Is protein restriction sensible? If so, how would you implement it?
Nora Gedgaudus, while being interviewed by Nico de Haan in her "Primal Body Primal Mind" podcast on 4/29/2011 http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/blog/?page_id=1006, said you should reduce protein because "cellular cycles" might mutate your DNAs upon exposure to environmental toxins. You could then become susceptible to cancer. The specific metabolic pathway she cited is "mTor", which supposedly acts as our body's protein sensor.
Let's assume what she's saying is valid. Nora recommends multiplying your weight in kg by 0.8 to calculate the requisite protein amount. So if you weigh 200lbs. (91kg), then it's 73g. If you're 160lbs. (73kg), then 58g.
Now, these seem very low. I've checked my log and rarely if ever did I go below 100g. Then I looked at the foods with heavy protein content: if you eat redmeat, fish, pork, and eggs 2 out of 3 meals, there is no way you can stay below 100g.
At first, I thought she made sense because I assumed lots of sausages, cured meats, bacon, etc. have most of their calories in protein, not fat, to appease the general public worried about cholesterol and fat consumption. But that doesn't seem to be the case. The only way you can abide by her recommendations is caloric restriction and increasing your consumption of fatty oils like EVOO and coconut oil -- i.e., pure fats.
What do people think? I know that the Eades recommend eating roughly the amount of your lean body mass (body weight minus body fat). The Jaminets in the PHD recommend getting 200-600 calories per day from protein, equivalent to 50g-150g on a 2,000 calorie diet (but this depends on carb consumption). Nora apparently is recommending a ketogenic diet, which is not a surprise.
But even on a ketogenic diet, is restricting protein to these low levels sensible? Well, never mind sensible. Let's assume it is. How would you even implement it?
I also often hear Robb Wolf say "increase your fat" when people are constipated. It's very glib. But how would you implement this eating whole foods? What foods are there other than oils that have minimal protein?
asked byNamby_Pamby (5152)
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on November 28, 2011
at 11:03 PM
A good way of implementing protein restriction is probably a protein cycling diet, eat low protein one day and eat more on alternate days.
We know from Calorie Restriction and Alternate day fasting, that alternate day fasting while keeping calories the same as caloric restriction extends lifespan in animals(That is basically eat slightly more than normal one day and nothing on alternate days yields benefits. ).
Doing the same but limiting only proteins on alternate days should probably provide the benefits of protein restriction.
A good way to get calories would be macadamia nuts, which are the highest source of monounsaturated fat. Very pure Dark chocolate also is very low on protein. Add some high fiber vegetables, and keep calories low and you could probably achieve 20-25~g of protein on alternate days. You could then get 75-100g protein on a high calorie diet the next day and the overall average would be 50-62.5g.
on May 19, 2011
at 12:33 AM
A ketogenic diet demonstrably inhibits mTor, and promotes autophagy, which can reduce cancer risk and other ageing processes. I can find evidence that protein restriction, especially methionine restriction, can reduce mitochondrial ROS damage, but not direct evidence that it affects mTor. (Any primary source leads appreciated). Chronic protein restriction leads to a variety of health problems. I consider it a dangerous red herring.
on May 16, 2011
at 08:15 AM
Well, the whole thing about 'excessive protein causes cancer' bugs me. I've done enough reading to see that protein is the least of my issues. It's more grains + sugar = cancer in my mind.
I like what Robb Wolf recommends in his podcasts when talking about amount of protein. 1g per pound of bodyweight. So if you weight 200 lbs you need to eat 200 grams of protein.
From what I understand, this recommendation comes from Poliquin and his biosignature stuff. I've heard Wolf keep on recommending it in multiple podcasts, and talk about his high level of success, even in obese people. The goal is to fix any deficiencies the body has, get the metabolic process started properly, and modify from there.
Getting back on track, if (not that I agree) I had to implement something that you're suggesting, it'd have to be a higher carb/fat ratio. I'd eat a ton of pastured lard, butter, heavy whipping cream, coconut oil, and avocados.
I would rather eat a ton of protein + fat + carbs to satiety. I don't bother with calorie restriction, I think the whole idea is ridiculous after reading Taube's work. As far as her suggested diet of low protein, I know that a low protein/low carb diet would also make me want to commit suicide. I love fat, but I'm in the midst of fixing some metabolic issues, and I know that I don't do low carb well, and I need a higher level of protein for satiety.
on May 19, 2011
at 01:54 AM
Sensible for me would be: as much as I want.
These arguments for protein restriction are still speculative for humans. Where are the long term studies on humans? There isn't any more research supporting protein restriction for extending lifespan in humans than there is over calorie restriction. So we don't really know an answer to how effective protein restriction will be. What we can determine is what diet is actually effective in controlling body fat/weight, improves our health parameters over the short-term (HDL/LDL, hormones), and helps exercise performance. If a high-protein diet is what does it for you, then so be it.
Someone else with a new book and methodology to sell, what's new...
on May 17, 2011
at 01:26 PM
I wouldn't recommend too high a protein diet simply because surplus protein/ amino acids are very easily and quickly turned into glucose, GNG. Wasteful IMO.
on May 16, 2011
at 11:49 PM
I bought her book, and aside from it being organized/edited in the most ADD manner that I have ever seen, I really find myself disagreeing with her main premises. One could argue that VLC is in stark contrast with our evolutionary history, but even if you allow for that, then you end up with a meat-heavy diet obviously. You can't then say that we're not supposed to eat meat. Who are these Pleistocene hunters who are killing massive numbers of animals, eating only the fat and discarding the rest? I've never seen a shred of evidence pointing to that.
Digestion of a particular thing may result in relatively toxic byproducts that must be excreted, but that doesn't then mean that that particular thing must be avoided. Paul Jaminet has a far more rational approach to protein consumption limits: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2712
I guess I'd be less offended if she weren't putting forth her theories under the guise of paleo/primal since it's very clearly unhinged from it.
on May 16, 2011
at 06:13 PM
How much can/should be consumed (1)per time, (2) per day that can be assimilated/digested for optimal performance? ie. what are the limits? I asked this question yesterday and noone answered?!