7 Popular Protein Myths Totally Busted by Science

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7 Popular Protein Myths Totally Busted by Science

New diets are always trending, Keto, vegan, Nordic, etc. So, lets crack the myths now about wether protein is important in a diet or not.

MYTH 1: All Protein Sources Are the Same

The truth? Not all sources of protein are the same. There are 20 amino acids — some essential, some nonessential. Our bodies produce the 11 nonessential amino acids, so it doesn’t matter if we also get those from our diets or not. However, our bodies can’t make the nine essential amino acids, so we need to get them from our diet.

Protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids are considered “complete” proteins. These include meat, fish, dairy, eggs, soy, quinoa and hemp. Other “incomplete” proteins aren’t devoid of nutrition; they simply don’t provide all the amino acids you need. “If you eat a variety of incomplete proteins during the day, you should get all the amino acids that you need,” says Mike Roussell, Ph.D., author of “The MetaShred Diet.”

 

MYTH 2: High-Protein Diets Wreck Your Kidneys

One role of our kidneys is to filter the byproducts of protein metabolism and breakdown. But eating more protein won’t damage your kidneys if you’re healthy. In a 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients, 310 prediabetic men and women followed a specific plan to lose weight for a year. Researchers found that intakes of more than 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day (about double the recommended daily intake) was not associated with decreased kidney function.

And a 2000 study from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that consuming up to 2.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily (nearly four times the RDI of protein) caused no impairment of renal function. However, one very important exception to this is if you have kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about your protein consumption, as a high-protein diet may worsen your condition.

 

MYTH 3: Too Much Protein Will Give You Osteoporosis

There may be a tiny grain of truth to this myth, but it’s also misleading. According to a 2011 Swiss study, eating more than two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and also less than 600 milligrams of calcium daily may be detrimental for bone mass and strength. For a 150-pound (68-kilogram) person, that means consuming more than 136 grams of protein (about three chicken breasts) but less than 600 milligrams of calcium.

But if you watch your calcium intake, protein is actually good for bone health. “Not eating enough protein is a bigger problem with risk of osteoporosis, as inadequate protein intake has been shown in several population-based studies to be associated with decreased bone health,” says nutritionist Dr. Mike Roussell. Researchers believe protein may benefit our skeletons by boosting calcium absorption, stimulating the secretion of insulin-like growth factor 1 and enhancing the growth of lean body mass.

 

MYTH 4: Your Body Can’t Handle More Than 30 Grams of Protein a Meal

This myth comes from the fact that your body needs 30 grams of protein in order to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (the repairing of damaged proteins and building of new proteins). And while 30 grams per meal is optimal, according to Dr. Roussell, more doesn’t lead to additional benefits.

In a small study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers gave 17 healthy adults and 17 healthy elders either a four- or 12-ounce serving of beef. Then they took blood samples and thigh muscle biopsies to assess the subjects’ post-meal protein synthesis. In both age groups, the 12-ounce serving (about 90 grams of protein) caused the same increase in muscle protein synthesis as the four-ounce (30 grams) serving. It’s not that your body can’t handle extra protein — it just doesn’t need it.

 

MYTH 5: There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Protein

Although many experts agree that we should be eating more than the recommended daily protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight(0.36 grams per pound), you don’t want to go too far. “There is no good reason to eat more than 30 to 35 percent of your calories from protein,” nutritionist Mike Roussell says. (That’s more than one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.)

“Beyond that, you can give your body better sources of energy in the form of fat or carbs.” Plus, eating too much of any one macronutrient can lead to nutritional deficiencies, as you’ll have to cut back on other foods, such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains and healthy fats. This may cause you to fall short on fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals or other nutrients necessary for your body to function at its best.

Read on: 7 Popular Protein Myths Totally Busted by Science | LIVESTRONG.COM 

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