High-protein diets are so popular today. Atkins diet, Ketogenic diet, Paleo diet, South Beach diet…I can easily list these strange names and tell you that they can help you lose weight quickly. However, a high-protein diet is not without risks. According to scientists, eating too much protein may harm your kidneys.
High-protein diets can help lose weight
Since protein can help people eat less by making them feel full earlier and promoting their metabolism, people who are obese or with diabetes are often recommended to keep a high-protein diets.
However, according to surveys, at least 30% of patients with diabetes suffer from an underlying chronic kidney disease. In other words, high-protein diets may help people lose weight in short term, they are also likely to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.
High-protein diets can damage kidneys
The previous Dutch cohort study showed that the declining kidney function was related to daily protein intake. Besides, the function declined faster when people consumed more protein.
A Korean study also found that people with high protein intake had a 1.3 higher risk of decrease in glomerular filtration (GFR) rate. GFR is a test to check how well the kidneys are working. The lower the GFR results, the more damage the kidneys have.
The problem is that many people who have early stage kidney disease are unaware of the potential harm of high-protein diets. They may follow the popular trend and keep a protein-rich diet to lose weight.
"These people do not know that they are taking the fast lane to irreversible kidney failure," said Professor Denis Fouque. "It is essential that people know there is another side to high-protein diets, and that incipient kidney disease should always be excluded before one changes eating habits and adopts a high-protein diet."
So, before you start to try any high-protein diet, you may want to consult your doctor and make sure the function of your kidneys is ok.