The good news:
A recent study found that participants who consumed excess calories in the form of a high-protein diet stored 45% of the calories as lean tissue, or muscle mass. Those who consumed a low-protein diet stored 95% of the excess calories as body fat.
So this study showed that diet composition can affect how we metabolize and store food and that a high-protein diet can be effective for weight loss and muscle building.
The bad news:
This change in metabolism and food storage was not sustainable when the participants consuming a high-protein diet switched to a low-protein diet. On a low-protein diet their bodies stored excess calories as body fat, showing that the body cannot be trained to maintain a higher metabolism.
Here’s the study:
Eating a higher-protein diet appears to have many benefits. Choose healthy, lean sources of protein like fish, skinless poultry, lean red meat, eggs, soy foods, beans, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy such as plain greek yogurt. And of course don’t forget to eat plenty of vegetables as well – especially dark green, red, yellow and orange vegetables.
Allegra Burton, MPH, RDN
Nutrition with Allegra
Chapel Hill, NC