Your body needs protein, but can it be too much for you?
If you love to start your day with some scrambled egg, snack on some nuts or eat a piece of meat with dinner, you’re getting plenty of protein. But could you actually eat too much protein? And what happens to your body if you do?
There is a recommended daily amount of protein that all depends on your weight and some other personal factors. Like if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, if you’re a vegetarian, an athlete or if you have a certain condition that can impact your protein levels. Luckily, there are plenty of foods that contain protein! Examples are meat, seafood, dairy, nuts, pasta, mushrooms and legumes. And the good news: it is hard to eat too much of it. Your body helps regulate your nutrient intake in various ways. But if you do consume a lot of protein, it might have some effects on your health. These effects are listed below.
Your kidneys need a lot of water to make sure they can filter nutrients from the food you eat. If you eat a lot of protein, your kidneys will have to work extra hard to remove the excessive nutrients from your system. That is why, when you eat a lot of protein, you will become extra thirsty. According to Ken Immer, CCHE Chief Culinary Officer who spoke to Taste of Home, if you don’t drink enough water and keep eating a lot of protein rich products, it could damage your kidneys and result in kidney stones.
If you eat a lot of foods like eggs, pasta, meat, nuts and dairy products, chances are you are eating less of the other foods that contain necessary nutrients. Like food that is rich in fibers. If you don’t eat enough high-fiber foods, it can lead to blockages. So if you experience constipation on a regular basis, you might want to check whether you are eating enough foods that contain fibers.
3. Bad breath
If you have a protein focused diet, you might eat less carbs. And when you eat a lot of protein without balancing it out with carbs, your breath might start to smell.
Another side affect of not eating enough carbs is a bad mood. Carbs are the main source of energy that our brain uses to function. This means that if you’re cutting carbs and replacing them with protein, you might not function as well and you might get grumpy. This is why a balanced diet isn’t just helpful for your own body, but also for other people around you.
4. Higher risk of diseases
Unfortunately, eating too much protein can also increase the risk of certain diseases. If you eat a lot of meats that have high levels of purine, a natural substance found in certain foods, you will increase the risk of getting gout. When you eat a lot of red meats you can increase the risk of getting colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Luckily, not all foods that have high protein levels increase the risk of getting these diseases. This means that it would be better to avoid red meats and foods with high purine levels. But you can still get your daily dose of protein from legumes and nuts. Those might even decrease the risk of getting cardiovascular disease!