Effect of High Protein Diet on Longevity

by Nancy Mehlert, MS
 

Note: Paleo and Yeast-free Don’t Equal “High Protein Diet”.

Recently two studies (one mouse and one human) have been discussed in the journal Cell Metabolism suggesting that a high protein diet may not support longevity and may contribute to cancer death.  TWIHW wanted to give some perspective on this research since it has been widely covered by the media in recent weeks.  In describing the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in any diet, it matters to be specific about what kind of protein, fats and carbohydrates are being discussed.  Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are NOT all the same!

One common misunderstanding is that Paleo diets and similar ketogenic diets support a high animal protein diet.  While it is true that animal meat is included as a part of a healthy diet for life in these dietary models, the portion amount AND the animal’s lifestyle are taken into account, something that is not mentioned or discussed by the media.  We presume that these studies were done using animal protein from cows raised in the standard CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) used in the food production industry.  The end result of feeding cows a very unnatural diet of soy, corn and animal by- products along with hormones and antibiotics, in a very crowded unhealthy environment, is an inflammatory, unnatural piece of meat. This beef, in conjunction with the Standard American diet rich in grains, dairy and sugar results in a very inflammatory, disease promoting diet.

Beef looks very different when a cow has been allowed to graze on grass in a sunny pasture.  This Nature made food intended for cows results in a meat that is lower in saturated fat, higher in Omega 3 and chock full of essential nutrients such as Vitamin E and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).  These characteristics result in a very nourishing, if not healing, food when consumed in low to moderate portion.

Likewise, there are natural, undamaged healthy fats that are critical to consume in  moderate to high amounts in order to sustain good health and feel satiated.  Alternatively, there are many damaged, highly processed fats which are harmful to the human body, yet commonly used in most of our packaged, processed and fast foods.  Grass fed butter, pastured eggs, avocados, expeller pressed coconut oil and raw nuts and seeds are just some examples of healthy, natural fats that promote healthy hearts, hormone balance, brain function, immune strength and digestive health.  Genetically modified canola and soybean oil along with cottonseed oil and margarine are just a few examples of harmful man-made oils which have proven very damaging to your health.

Finally, in the carbohydrate arena, there are many foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, lactose (milk sugar), and alcohol.  The molecular structure of carbohydrates dictates their impact on the human body.  Vegetables are the ideal, Nature given carbohydrate of choice for optimal functioning of the human body.  This is the food which should garner the greatest space on our plates at every meal rather than the insulin elevating, acidic and inflammatory grains and sugary foods of our society.  If vegetable carbohydrates are consumed in good quantity, this still will not result in a high carbohydrate diet, because vegetables have the lowest carbohydrate gram count and most of the carbohydrate is in fibrous form providing the most important role our vegetables serve in the human body – to cleanse and detoxify.

A life giving, healing and healthy diet will be calorically dominated by natural, undamaged fats, while volume/space on the plate will be dominated by vegetables, and then supplemented by a modest portion of humanely raised, properly fed animal proteins.  Keep perspective and eat to nourish the body so that you can live long and well!

By | 2014-03-31T12:56:31+00:00 March 29th, 2014|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|