Limit protein in diet could fight obesity, diabetes effectively

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In a study from Brazil and Denmark, scientists found cutting protein intake can help control metabolic syndrome and some of its main symptoms, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that heighten the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, including hypertension, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

The study showed that cutting protein intake to 0.8 g per kg of body weight was sufficient to achieve almost the same clinical results as restricting calories, but without the need to reduce calorie intake.

The results suggest that protein restriction may be one of the key factors leading to the known benefits of dietary restriction.

Protein restriction dieting may therefore be a more attractive nutritional strategy and easier to follow for people with metabolic syndrome.

In the study, the team examined 21 volunteers with metabolic syndrome for a period of 27 days during which their diet was monitored.

One group was fed what the authors call a standard Western diet (50% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 30% fat) but with 25% fewer calories.

For the second group, protein intake was reduced to 10%. Calorie intake was tailored to each volunteer’s baseline energy expenditure. Both groups consumed 4 g of salt per day.

The results showed that both the calorie and protein restriction groups lost weight owing to a decrease in body fat and that the symptoms of metabolic syndrome improved.

Decreased body fat is known to be linked to reduced blood sugar and more normal levels of lipids and blood pressure.

The findings confirmed those of previous studies involving experiments on mice.

The team says manipulation of dietary macronutrients—protein, carbohydrate and fat—is sufficient to obtain the beneficial effects of dietary restriction.

The team demonstrated that protein restriction reduces body fat while maintaining muscle mass.

That’s important since the weight loss resulting from restrictive diets is often associated with loss of muscle mass.

Despite the promising results of their studies, the researchers point out that the diets involved were personalized.

They also stressed that they focused on a specific population of patients with metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and abnormal levels of cholesterol).

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about this diet may prevent or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease, and this traditional diet could reduce inflammation in the body.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about vitamin D and COVID-19, and results showing that eating a plant-based diet at any age may lower heart disease risk.

The study was conducted by Rafael Ferraz-Bannitz et al and published in the journal Nutrients.

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