Low protein diets are very important for keeping an individual healthy. A major reason for this is that they have been recommended for the treatment of certain illnesses. Some of the diseases which hinder the metabolism of protein in the body include kidney disease, liver malfunction, etc. The result on these on the body is the adoption of a low protein diet.
Research in recent times have revealed that low protein diets are very beneficial in keeping an individual free from several chronic illnesses. This results in raising the life expectancy of the individual. It has also been noticed that low protein diets can work wonder for weight loss programs. In this article we shall be viewing the different advantages and disadvantages of low protein foods and also how you can adopt low protein foods to your diet.
Definition of low protein diets
It is expedient to define in clear terms what a low protein diet is before going ahead with this article. The definition should give you a vivid picture of what kinds of foods we are talking about. Low protein diets are diets which cut down or restrict the amount of protein an individual consumes daily. This is to ensure that protein constitutes just about 4% to 8% of the daily calorie requirement. If you were calculate that in grams that should be about 40 to 50 grams, depending on how much calories the individual consumes.
Usually it is admonished that an average individual should draw between 10% and 15% of their daily calorie requirement from proteins. This amount might escalate if the person is quite advanced in age, an athlete or faced with certain health conditions.
It is no news that proteins are a major nutrients required for daily survival. The reduction of protein can be recommended however for certain individuals based on the kind of health challenges they suffer. It is important to state here that going on a low protein diet requires understanding of the diet and proper planning. This is necessary to prevent malnourishment which could lead to more problems on the long run. In the same vein there are several pitfalls on the way to achieving healthy living while consuming low protein diets. All of these should be considered.
Health benefits of a low protein diet
These benefits are usually more noticeable in people living with health conditions rather than those on the diet who are already healthy. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of consuming a low protein diet to our general health.
- Reduces workload on vital organs. Usually consumption of excess protein causes the liver to work hard to metabolize the excess protein. This leads to the production of a waste product known as urea usually excreted by the kidneys. When there is a reduction of protein intake the effect on these vital organs is that there is reduced workload. This is mostly more beneficial for those suffering from kidney or liver malfunction.
- Reduction of urea in the blood stream. A reduced protein intake will result in an improved metabolism of protein in the body. It will also reduce the amount of urea released into the bloodstream, making the individual healthy. This will also ensure that the individual is protected from unnecessary fatigue, appetite loss and mental strain.
- Minimizing symptoms of certain health disorders. A number of individuals suffer from certain diseases which affect the metabolism of protein in the body. Examples are phenylketonuria and homocystinuria. These diseases are known to hamper the breakdown of protein molecules in the body. When the amount of protein consumed is considerably reduced, it results in elimination of these symptoms to the barest minimum.
- Increases life expectancy. Research results have shown that a reduction in consumed protein, especially in middle aged fellows has resulted in improved life expectancy. It has also reduced the effects of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- Weight loss. Usually we know that consumption of more protein will result in increased weight of an individual since protein is a body building food. To lose weight intentionally will require you to considerably drop the amount of proteins consumed. It is therefore recommended for obese people and people with a desire to reduce their weights within a short period of time.
Best low protein foods to add to your diet
Generally, proteins are recommended for body building and healthy living. Most of the foods in this category include plant and animal based proteins. Since this article is intended at focusing on weight loss then it means we are looking for healthy foods which are low in proteins.
Your best bet for this are grains, vegetables and fruits. This is not to say that you cannot add plant and animal based proteins to your meals, they should only be reduced considerably. You may also consider adding more healthy fats to your diet to help make up for the calories lost to low protein diets.