You must have already heard that eating too much of anything is injurious to health. Same goes with protein! Our body requires daily protein consumption to function properly. However, eating too much protein can have adverse effects on your health.
Protein is one of three micronutrients, along with fats and carbohydrates. That means, protein is necessary but with all other nutrients in your diet. While each one is important, most people follow a high-protein diet because it is essential for sustaining and increasing muscle mass but to do so they make the mistake of avoiding other nutrients, which increases the risk of protein overconsumption, especially a diet which doesn’t include fat and carbohydrates.
According to the Dietary Reference Intake report for micronutrients, it is recommended to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound regularly. And we should all stick to that amount only because consuming too much protein can negatively impact your health.
Dr Bela Sharma, Additional Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram helps HealthShots to understand all the symptoms of overconsumption of protein.
Consuming too much protein isn’t a problem for most people but if you consistently overdo it for a longer period of time, it can eventually lead to dehydration. This happens because when your body consumes excess protein, your kidney has to work harder to remove the excess amount of it and the nitrogen waste from the body through the urine. This increases your visit to the bathroom which ultimately raises the risk of dehydration.
Consuming excess protein for a prolonged period of time can overload your liver, disturbing its function.
Yes, a high protein diet helps in weight loss, but these results may only be for a short term, especially if you’re consuming excess protein. When you consume more protein than your body can use or is required, it will be stored as fat. For weight loss, include lean protein along with carbohydrates and other nutrients.
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A high protein diet means a low fiber and low carbs diet which can easily lead to digestive issues ranging from constipation, nausea and diarrhea etc. Along with that, you may also experience cramping and bloating.
The major side effects of overconsumption of protein is a negative impact on the kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation notes that overconsumption of protein indicates possible kidney disease and failure. Fatigue, sleep trouble, frequent urination, poor appetite, muscle cramps, swelling in legs and ankles are some of the signs of kidney problems.
If you consistently have a bad breath, it is a sign that you are consuming excess protein. This happens because in order to promote protein intake, you limit the intake of carbs. This shortage of carbs forces the body to make energy from other sources which lead to the production of chemicals that may give an unpleasant smell.
A study from researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that people who consumed a high-protein diet increased their risk of developing heart failure by 33 percent.
So be careful and don’t overeat protein!