No, no – not more protein – yet again?
I thought high protein low carb diets went out – well, 30 years ago. That’s the last time I heard of anyone following one.
A friend at university aged, 19/20, decided he had got rather portly aka a fat guts.
So he ate meat, meat, and nothing but meat. To be fair his weight loss diet worked and the fat guts disappeared. No idea whether he sustained it because we lost touch.
Now the other day, I met someone in the street who started telling me about her diet. Apparently, someone gives free advice, measures and weighs people and tells them what to eat.
Yes, lots of chicken, fish, and eggs. Apparently the meat has gone out of the equation. Carbs (ie the starch carbs) are not good, although pasta is allowed (uh?). A stir fry does not involve either rice or noodles, just veg and chicken.
Meanwhile, she explained, showing me the fruit yoghurts she had bought (um, they will be the non-fattening variety no doubt with fruit, sugar, and whole milk?) that what was important was checking the carbohydrates on labels, rather than fat content. Much better to get the chocolate bar with 51 grams rather than 63 grams.
Much better not to a) eat fruited sugared dairy yoghurts and, b) chocolate bars.
I probably grew up on a high protein low carb diet (pretty paleo as I’ve said earlier). But I’m in my 50s, do not have a fat guts, (or fat anything else), and have an extremely low BMI.
What is important in eating and nutrition is ensuring the balance is correct. Doesn’t everyone know that the western diet is far too high in protein, particularly meat and dairy-based protein, too much of which carry other health risks? We need the vitamins, the minerals, as well as the amino acids that constitute protein.
Western people have little to no danger of protein shortage. We need very little protein to survive daily, unless we are world class athletes or pregnant/lactating women.
So I was genuinely horrified to discover that people were being advised to lose weight through a high protein diet, disregarding carbs, and still buying chocolate and yoghurt.
Far better advice would have been to whack up the veg/salad component of any diet, increase the legumes, and keep the meat/fish/chicken component low.
Any diet should be looking at overall health and not just weight loss.
But basically, if you eat junk food, sugary products, too much dairy, and even too much meat, you will actually get fat. If you want to lose weight or maintain a low weight you should focus on vegetables, salads, and follow a largely vegetarian diet. The need for lots of protein is a myth. And cut out the junk food. Read labels for content. If it says sugar, PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF.
As for carbs, I build my main meal of the day around them. These are the complex carbs such as pasta, potatoes, rice.
To all my non-veg readers (I think that’s virtually all of you), enjoy your steak, fish chicken whatever, but don’t be misled into thinking you need 12 ozs of prime fillet a day. Most women need 40 odd grams of protein per day and men need an extra ten.
The formula is either 0.6 or 0.8 depending on what you read, times body weight, eg 55kg (my weight) times 0.6 = 33 grams of protein daily, 55 x 0.8 = 44 grams. Hardly a lot is it? You can get that in less than two ounces of cheese. Those days of meat, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy as essential foods are long gone.
A few interesting links that go into a little detail. They happened to be the first handful I came up with so a random mix.