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How much protein is too much protein?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 01, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Possible Duplicate:
Eggs- How many is too many?

Should I eat less than 70g red meat to prevent bowel cancer?

Protein and Kidneys

All questions about carbs

Hey Guys,

I'm considering doing paleo. I'm currently eating protein only around 2 times a week, and a bunch of carbs every day. I understand that all the carbs I'm eating are bad, but I feel like eating as much protein as most people on paleo appear to take in can't be healthy, can it?

I haven't done research on this, but isn't too much protein linked to liver problems, cholesterol problems? Isn't too much red meat linked to cancer?

I'm not saying protein is unhealthy per se, but I'd like to discuss a bit more, whether there is such a thing as too much protein - because I'm not seeing anyone talk about that in the community. For example the idea of eating 50 grams of protein in the morning - that's like 4 eggs for breakfast alone, and I'm fairly certain that I've read that more than one egg per day is unhealthy. Plus, I'm assuming people add meat to that later in the day?

E.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2011
at 07:55 AM

I can not say. Those are some relevant quotes, I still look into it. Interestingly, it goes along with food combining theory (not mixing protein and carbs).

50ebeeef39261e51e84324530ab95956

(110)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:15 AM

Yes, I can't refute your criticism. My question is unscientific. But thanks for untangling it, that gives me a starting point.

50ebeeef39261e51e84324530ab95956

(110)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:13 AM

I'm not convinced. Body builders are not known for their great health! At least not in the long-run.

50ebeeef39261e51e84324530ab95956

(110)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:12 AM

Amazing, thank you! So the fact that glucose inhibits our adaptation, may indicate that a high-protein diet is only - or especially - problematic, when consuming too much glucose (on SAD).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:31 PM

Yes, I especially like the "all questions about carbs" search link.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 01, 2011
at 05:54 PM

nice edit. every question like this should get that greybox with dups in there.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Thanks for a great response, Melissa. There needs to be a basic competence level in questions on this site, or serious readers will stop coming. Hopefully you just contributed to necessary standards in your answer.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Typical paleo protein range is 15%-30% of calories, with most of us doing 20-25%. A little bit more than typical USDA/AMA advice, but not way out of line. the big issue you will HAVE to wrap your head around is eating more fat (a lot more), especially saturated animal fat. Check out some of the sources below for the facts on why saturated fat is actually pretty healthy (if you source good quality).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Hey, I like your precision.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 01, 2011
at 03:11 PM

I think you mean kidney problems, not liver problems

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5 Answers

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 01, 2011
at 03:17 PM

The problem with this question is that it's several questions.

  • Is eating too many eggs bad?
  • Does eating a high-protein diet lead to high cholesterol?
  • Does red meat lead to cancer?
  • Can you get too much protein?
  • Are carbs bad?

Most of these questions have been asked before on this site and you can find them by using our search box. Paleo can also be high-protein or low-protein, depending on what calorie choices you make. I get the impression you are confusing protein with animal products, which is confusing to us because there are some animal products that are low-protein and many of your questions don't have anything to do with protein. Conventional nutrition science doesn't believe the red meat cancer (heme iron) or the egg issue (cholesterol) has anything to do with protein. I would note that even the American Heart Association no longer believes eating more than one egg a day is bad.

Edit: FYI I added the duplicate questions to the main questions. I think perhaps you should check out a paleo book rather than asking paleohacks to give you the 101. This site is more about specific single questions rather than "tell me about paleo." Check out Mark Sisson's books or Robb Wolf's book.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Thanks for a great response, Melissa. There needs to be a basic competence level in questions on this site, or serious readers will stop coming. Hopefully you just contributed to necessary standards in your answer.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Hey, I like your precision.

50ebeeef39261e51e84324530ab95956

(110)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:15 AM

Yes, I can't refute your criticism. My question is unscientific. But thanks for untangling it, that gives me a starting point.

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 01, 2011
at 02:31 PM

I understand that all the carbs I'm eating are bad

Not all carbs are bad. All refined carbs are bad. Starch is not that bad if you have high activity and you are young. There are also some beneficial substances that come exclusively with carbs like policosanol and there might be some that are not detected yet. This is not to say carbs per se are good, but they might come with good friends.

I feel like eating as much protein as most people on paleo appear to take in can't be healthy

I started to look everything related to this and it looks like it isn't unhealthy for people with healthy kidney. I am still in the middle of research and do not have formed opinion yet, but so far, it looks like protein toxicity is myth. On low carb high protein diet body upregulates enzymes of urea cycle:

Omnivorous, or generalist species, consume a variety of plant and animal foods that frequently change in relative proportion. These species possess the digestive and metabolic plasticity to adapt to a wide variation in dietary macronutrient proportions (1,2). For example, omnivorous species such as chickens, Japanese quail, rats, pigs and humans are capable of up- or down-regulating enzymes for amino acid catabolism and are able to utilize diets with either a very low or very high protein content (3???7) .... Analogous to the poor metabolic adaptations by faunivores, it might be expected that carbohydrate specialists would have a poor capacity to adapt to high protein diets

Glucose prevents adaptation:

The reduction in urea synthesis by glucose, i.e. its nitrogen sparing effect, is accomplished by two different mechanisms: A hepatic component (reduction of the hepatic nitrogen clearance) and a peripheral component (reduced substrate availability mediated by the insulin response).

and glucagon enhace it

the hyperglucagonaemia may be a compensatory mechanism by which the cirrhotic liver to some extent reestablishes its capacity to produce urea.

The potential issues concentrate around kidney and liver.

On the blogspace, some folks think that excess protein is toxic, like Jaminet or Carbsane and some that its a myth like Eades or Sisson.

On related note, I don't think that protein powders are healthy on the long run. They are good to replace nutrient deficiencies in specific situations. The reason is industrial pollution and high temperatures used which denature proteins and thus some of the biological roles of peptides that we got via digestion might be lost [this part is uncertain tho, its my opinion that it might happen].

50ebeeef39261e51e84324530ab95956

(110)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:12 AM

Amazing, thank you! So the fact that glucose inhibits our adaptation, may indicate that a high-protein diet is only - or especially - problematic, when consuming too much glucose (on SAD).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2011
at 07:55 AM

I can not say. Those are some relevant quotes, I still look into it. Interestingly, it goes along with food combining theory (not mixing protein and carbs).

3
6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:10 PM

The short answer is that protein is good for you, and you should likely be eating much more of it. It is healthy and won't cause the problems you've mentioned. For a longer answer, I'd recommend picking up a couple of Protein Power Lifeplan, and very paleo-friendly book.

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:36 PM

I eat 4 eggs and one lb / meat per day.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on November 01, 2011
at 02:59 PM

If eating "too much protein" were bad, Arnold Schwarzzeneggar and other body builders would be dead by now. They ate SUBSTANTIALLY more than 50grams of protein per day. Same with other non-bodybuilder types.

50ebeeef39261e51e84324530ab95956

(110)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:13 AM

I'm not convinced. Body builders are not known for their great health! At least not in the long-run.

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