Unlike many of the diets that are around, there is some scientific evidence to support the high protein diet. There are several different diets that are considered high protein diets such as the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet. Essentially a high protein diet recommends that 30 to 50 percent of calories come from protein, compared with the typical recommendation of 10 to 15 percent.
Does It Work?
There is scientific support for losing weight on a high protein diet. The consensus is that protein generally makes you feel fuller, so you need to eat less.
When the body is given a high protein diet, it switches into a different metabolic process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs when there is not enough glucose (carbohydrate) to meet the body's energy needs so the body uses its fat stores for energy. The by-products of the metabolic process are called ketones, which can be found in the urine.
Having ketones present is not harmful in and of itself, but excessive amounts are not favorable. The key is to have the body use its fat stores for energy in order for weight loss to occur.
Is It Safe?
In general, a high protein diet is relatively safe, unless kidney disease is present. The high protein diet can be continued as long as 3 or 4 months. Beyond that, the safety has not really been studied. The amount of protein recommended for a high protein diet is somewhere in the range of 120 grams per day.
Getting a lot of protein in the diet is often achieved by consuming plentiful animal products like meat, dairy and eggs. There is a danger if one consumes too much saturated fat, which can lead to some cancers and heart disease if sustained over the long-term. For this reason, it is for this reason that lean meats and low-fat or nonfat dairy, beans, tofu and some nuts are your best bets. The ideal combination in a high protein diet is moderate carbohydrate intake and low fat.
As with any diet, it's best to check with your physician before starting any type of new diet.
What Foods To Eat
There are no specific foods that must be eaten on the high protein nor are there foods that are not allowed. Aim for a variety of foods, and always be sure to get adequate fruits, vegetables, fiber and water for the best results.