A high-protein diet plan is a program generally designed to help a person lose weight and improve health. People on a high-protein diet plan usually seek to increase the percentage of protein in their daily eating routine. This can often also include a reduction in carbohydrate intake and a general increase in fat consumption. There are many different kinds of high-protein diets, and experts are generally split about whether or not they are effective. A good example of a high protein diet plan would be the Atkins™ diet.
Most people who go on a high-protein diet plan generally seem to lose weight, but the reasons for this are unclear. Some people think it is because foods with high protein and high fat content can help suppress appetite, while others think it is related to a hormonal reaction. There are studies showing that consumption of large amounts of carbohydrates can cause the body to store fat, but it isn’t clear whether this is the main reason for the effectiveness of high-protein diet plans. Like many other diet programs, people who go on high-protein diets often gain their weight back eventually, but the exact reason for this is unclear.
There are many different kinds of high-protein diets. Some popular plans are built around cutting carbohydrates, while some are based on increasing protein intake. There are also plans that basically cut out certain food types while encouraging others. One popular plan that works this way is the so-called “paleo-diet," which is designed to mimic the eating patterns of early humans. The diet doesn’t necessarily specify a certain amount of protein or carbohydrate consumption, but following the guidelines will generally cause a shift to a higher percentage of protein consumption.
Some experts are strongly against the idea of a high-protein diet plan because they believe the diets may cause heart disease. Most proponents of high-protein diets disagree with this assertion, although some plans urge dieters to focus on lean meats as a way to avoid this side effect. The scientific research on this question of heart disease has been somewhat mixed.
There are some studies that show a correlation between heart disease and consumption of meat, but there are some that contradict this assertion. A study out of Harvard University in the US showed that the correlation might be caused by the very high salt content of processed meats like sausage and fast food, rather than fat. Not everyone agrees with this finding, and more research may be needed before a definitive answer is available.