High/Increased Protein Diet

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for healthy adults suggests that adults consume at least 0.36gm of protein for each pound of body weight (or 0.80gm per kilogram). This means an adult weighing 154 pounds should consume 56gm of protein each day (0.36gm per pound multiplied by 154 pounds equals 56gm of protein). It is important to emphasize that children, athletes, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases require different amounts of dietary protein.

There are many doctors recommending low carbohydrate, high protein / oil diets with research and a strong track record to back their claims. Popular diets include the Atkins, Protein Power, The Zone and Schwarzbein diet, with a growing list of others. Any one of the resources available on this subject, like the ones mentioned, will provide what you need to know about starting a high protein diet, and convince you of it’s benefits.

Dietary protein is found in most foods and is the primary source of amino acids for the body. Foods containing significant amounts of protein include but are not limited to nuts, grain, beans, beef, chicken, fish, pork, dairy and eggs. Protein can also be found in vegetables and fruit, but to a much lesser extent and less complete in amino acid profile.

For men: Lean protein increases the production of growth hormones, which tell your body to make muscle and stimulate testosterone. It also moderates the production of fat-producing insulin.

Making Good Choices: Variety is Key!

Not all protein-containing foods are alike: each protein source has a different combination of amino acids. Some foods may contain high amounts of essential amino acids while other foods may be low. Foods that have greater amounts of essential and non-essential amino acids are considered “high quality” protein sources; those with lesser amounts of essential and non-essential amino acids are considered “low quality”. Examples of high-quality proteins include eggs, beef, fish, and milk. Low-quality protein sources include beans, potatoes and whole wheat bread. Although plant sources of protein are in general not as rich in the amount or variety of amino acids as animal sources, sensible vegan and vegetarian diets will provide more than enough. No food has all the elements you need, so by eating both high- and low-quality sources of protein, you make up for the shortage of amino acids in the one food with an abundance of amino acids in the other.

At one time, nutritionists enthusiastically recommended that people eat “complimentary” foods at each meal. That is, they suggested eating a high-quality protein, such as tuna, together with a low-quality protein, such as whole wheat bread, at each meal. (Vegetarian examples would have been baked beans on toast or lentils and rice.) We now know that such assiduous food combining is not necessary. As long as the body gets both high- and low-quality proteins in a day, it can combine and use the amino acids themselvesf.

All foods have other nutrients in addition to protein, of course. Some also have qualities that are potentially harmful. Soy, for example, has ample protein, can provide fiber, and contains isoflavones, which help to protect against certain types of cancer and heart disease. Other beneficial sources of protein include: fish (essential fatty acids), eggs (essential fatty acids), beans (fiber), whole grains (fiber, vitamins, minerals).

Bacon and salami contain protein, but their processing saddles them with potential carcinogens. Obviously, it doesn’t pay simply to look at the raw numbers and choose the food with the most protein. Other considerations must go into the mix.

If a person has a negative metabolic score, increasing both fat and protein in the their diet may help them lose weight. The underlying reason this may work is because of a hormone called leptin. “Normally leptin, secreted acutely in response to a meal or chronically in response to increasing fat stores, in a leptin-sensitive individual, will reduce hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage.

However, when one is leptin-resistant – as indicated by an elevation in fasting serum leptin – the part of leptin’s message that would normally reduce hunger and fat stores and increase fat burning does not get through to the brain (here mimicking low leptin), so one stays hungry and stores more fat, rather than burning it. However, the message to increase sympathetic nervous system activity gets through all too loudly and clearly, so one stays hungry, continues to get fat, and gets elevated sugar, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, heart disease and accelerated aging.

When one becomes more leptin-sensitive after following the program outlined in The Rosedale Diet, as indicated by a lower fasting leptin, all of a sudden your brain is able to hear leptin’s messages much more clearly, and the now louder and more accurate message to your appetite control center and other parts of your hypothalamus to reduce hunger and get rid of some (lots of) stored fat gets heard. Now, your brain finally realizes that you have stored far too much fat, it is a danger to your well-being and the brain had better do something about it.

The lower leptin reduces the volume that your sympathetic nervous system hears. The hormone is making less “noise,” but instead is allowing the orchestra to play the fine music that was originally written.”

High/Increased Protein Diet can help with the following


Parkinson's Disease / Risk

The timing of protein intake can markedly increase the effectiveness of l-dopa and thereby lead to reduced dosage requirements. Researchers now recommend that protein intake be kept as low as possible and that protein be included primarily in the evening meal.



Emergency Care  

Upcoming Surgical Procedure

Making sure that your protein consumption has been adequate before and after surgery can hasten recovery. Some people even use supplemental amino acids just to be sure.

Environment / Toxicity  

Heavy Metal Toxicity

In heavy metals poisoning there is a dramatic elevation in Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity. Increases in PLA2 activity result in premature uncoupling of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) from phospholipids in the cell membrane. Accelerated loss of EFA promotes inflammation which results from the promiscuous release of AA in the presence of an overexpression of PLA2. Carbohydrate consumption, as one of the most profound stimulators of PLA2, must be restricted to control the insulin response and the subsequent loss of EFAs.


Mercury Toxicity / Amalgam Illness

See the link between Heavy Metal Toxicity and Increased / High Protein Diet. A low carbohydrate diet is recommended.


General Detoxification Requirement

See the link between Heavy Metal Toxicity and Increased / High Protein Diet. A low carbohydrate diet is recommended.


Elevated Insulin Levels

Carbohydrates such as simple sugars, grains and starchy vegetables should be avoided as they stimulate insulin secretion. They should be replaced with higher protein containing foods and non starchy vegetables.




Yeast / Candida

A low carbohydrate diet, especially sugars avoidance and reduced grains, is foundational for treating yeast overgrowth. There are many anti candida diet examples available on the Internet.


Chronic Inflammation

It is important to avoid overconsumption of foods high in arachidonic acid such as beef, egg yolk, and dairy products. The enzymes cyclooxgenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) degrade arachidonic acid into inflammatory-inducing prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4.

Lab Values  

Elevated Triglycerides

Virtually every study in which the carbohydrate intake was low enough to convert the body’s primary fuel from glucose to stored fat has shown a drop in total cholesterol and improvements in risk ratios of total cholesterol to HDL, with a dramatic decrease in triglycerides.


Elevated Total Cholesterol

Avoiding carbohydrates, especially those of the high glycemic index type, can improve total, LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. The Atkin’s diet, among others, accomplishes this by avoiding them.



A diet consisting of higher protein and fat with less refined carbohydrates is a standard recommendation for those with hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemics may find it helpful to start with 100gm of protein or more per day. With increased protein consumption, protein digesting enzymes may need to be supplemented. Hydrochloric acid, which is usually produced by the stomach for the breakdown of food (especially protein) may be needed also.

Grams of carbohydrate can be counted, limiting them to a maximum of 100gm per day. Some persons feel better on 60-100gm of carbohydrates, adjusting up or downward depending on size and degree of physical labor (More if larger and very active). Eating less than 60gm per day may aggravate a return to undesirable symptoms.


Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X)

Researchers compared the effect of whey versus lean ham and lactose on 14 diabetics after they ate high-glycemic-index breakfasts (white bread) and lunches (mashed potatoes and meatballs) on separate days.The goal was to evaluate whether supplementation of meals with a high glycemic index with whey protein increased insulin secretion and improved postprandial blood glucose in type 2 diabetic patients.

Results showed:

– Insulin responses were higher after eating breakfast (31 percent) and lunch (57 percent) supplemented with whey than when whey was not included.

– No significant differences in blood glucose were found after eating breakfast; however, after lunch the blood glucose response of patients who ate whey dropped by more than 20%.

Based on these findings, it can be concluded that adding whey to meals with rapidly digested and absorbed carbohydrates spurs insulin release and reduces blood glucose digression in type 2 diabetics. Such results may turn whey into the 21st century’s protein of choice. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2005;82(1):69-75]



Problem Caused By Being Overweight

An excellent book to read on the benefits gained from an adequate (not high) protein diet is “Protein Power The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health-in Just Weeks!” by Michael and Mary Eades. Their more recent book Protein Power LifePlan, is good, also outlining an effective program to achieve weight loss.

More and more researchers are citing insulin as the main culprit in weight gain and expound the benefits of a diet low in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates – especially rapidly-absorbed simple carbohydrates (sugars) – stimulate the body to store fat, thus making weight loss difficult. Researchers have found that eating larger portions of protein in conjunction with severely reduced portions of carbohydrates causes people to burn the excess fat stored in their bodies. High glycemic index foods are linked to overeating and obesity. A sample list of these foods can be found on our web site.

A University of Illinois study indicates that exercise is more effective when coupled with a high-protein diet. A diet higher in carbohydrates based on the USDA food guide pyramid, on the other hand, reduced the effectiveness of exercise.

Forty-eight women, divided into two groups, participated in this four-month study. One group substituted protein-rich foods, like meats, dairy, eggs, and nuts, for carbohydrate-laden foods like as breads, rice, cereal, pasta, and potatoes.

Both groups were required to exercise at various levels of exertion. The protein-rich, high-exercise group lost the most weight, and nearly 100% of the weight loss was fat. In the high-carbohydrate, high-exercise group, 25 to 30% of the weight lost was muscle.

This protein-rich diet seems very effective for people who have Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X), a combination of high triglyceride levels and excess weight in their midsections. The protein-rich diet works well because it contains high levels of the amino acid leucine, which works with insulin to helps stimulate protein synthesis in muscle. [Journal of Nutrition August 2005; 135 (8): 1903-1910]


Anorexia / Starvation Tendency

Protein supplements at 1 to 3 servings per day will help ensure sufficient amino acids and help prevent wasting.


Nephrotic Syndrome (NS)

In NS, one gram of protein in the diet daily for every kilogram of body weight is considered sufficient, but may be varied by the doctor based upon need.




Osteoporosis / Risk

After looking at 34 published studies in 16 countries, researchers at Yale University found that countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis including the United States, Sweden, and Finland are those in which people consume the most meat, milk, and other animal foods. They also found that African Americans, who consume on average more than 1,000mg of calcium per day, are nine times more likely to experience hip fractures than are South African blacks, whose daily calcium intake is only 196mg. On a nation-by-nation basis, people who consume the most calcium have the weakest bones and the highest rates of osteoporosis. Only in those places where calcium and protein are eaten in relatively high quantities does a deficiency of bone calcium exist, due to an excess of animal protein. The association between the intake of animal protein

and fracture rates appears to be as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

HOWEVER, it was found that although protein intake in the presence of a low-calcium diet may increase net calcium spill in the urine and aggravate bone loss, adequate protein (average 80gm per day from all sources) and calcium intake (along with vitamin D) taken together act synergistically to reduce bone loss and have improved hip fracture healing and lessened the recurrence of hip fracture. [Am J Clin Nutr, 2002; 75:pp. 609-610, 773-779]

So if you have osteoporosis and prefer a higher protein diet, just make sure you are getting enough or the right kind of calcium and vitamin D.


Organ Health  

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Researchers from England state that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may only worsen by eating a diet that

contains an overabundance of high-carbohydrate foods. The results suggest that even small changes in the constitution of meals, especially in terms of less carbohydrate, may have significant effects on exercise tolerance and breathlessness amongst patients with COPD. [Diets Rich in Carbohydrates Worsens COPD, Medical Tribune, July 23, 1992; p.17]


Kidney Failure

You may need to have less protein in your diet to prevent further damage to your kidneys. With the right diet you can reduce the work your kidneys must do.


Cirrhosis of the Liver

Protein consumption tends to cause toxins to form in the digestive tract, so eating less protein will help decrease the buildup of toxins in the blood which must be processed by the liver..


Diabetes Type II

A vegetarian type diet, low in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, is recommended for those with diabetes.

Tumors, Benign  

Tumors, Malignant  

Carcinoid Cancer

A high protein diet is often recommended. An adequate intake of the amino acid tryptophan, along with niacin, can prevent the tendency towards pellagra, which may otherwise occur from the excessive use of tryptophan by carcinoid tumors.


Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues

Adequate protein intake can prevent preeclampsia, and a higher protein diet can often successfully reverse preeclampsia.



May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences
Reasonably likely to cause problems



Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins or other nutrients as determined by the FDA. U.S. RDAs are more widely used than RDAs, and focus on 3 age groups: Infants of 0-12 months; Children of 1-4 years; Adults and children of more than 4 years.


(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.


Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.


454 grams, or about half a kilogram.


1000 grams, 2.2lbs.


Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.


The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.

Amino Acid

An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.


Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.


The principal male sex hormone that induces and maintains the changes that take place in males at puberty. In men, the testicles continue to produce testosterone throughout life, though there is some decline with age. A naturally occurring androgenic hormone.


A hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood for use or storage.


Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Essential Fatty Acid

(EFA): A substance that the human body cannot manufacture and therefore must be supplied in the diet.

Fatty Acids

Chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that are part of a fat (lipid) and are the major component of triglycerides. Depending on the number and arrangement of these atoms, fatty acids are classified as either saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. They are nutritional substances found in nature which include cholesterol, prostaglandins, and stearic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentanoic (EPA), and decohexanoic acids. Important nutritional lipids include lecithin, choline, gamma-linoleic acid, and inositol.


Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.


The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.


The cell-free fluid of the bloodstream. It appears in a test tube after the blood clots and is often used in expressions relating to the levels of certain compounds in the blood stream.

Sympathetic Nervous

Sympathetic nervous system: Portion of the autonomic nervous system that is generally associated with “flight or fight” reactions by increasing blood circulation and respiration and decreasing digestion.


An important supervisory center in the brain regulating many body functions. Despite its importance in maintaining homeostasis, the hypothalamus in humans accounts for only 1/300 of total brain weight, and is about the size of an almond.

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