Reasons Why You Should Avoid too Much Animal Protein

Reasons Why You Should Avoid too Much Animal Protein

We all know that protein is essential to our diet, but not many of us know that excessive amounts of animal protein can be very harmful. Plant-derived protein like vegetables, do not have adverse effects, though they are not a “complete” protein, whereas animal protein, which is considered better due to its larger amino acid profile, does. Animal protein includes dairy, meats, eggs and consuming this in moderate amounts is perfectly fine.

However, too much protein has detrimental effects on vital body organs like your kidney and liver and hence, can have negative implications on your overall health. Too much protein causes an acidic environment in your body and this in turn causes bone loss and a whole host of problems.

Reasons Why Protein is Detrimental to Health

1) Overworks the Kidneys – Kidney disease is mainly caused due to too much protein. Metabolism of proteins causes acidic by-products and the kidney is meant to get rid of excessive acid from our system. Excessive intake of protein causes our kidneys to overwork in order to keep up with the toxic overload. This invariably leads to chronic kidney disease or kidney damage and malfunction.

2) Linked to Cancer – Consuming too much of animal protein damages more than just your bones. A link has finally been established that shows that prostate, colon and breast cancer are somehow connected to animal protein consumption. People over 50 years were seen to be more in danger of this as studies showed a 75 percent increase in mortality and a four-fold increase in cancer deaths.

3) Raises Your Cholesterol – A number of studies have found animal protein to be atherogenic. It is said that the rate of cholesterol turnover in the cells is brought down on the consumption of animal protein, thus causing high risk of cholesterol to build up.

4) Production Of Harmful By-products – The process of breaking down animal protein requires large amounts of hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes as age begins to catch up. Digestion itself becomes more difficult. When the body is converting protein to a carb-like energy source, protein digestion produces urea, uric acid and other harmful by-products which cause harm to the liver, kidneys, bones and digestive tract.

5) Leads to Bone Loss – The calcium requirement of your body needs to be met. If you do not have enough, the calcium will then be removed from your bones. Being an alkalinic substance, calcium is needed in large amounts to balance out the acidic environment caused by ingesting protein. Your calcium buffers get used up when you eat a lot of animal protein. So if your bones are getting rid of calcium, you know it is a bad sign.

So, too much animal protein will increase your cholesterol, weaken your bones and mess up your kidneys so consume it wisely. To stay safe, all you need to do is have a balanced diet that is rich in vegetable-based protein and animal protein. Balance is the key to overall health and vitality. Hence, increasing your intake of vegetable protein and decreasing animal protein can help decrease your risk of bone loss, hip fracture and other ailments. So rethink the superiority of animal protein in your diet, as this will benefit you greatly.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad