According to a new study, eating more protein can help you control weight.
Well, I’ve only been saying this same thing for decades.
No wonder Americans suffer from weight problems. They’ve been following the government’s faulty advice to cut out cholesterol and saturated fat for decades. (Though, recently, the government’s health experts finally admitted their advice to cut cholesterol and fats was all wrong all along.)
So our big weight problem in America isn’t even entirely our own fault!
You see, people eat foods. Not nutrients. So when the government advised men and women to cut out whole categories of nutrients, most people ended up cutting out whole categories of foods instead.
They cut out healthy, natural foods–such eggs, meat and shellfish–that contain cholesterol, fat…and protein. (They also cut out fat-soluble vitamins like A, D and E by cutting out these healthy foods.)
Instead, they began to fill up with foods filled with sugars and carbs. But foods that contain sugar and carbs don’t actually “fill” you up. So they ate more and more of them to try and feel satisfied.
The government based their bad dietary advice on flawed analyses that came out 30 years ago showing a supposed correlation of adult fat intake with various health outcomes. I pointed out they might as well be studying protein intake–because foods with both fat and protein are so highly correlated. In fact, fat and protein in foods in the diet have a more than 0.8 correlation with each other. And 1.0 is considered identical.
Plus, as I said, it turns out those government analyses about fat were highly flawed anyway–at least when it comes to adults.
The new study suggests eating more protein is especially important in people older than 45 years, many of whom don’t get enough protein in the first place. (In fact, in a previous study, researchers found more than half of older men don’t get enough protein in their diet to maintain muscle mass as they age.)
For this study, researchers analyzed data from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, an ongoing cohort study of 960 people between 45 and 75 years who live in the Boston area. Health complications from obesity are common in Hispanic Americans, the researchers said. So they designed this study to learn more about the problem.
After adjusting for total calories, participants who consumed the highest proportion of protein in their diets had lower body mass index (BMI), smaller waist circumferences, and higher muscle to fat ratios. (Though, keep in mind, the BMI by itself is not an accurate assessment of body fat and overall health.)
It all stands to reason.
People who don’t eat enough protein wind up eating a higher proportion of carbs instead. And carbs and sugars are the real culprits when it comes to obesity, Type II diabetes and cardio-metabolic heart disease.
Plus, not enough protein means not enough muscle mass.
The body can’t make muscle tissue from sugars and carbs. It only makes muscle from protein. Plus, we need a constant supply of amino acids, which only come from proteins, so the muscle tissues have the nutrients they need to repair and rebuild for healthy aging.
There is yet another benefit to protein, which I alluded to earlier…
Eating protein makes you feel more satisfied than eating carbs. So when you feel more satisfied, you eat less overall.
Now–the government recommends you take in 0.66 grams of protein per one kilogram of body weight per day.
You have to love that high level of precision–to the nearest six-one-hundredths of a gram. Too bad their accuracy is off by a factor of double.
In the real world of this study, actual daily protein intake ranged from 0.9 to 1.4 g/kg per day. Nobody was down at the government’s inadequate level. (Similar to their ridiculous salt restrictions.)
For most people, the body knows what it needs better than the government does. And almost nobody can–nor does–follow government restrictions on protein, or salt.
Researchers recommend aiming for 1.1. to 1.2 grams/kilogram daily of protein. And you can probably take in up to 4 grams/kilogram per day without any health side effects. (Though, as I explained in the March 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, people with kidney disease can have a problem with too much protein.)
Plus, remember, relative protein intake needs to increase as you get older. According to researchers, most professionals in the fields of sports medicine and nutrition agree that 1.0 to 1.5 grams/kilogram daily protein is an appropriate range for older people.
So sad how often politics get in the way of scientific truth. Changing protein requirements involves changes to all kinds of government-mandates, including school lunch guidelines and food assistance programs. So change never seems to happen.
Here’s a good rule of thumb…
Strive to eat protein with every meal. Forget the high-carb only breakfasts. Instead, go for eggs or a piece of fish or lean meat.
Don’t worry about faulty, inconsistent government dietary recommendations and the politics of government food policies and programs. Pay attention to the science and to what your body is telling you.