Low Carb High Protein Diet

     The low carb high protein diet is still very popular it seems in spite of the fact that the majority of the medical and scientific community advise that it is an extremely unhealthy diet.     

      This has created a lot of controversy because there are many people promoting these diets including a well known doctor.   

      In addition to these diets not being balanced and healthy, there’s another very serious drawback for someone who wants to lose weight.    There is nothing in these plans that prepares a person for a lifetime of fat loss!    In other words, you are NOT making the necessary changes in your lifestyle by adopting eating patterns that will promote your health and weight loss permanently.

      The problem on a low carb high protein diet is in order to get the immediate weight loss, you have to push your body into what is called a ketogenic state. The first phase of some low carb high protein diets is to eat very restricted carbs.

     Some low carb advocates have stated that this is “taking advantage” of ketosis to hasten weight loss even though ketosis means there are excessive ketones (the body’s starvation fuel) in the body.

     Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism. When muscle mass and body fat are broken down too rapidly as a result of carbohydrate deprivation the body is not efficient at removing the ketones and there are many serious health risks when this happens.

     Some of the adverse affects that can happen are muscle breakdown, nausea, dehydration, headaches, light headedness, constipation, irritability and kidney problems.   Other side affects are halitosis, reduced metabolism (BMR,) and loss of lean muscle.   Much of the damage caused by ketosis may not be known for years until there is irreversible kidney damage.    Blood tests that monitor kidney function do not detect serious problems until more than 80% of the kidney function is gone.

     Certainly, doctors who promote the low carb high protein diet say they monitor the ketones in the body but why take such serious risks when it’s not necessary?   And is it possible that damage is done to the body even within what they consider to be a safe range of ketones?

     The other issue with these low carb high protein diets is that this is the diet that encourages the yo yo dieting affect.    It actually supports the fat cells by increasing fat storage when the deprivation period is over.

     These fat storing low carb high protein diets then are the major reason that those who attempt these diets end up on an endless cycle of dieting and losing weight and then gaining it all back.

     The low carb high protein diet is the epitome of the diet that doesn’t work for the long term because the biochemistry is working against you and because by it’s nature it is a temporary diet.    Eating so few carbohydrates is contra-indicated by nutrition science.   The relationship between diet and disease is well researched and documented.

     Diets that are low in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are linked to higher rates of breast cancer, cervical cancer and colon cancer.   

     Cancer researchers say that 2/3 of our diets need to be plant based. A low carb high protein diet should not be continued lifelong because it is not a healthy diet.

The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society recommend food plans that contain 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein (55 grams for men and 45 for women) and 30% fat.   The majority of the carbs should be low glycemic carbs.

Do Low Carb High Protein Diets Ever Work?

     When the low carb high protein diet forces the body to burn stored fats for energy, weight loss results.    The reason people appear to lose weight quickly is because the weight loss is actually a loss of water because glycogen is stored with 3 times its own weight in water.   There is also evidence that once the water goes, lean muscle is next.    Once the dieter resumes a normal, balanced diet, both water and weight return!   

      It was never lasting fat loss.    Does this sound familiar?    The metabolic yo yo affect makes it much harder for the dieter to lose weight in the future. You may lose scale weight initially but it is hard to see how this can be sustained.

     Some doctors argue that because Inuits (Eskimos) and primitive man were primarily meat eaters that the body can withstand some ketosis. However, in modern cultures the human body has been predisposed genetically over thousands of years to also eat plants, grains, and legumes. Evolutionary adaptation to metabolize glucose from carbohydrates is firmly entrenched. The Inuits are an exception and they are an excellent example of a culture that is genetically predisposed to eat a ketogenic diet because of their environment.

What About Low Glycemic Carbs and the Low Glycemic Plan?

     What makes the low glycemic way of eating so completely different from the low carb high protein diet is that it is healthy and balanced and an easier and far safer way of eating.   Plenty of carbs are eaten but they have a glycemic index lower than 50.   This is the safe and healthy way to lose fat permanently!

     Effective healthy weight management practices give the body what it needs nutritionally which means at least half of the calories are low glycemic carbs.

      It is carbohydrates that give us energy and vital phytochemicals.    We need the phytochemicals from food; supplementation with psyllium fiber and vitamins will not make up for the destructive nature of the low carb high protein diet.

      The low glycemic way of eating is to consume enough carbs for good health but to eat the low glycemic ones so a person’s blood sugar is stabilized.


      Dr. James Kenney, PhD, RD, FACN is one of the foremost leading researchers and specialists in the field of Human Nutrition and Longevity.   Dr. Kenney is Board Certified as a Specialist in Human Nutrition by the American Board of Nutrition, and is on the Board of Directors for the National Council for Reliable Health Information.

     According to Dr. Kenney, "The latest low-carbohydrate diets are not the fuel mix the human body was designed to run on." He has determined that there are at least 10 serious health risks that are associated with the high protein low carb diet which are as follows:

Increased Cancer Risk - There is a higher risk of many cancers when fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are eliminated from the diet.

Increased Heart Disease Risk - There is increased risk of heart disease on a low carb diet that is high in animal protein, cholesterol and saturated fat.

Poor Long Term Weight Control- One recent study showed that high protein meals lead to a greater tendency toward binging later in the day on foods high in sugar and fat. This may be because a glycemic load is created when too much meat is eaten at one time.

Reduced Athletic Performance - It has been known since the 1930's that a high carbohydrate diet enhances endurance during strenuous athletic events. A ketogenic diet greatly increases the risk of mountain sickness.

Elevated Blood Pressure - Increases with age on a typical low carb diet.

Gout - An excess of uric acid in the body causes gout. Meat is high in purines which is broken down into uric acid in the body.

Kidney Stones - Uric acid and calciuym oxalate stones are more likely to form on a high protein, ketogenic diet than on a higher carb diet with more fruits and vegetables.

Osteoporosis - Over time, excess intake of proteins from animal foods, increases the loss of calcium in the urine which may contribute to osteoporosis.


     For information about a healthy diet for permanent weight loss read the articles below!



Healthy Diet and Weight Loss Programs

This is the one that helps you to change your habits and your lifestyle and lose fat permanently!

Low Fat High Protein Diet

Believe it or not, fats are not the problem!

Jenny Craig Meals Comparison

What about these shelf stable, highly processed meals...do they lead to permanent fat loss?

Nutrisystems Meals Comparison

Compare these meals to fresh and easy low glycemic meals.




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