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Old 07-05-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
Brandon Enos
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Default Protein Toxicity

Okay, weird question(s). I was talking to a coworker who claims that after high school, for a year, ate noting but meat, fish, and eggs. No grains, dairy, fruit, vegetables, etc. (note, hes older, did this way before atkins) Supposedly he lost a lot of weight (also weight training at the same time). My question is, isnt a year on just straight meat and eggs bad? Wouldnt that lead to protein toxicity?

But then I thought about it, if you kept regular sized portions and werent consuming ungodly amounts of meat, shouldnt hurt your body to much right?

I was wondering mainly because I saw a Dan John article, and as part of it he says to lose weight, set aside two-four weeks and focus on weight loss versus other goals, and he says to set aside two weeks and follow atkins and eat only meat and eggs. (paraphrased)

I was thinking of ways to apply this to me to help lose weight. I love fruits and like vegetables and love all the vitamins and minerals. So I was thinking, do a day of all meat and eggs, followed by a day with lots of fruit/vegetables with the meat, and so on and so forth. Or two/three days meat, one day mixed. Or meat only on weekdays, and mixed on weekends.

Not sure if I explained it well, lots of stuff going on right now in my life thats bugging me and its late so yeah, but I think it came out right...Any suggestions/thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
Steven Low
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As long as you drink enough water, your kidneys should be okay with filtering. Although you're gonna have a lot of excess nitrogen excretion... which is basically a waste of money. Lots of protein is a good way to help keep muscle mass during a weight/fat loss phase though.

Not sure why you would want to eat alternating days like that or such a weird schedule... are you on Paleo or have you tried it? If not, try it and if you're still having problems adjust from there. No need to get fancy here.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:01 AM   #3
Mike ODonnell
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I don't know why you wouldn't want vegetables (non-starch) with the meat. You don't want to get too overly acidic as that is not good for health and performance. Non-starchy veg should be daily....you can play around with teh fruits and starchy veg all you like.
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
Scott Kustes
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Protein toxicity occurs above about 40% of calories as it becomes too much for the kidneys to handle. I believe this is the same thing as "rabbit starvation". But most meat, eggs, and dairy, consumed in their natural form, are high in fat and will probably keep you from hitting a level of protein intake too high. I'd think you'd have to start taking concentrated protein powders, void of fat or carbs, to overdo protein in this way.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
Craig Loizides
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I've seen the 40% figure in a number of places, but never really understood it. Let's say I eat 800 calories protein and 800 calories fat. That puts me at 50% protein so it's a toxic diet. Now let's say I eat 800 calories protein and 1600 calories fat. That puts me at 33% protein which is OK even though I've eaten the same amount of protein.

And how long does it take for a diet over 40% to become an issue? a day? week? month? year?

Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Loizides View Post
I've seen the 40% figure in a number of places, but never really understood it. Let's say I eat 800 calories protein and 800 calories fat. That puts me at 50% protein so it's a toxic diet. Now let's say I eat 800 calories protein and 1600 calories fat. That puts me at 33% protein which is OK even though I've eaten the same amount of protein.

And how long does it take for a diet over 40% to become an issue? a day? week? month? year?

Thanks.
Probably depends on the processing power of your kidneys (drink lots of water to improve function!).

Also, increasing caloric intake tends to not really decrease the nutrient absorption in your small intestine, but it becomes a bit less efficient in absorption because of the abundance of cals. That's basically where something like IF can come in to help improve nutrient absorption so you don't have to eat as much to maintain mass (or to gain/lose weight).

If you're worried about it just eat between .75-1.5g/lbs and you'll be fine (you can go much higher but this is just "safe"). Tends towards the higher side if you want to gain mass.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:04 PM   #7
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Myth. There are plenty of cultures and individuals thriving on diets composed of 95% fat and protein in as many ratios as you can imagine.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:03 AM   #8
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95% protein AND fat. Most of the diets are typically composed of fat because protein foods usually carry more fat calories than protein calories. Also consider that groups like the Inuit are eating blubber...fat.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:19 AM   #9
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Enos View Post
Wouldnt that lead to protein toxicity?
First....what is meant by "toxicity"? Too much protein that makes the kidneys shut down?

Well...there has been NO study to prove high protein intake leads to kidney failure in HEALTHY people...those with present or past kidney disease may be different of course. Bodybuilders do 2-3g/lb of bw and still live....most average people in NO way would even eat more than 1g/bw...as we all know, that is alot of meat to eat! Most people also eat higher fatty meats....eggs, steak, etc.

Like stated...many cultures have survived on high intakes of fat and meat.

Rabbit starvation....well is "starvation" because of eating lean meats.....so a grown man trying to live off 600 cal a day of lean/no fat protein soucres and nothing else (little to no fat calories), will lead to starvation, muscle breakdown and THEN the excess urea nitrogen/uric acid will overload the kidneys and cause damage. It's more the muscle loss on top of high protein in a starvation mode that will shut down the kidneys.

You do want alkaline minerals in your diet (vegetables) to combat the acidic load from meat...otherwise you start to loose internal alkaline minerals like magnesium, calcium, etc....and that leads to increased blood pressure, higher risk of osteoporosis and all sorts of stuff like that.

Healthy diet for example would be 20-30% protein, 20-30% carb (mostly from non-grain sources like veg, fruit) and 40-60% fats (with 50%+ of that from monounsaturated sources...some sat and limited polyunsat). All those %s based on taking in the maintenance daily calories (or in some deficit for weight loss goals)
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Last edited by Mike ODonnell : 07-12-2008 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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95% protein AND fat. Most of the diets are typically composed of fat because protein foods usually carry more fat calories than protein calories. Also consider that groups like the Inuit are eating blubber...fat.
I see the distinction between 95% fat and protein vs. 95% protein AND fat
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