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Too much protein


November 2015

Protein is a critical part of any diet, but too much protein can cause problems.

An excess of protein can result in:

• Bad breath

• Mood swings

• Gastrointestinal issues

• Weight gain

• Kidney problems

"People who eat too much protein are predisposed to kidney stones," says Sarah Axtell, a naturopathic doctor and founder of Lakeside Natural Medicine in Shorewood. "There’s no fiber in protein-rich foods, and people forget to balance out their protein with vegetables."

The biggest source of protein is meat, and Axtell says what kind of meat we eat makes a huge difference.

"In protein, quality does matter. We are not only what we are eating, but we are what the animals are eating," he says.

Axtell says eating meat and eggs derived from grass-fed animals reduces inflammation in the body by supplying the system with the proper fatty acids. "Most of the American diet consists of poor quality meat," says Axtell, who adds that excess dairy, sugar and gluten can also cause digestion problems.

The best recommended balance for a daily diet is 30 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 40 percent fat. Protein can also be consumed through plant-based sources such as nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.

"A good balance can help stabilize blood sugar and lead to better health," Axtell says.


This story ran in the November 2015 issue of: