Is a High Protein Diet Bad for the Kidneys?
There was an article in the Harvard Health Letter on the downsides to Low Carb/High Protein diets – mainly putting a strain on the kidneys with too much protein and depriving yourself of vitamins from grains. This is a fallacy. Healthy kidneys have no problem dealing with waste products of protein metabolism. The only time that this is of concern is in someone with compromised kidney function (someone on dialysis, for example).
If you follow me at all, you probably know that I encourage most people to remove as much of the bread, pasta, cereal, rice, potatoes and sugar from their diets as they possibly can. “Low carb, high protein” they gasp???. No, I do not advocate a high protein diet either. I don’t think you have to go from one extreme to the other. But I do think that relative to the amount of physical activity most people are doing, they consume way too many carbs.
I also think that if carbs are consumed they should be in their purest form, that is, how you would pick it off the plant. Want to eat wheat? Go ahead and pull some up out of the field and start munching on it. Enjoy! Not so tasty in it’s natural state, is it? Pick an apple off the tree, pretty tasty as is, isn’t it?
I think the carbs found in fruit and vegetables are adequate for most people’s energy expenditure and will provide the same vitamins and minerals that you would get from grains. And I think that fruit and vegetable consumption should be high, protein and fats moderate and refined carbs of any kind, low. This kind of diet provides plenty of vitamins and minerals, lots of fiber, good protein, a stable blood sugar and fats that satisfy the appetite and keep eating under control.
By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND
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