9 Risks And Side Effects Of High protein Diet That You Should Know

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

If you are considering starting a high-protein diet, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects.

A high-protein diet is one that includes 20-30% of calories from protein. This is significantly higher than the recommended intake of 10-15%.

There are a number of risks associated with high-protein diets, including kidney damage, calcium loss, and increased cancer risk.

There are also a number of side effects, such as constipation, bad breath, and increased body odor. This article will explain the risks and side effects of a high-protein diet.

The following are the risk and side effects Of High Protein Diet:

  1. Weight Gain

    A high-protein diet could actually cause weight gain. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. When you eat a lot of protein, your body starts to produce more of the hormone insulin.

    Insulin helps your body store fat, and so when you have too much of it, you end up gaining weight. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to cut back on the amount of protein you’re eating.

    And, if you’re trying to gain weight, you might want to increase your protein intake. Just be sure not to go too overboard, or you could end up making yourself sick.

  2. Bad Breath

    A high-protein diet could cause bad breath. This is because when you digest protein, your body produces ketones.

    Ketones are small molecules that are released into your blood and breathing when you break down fat for energy. This process is called ketosis.

    Although ketosis is a normal metabolic process, it could cause bad breath. This is because ketones are volatile and they could be released into your breath.

    When you have high levels of ketones in your blood, you are more likely to have bad breath.

    There are a few things you could do to combat bad breath. First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated.

    You could also try using a tongue scraper or toothbrush to remove any buildup of ketones on your tongue.

    And lastly, be sure to brush your teeth regularly and floss to remove any food particles that may be trapped in your teeth.

  3. Constipation

    A high-protein diet could cause constipation for a variety of reasons.

    First, high-protein foods could have very dense nutrients, so eating a lot of them could slow down the passage of food through your digestive system and could impact your digestion.

    This could make it difficult for your body to break down and absorb all the nutrients from the protein you’re eating, which could lead to constipation.

    Second, protein is also a very binding nutrient, meaning it could bind to water in your intestine and make it difficult to pass stool. This could also lead to constipation.

    Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, to keep your intestine hydrated. You could also try eating more high-fiber foods like fruits, and vegetables.

  4. Diarrhea

    A high-protein diet could cause diarrhea for a few reasons. First, protein is difficult to digest and could put a strain on the digestive system

    Second, a high-protein diet could lead to an imbalance of electrolytes, which could cause diarrhea.

    Finally, a high-protein diet could also increase the amount of urea in the intestine, which could lead to diarrhea.

    Try to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large meals all at once.

    This will give your digestive system a chance to rest between meals and make it easier to digest the protein you are eating.

  5. Dehydration

    A high-protein diet could cause dehydration for a few reasons. First, when you consume more protein than your body needs, your body will excrete the excess through your urine.

    This means that you’ll be urinating more often and losing more fluid than usual. Second, a high-protein diet could cause your body to produce more nitrogen waste.

    This waste is excreted through your urine, and it could lead to dehydration. Finally, a high-protein diet could cause your body to lose more water through your sweat glands.

    So if you’re on a high-protein diet, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

  6. Kidney Damage

    A high-protein diet could put a strain on your kidneys and lead to kidney damage.
    When your kidneys are unable to filter out all the waste and excess protein, it could cause a build-up of toxins in your blood.

    This could lead to dehydration, kidney stones, and eventually, kidney damage.

  7. Increased Cancer Risk

    It is a known fact that a high-protein diet causes an increase in cancer risk. The mechanism behind this is that when the body breaks down protein, it produces a waste product called nitrogen.

    This waste product is then excreted through the urine. However, when the body breaks down too much protein, the nitrogen accumulates in the blood and could be toxic to the body.

    A high protein diet could also cause an imbalance in the body’s pH levels, which could lead to the development of cancer.

    In addition, a high protein diet could also cause the body to produce more insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is a hormone that promotes cell growth and could be linked to cancer.

  8. Heart Diseases

    CHD is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Cholesterol, fat, and other elements present in the blood are the components of plaque.

    As plaque builds up, it narrows the arteries and makes it harder for blood to flow through them. This could lead to chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, and even death.

    A high-protein diet could cause an increase in the amount of plaque in the arteries, which could lead to CHD. This is because a high protein diet could cause an increase in the levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) in the blood.

  9. Calcium Loss

    It is generally understood that a high-protein diet could lead to calcium loss.

    This is because when the body metabolizes protein, it produces acid. This acid then causes the body to release calcium from the bones in order to neutralize the acid.

    Over time, this could lead to calcium deficiency and a loss of bone density. There are a few ways to offset this calcium loss.

    One is to make sure that you are getting enough calcium in your diet. This could be done by consuming calcium-rich foods or by taking a calcium supplement.

    Another way to offset calcium loss is to increase your intake of alkaline-forming foods. These foods help to neutralize the acid in the body and prevent calcium loss.

Final Remark

In conclusion, High protein diets have a number of risks and side effects that should be considered before starting such a diet. These include an increased risk of kidney damage, osteoporosis, and gastrointestinal issues.

Additionally, high-protein diets could lead to weight gain, especially if the dieter is not getting enough exercise.

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