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Question
Posted by: Deon | 2009-09-09

Protein Diets

Can a ' clean protein'  diet of whey, chicken fish and 10g carbs from mixed vegies and 25ml flax seed oil be unhealthy?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Deon
I am not sure what you mean by 'clean protein', but any diet that excludes practically all fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products, grains and cereals is not balanced. Please click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Weightloss' and search for the article on the Atkins diet. Please keep in mind that the reason why I and my dietetic colleagues have a problem with high-protein diets is that such diets automatically will expose you to high levels of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol because all animal protein foods such as meat, eggs and poultry contain animal fats which in turn contain these 'bad' fats which in turn can exacerbate high blood cholesterol and lipid levels predisposing to heart disease and certain cancers. A high protein intake may also have a negative effect on kidney function and leach calcium out of the body. There is also not yet sufficient evidence that shows that these high-protein diets sustain weight loss in the long-term, which is after all the purpose of trying to lose weight. Then there is also the problem of a lack of protective nutrients (bioflavonoids, phytochemicals, etc which are mainly found in plant foods) and dietary fibre, so that using a high-protein diet for long periods can cause certain deficiencies and constipation. So, if it works for you and you don't use it for longer than about 2 weeks at a time, then that is fine. but please be aware of the potential dangers of such diets. You should still be getting at least 1-2 portions of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index (GI) at each meal to supply you with fibre and readily available energy.
Best regards
DietDoc

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