T Nation

Protein: GOOD & BAD?

I am sure a lot of health conscious bodybuilders and athletes firmly believe that a good dose of protein is needed to encourage muscle growth. I think I can safely say this is the norm according to advise and many contributions made by diet experts and doctors across the globe.

I try to consume at least 2-3 chicken breasts and a large piece of meat a day. My daily dose of protein powders will also contribute to my total daily intake, this on the other hand, does not pose a threat apparently.

Let’s consider the facts according to the “experts”.

The GOOD

Eating a little high protein food at each meal helps reduce the appetite plus the body uses energy to convert protein to carbohydrates, a process known as Gluconeogenesis.

Protein can be converted to fat (indirectly) and stored just like carbs however protein contains Nitrogen, an important chemical essential for the production of antibodies. The body prefers to hold onto Nitrogen thus protein is more likely to be converted to carbs rather than fat. These complex chemical reactions use up extra energy and help us burn more calories at rest!

The BAD
There are plenty of experts who aren’t crazy about these diets. The main concern is that you eat more high-fat foods–particularly foods that contain a lot of saturated fat (like whole milk, etc.). This is a problem because studies show that a diet high in fat increases our risk of:
heart disease
high cholesterol
liver and kidney damage
some cancers
osteoporosis
And what about the study that showed an increase in good cholesterol on the Atkins plan? The American College of Preventative Medicine isn’t impressed.
The American Heart Association is also concerned that individuals who eat a high protein diet are likely to consume too much red meat and too many whole fat dairy products. Meats and full fat dairy products contain an excessive amount of saturated fats.

“Many of the high protein diets advocate up to 40 percent of total calories from fat, which is a bad idea if an individual wants to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke,” says Howard. “The final decision about an effective weight loss program that also promotes good health is up to individuals and their physicians.”
When will anyone following a protein loaded diet be at risk when consuming a lot of meats?

I’m sorry, but this is silly. The “enemy” you speak of here is Saturated Fats, not Protein. The simple solution is to eat lean meats (which DO exist) or consume other protein sources. Not sure why they’d make it seem like Protein and Saturated Fats are a package deal. I consume 240+ grams of protein a day and with less than 8 grams of saturated fats, so clearly it’s possible.

You don’t truly believe “the man” when he tells you saturated fats are bad do you? Give me a break, for every study someone can show me that says don’t eat saturated fats, I can probably find one that says they can be consumed without worry. (Only fat I worry about is one that preceeds itself with the word “trans”.

Not looking for an argument, but this line of thinking just really frustrates me. Perhaps someone can explain to me how I managed to lower my cholesterol, lower my blood pressure, and improve my overall health in general when I moved, quite a few years ago, from a low fat, high carb diet, to a high fat, as in 50%, high protein, low carb diet?

[quote]Rotlex wrote:
You don’t truly believe “the man” when he tells you saturated fats are bad do you? Give me a break, for every study someone can show me that says don’t eat saturated fats, I can probably find one that says they can be consumed without worry. (Only fat I worry about is one that preceeds itself with the word “trans”.

Not looking for an argument, but this line of thinking just really frustrates me. Perhaps someone can explain to me how I managed to lower my cholesterol, lower my blood pressure, and improve my overall health in general when I moved, quite a few years ago, from a low fat, high carb diet, to a high fat, as in 50%, high protein, low carb diet?[/quote]

Thank you. I resisted the temptation to get into this at first. 10 years from now the world will be lamenting all the good healthy meals it skipped and all the meds they ate on the false premise that fat was the cause of all their ills.

There is plenty of evidence that dietary fat, even white gooey saturated beef glycerol has little to do with any of these diseases by itself and is actually healthy in anything like sane quantities. That’s not even mentioning EFA’s like Olive and fish oils which are downright frightening in their medicinal properties.

The medical establishment will have to brought kicking and screaming into the light on this because there is just waaaay too much money to be made developing and prescribing drugs as well as all the lost revenues once folks figure out that all that packaged processed crap they’ve been stuffing themselves with has been the problem all along, not natural, traditional, meaty manfood.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Thank you. I resisted the temptation to get into this at first. 10 years from now the world will be lamenting all the good healthy meals it skipped and all the meds they ate on the false premise that fat was the cause of all their ills.

There is plenty of evidence that dietary fat, even white gooey saturated beef glycerol has little to do with any of these diseases by itself and is actually healthy in anything like sane quantities. That’s not even mentioning EFA’s like Olive and fish oils which are downright frightening in their medicinal properties.

The medical establishment will have to brought kicking and screaming into the light on this because there is just waaaay too much money to be made developing and prescribing drugs as well as all the lost revenues once folks figure out that all that packaged processed crap they’ve been stuffing themselves with has been the problem all along, not natural, traditional, meaty manfood.

–Tiribulus->[/quote]

Did not want to start anything\get into it, as I stated either…but did want to say thank YOU, very well stated and sums up my feelings pretty much as well!

I think a good deal of the studies out there that point at “foods” being “bad” are flawed.

Perhaps, and this is just a random throw at the dartboard, but perhaps the effect that various foods have depends greatly on your lifestyle and nutritional status.

Shock and horror. Perhaps if you are sedentary and don’t get much by way of vegetables and other nutrients loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, then perhaps you are much more likely to succumb to poor health no matter what.

I’m strongly convinced that regular exercise is incredibly corrective to many of the modern health issues of the day, so to say that a particular food nutrient is causing them, such that it is detrimental, is tricky.

However, yes, if you are a sedentary fatass and who eats ding dongs and cocoa puffs then, sure, pay attention to the nutritional ramblings of the popular media… because the studies conducted probably really do apply to you.

I agree with everything you just said. The way most people live, which included me for quite a while, all kinds of things can be detrimental to health and well being, like trying to run up a flight of stairs for instance. In that sense it’s a package deal. If you’re a “normal” fat, soft, generally unhealthy slob, then you may do well to not eat bacon. You may actually keep you’re flabby carcass breathing longer. If you’re a person who goes out of your way to avoid the nutritional/sedentary traps set at every turn the rules for “normal” folks don’t apply. At least not in the same way and or to the same degree. Good point. I’m dying to see a study of very fit, active individuals and the effects that these things have on them.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
I’m dying to see a study of very fit, active individuals and the effects that these things have on them.

–Tiribulus->

[/quote]

Not likely to happen any time soon. Most of these studies are done on fat middle aged sedentary women with diseases. That is why they don’t always apply to the active younger very athletic male who is trying to actually gain muscular body weight.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Not likely to happen any time soon. Most of these studies are done on fat middle aged sedentary women with diseases. That is why they don’t always apply to the active younger very athletic male who is trying to actually gain muscular body weight. [/quote]

Quite so, they usually seem to be designed to determine if and or how already damaged people can be repaired. On one of the fitcasts though Cassandra Forsythe was saying that her crew was starting a year long study to see the effects of saturated fat on healthy individuals on high fat diets… I believe. That would be interesting to see.

–Tiribulus->