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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/5/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Those who eat lots of animal-based proteins are at risk for cancer, doctors say

Protein is usually thought as being essential for a healthy diet. There is too much of a good thing, doctors warn. A new study has proven that those who eat lots of protein, especially from animal-based meat dishes face as high a risk from cancer as those who smoke 20 cigarettes a day.

Researchers remind others that chicken, fish, pulses, vegetables, nuts and grain are healthier sources of protein.

Researchers remind others that chicken, fish, pulses, vegetables, nuts and grain are healthier sources of protein.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/5/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Protein, cancer risk, smoking, study


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Previous studies have shown a link between cancer and red meat. The new research is the first time that the risk of death caused by regularly eating too much protein has been gauged.

The usual nutritional guidelines have concentrated on cutting down on fat, sugar and salt. In a unique turnaround, the World Health Organization is set to announce a consultation today suggesting that guidelines on sugar consumption should be lowered. They do suggest some new guidelines on protein.

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The U.S. study found people with a high protein diet were 74 percent more likely to die of any cause within the study period than their low-protein counterparts, suggesting they were more likely to die of diabetes. This trend seemed to reverse for those aged over 65, researchers found.

High-protein food plans, such as the Atkins Diet, have become popular in recent years because of their dramatic weight-loss results - but the new research from the University of Southern California suggests this diet can harm adherents in the long run.

"We provide convincing evidence that a high-protein diet - particularly if the proteins are derived from animals - is nearly as bad as smoking for your health," Dr. Valter Longo, of the university says.

The researchers define a "high-protein" diet as deriving at least 20 percent of daily calories from protein. They recommend consuming about 0.03 ounces of protein per kilogram of body weight every day in middle age. It means a person weighing nine stone should eat about 1.6-1.7 ounces of protein a day. A 10.5 ounces steak contains 2.7 ounces of protein.

Red meat, dairy products high in protein are also dangerous, the researchers said. A seven fluid ounce glass of milk represents 12 percent of the recommended daily allowance, while 1.4 ounces slice of cheese contains 20 percent.

Researchers remind others that chicken, fish, pulses, vegetables, nuts and grain are healthier sources of protein. A chicken breast or salmon fillet still accounts for about 40 percent of recommended daily protein intake.

"The research shows that a low-protein diet in middle age is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality," Dr. Eileen Crimmins, a co-author of the study says.

"However, we also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty."

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