in addition to the ones above from the World Health Organization.

Eating a Whole Food Diet

Do not completely eliminate any type of food from your diet. Instead, incorporate all foods into your diet according to their ratio that is set by the food pyramid.

The below tips will help you to stay on your healthy eating journey. 

  • Limit your saturated fats, starch, and sugars, but generously include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and good fats into your diet.
  • Consume as much of your food as you can in their raw or original form
  • Minimize your intake of processed foods and junk foods. These typically offer no nutritional value and are much higher in calories than the natural choices.
  • Replace your juice with raw fruit and avoid sodas.
  • Vitamins, enzymes, and fiber are best consumed in the form of raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink lots of water every day, the general recommendation is to consume at least eight to ten glasses a day.

The easy way of eating a balanced diet lies in our book: The Complete Guide to Eating Clean

It is really easy to get proper nutrition. All you’ve gotta do is eat a wide variety of real whole food. Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy will allow you to get all the various nutrients these foods provide.

So, toss the boxes, and fill your plate with nature’s goodness and you will see and feel a marked difference in your energy levels, health and weight.

We hope you now have a good grasp on what proper nutrition is and how to best incorporate it into your life.

By following the tips above, your body will be healthier which will lead to you having more energy, the condition many are after when they load up on protein. Ensuring your body is receiving the nutrition it needs takes a little bit of work, but it is definitely worth it.