High Protein Diets As Bad As Smoking?

;Title: "fast food is the best!"
;Title: “fast food is the best!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I choked on my (fruit and coconut oil) porridge the other morning when I saw the headlines suggesting eating a high protein diet is as harmful as smoking, did you?! I should be used to such sensationalist stories by now after 25 years, shouldn’t I, but they still make me mad.

I wasn’t going to bother wasting my time looking into it and I know most of you are so well-trained by now, I hoped you would see it for what it was, which I’m sure most of you did! So, I shall leave it to Dr Briffa to explain a few things as he did a useful post on it.

All I will say is that, judging from the actual breakdown of the diet, it was not a high protein diet studied at all; more a standard high carb Western diet. Even if it were a high protein diet, it is much more likely than any health issues come from the quality of the intensively-farmed meat rather than grass-fed organic meat, which is a whole other beastie (see what I did there?!). It would also be related more to how that meat is cooked since we know that chargrilling or cooking meat at high temperature causes free radical production that isn’t good for us. And, finally, saying that because people eat high protein it causes as much cancer hazard as smoking is just plain wrong based on this sort of study. I loved how Dr Briffa puts it. He says it would be like having a study suggesting a correlation between eating ice-cream and shark attacks. Based on the kind of reporting we see here, the headline would be

Eating Ice Cream Causes Shark Attacks!!

Might it not be that if the weather is warm, more people eat ice cream and swim in the sea? I hooted at that.

Anyway, you get the point, which is: don’t believe everything you read in the papers! Read Dr Briffa’s blog post here:

My take on the recent ‘high protein diet as bad a smoking’ study

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