Is it possible to have too much protein?
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps build and repair tissues, supports the immune system, and helps your body make hormones and enzymes.
Indeed, protein can help to feel fuller and therefore help with weight loss.
However, is it possible to have too much? Short answer: yes!
The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for protein is 10-35% of caloric requirements. Most adults over the age of 19 need about 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight. For example, for an individual who weighs 75kg (165lbs), the protein requirements to meet the needs are about 60g of protein each day.
Examples of protein sources include meat/poultry fish, some whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, dairy products, and some plant-based dairy substitutes for these products.
Health risks associated with excessive protein intake include, for example, an increase in kidney disease and kidney stones. Also, a high consumption of animal sources of protein such as red meat and other sources rich in cholesterol and saturated fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. It’s also worth noting that any calorie excess can encourage weight gain, regardless of the source of the excess calories.
It is therefore recommended to consume protein within a breast eating pattern. An adequate protein diet can be easily achieved by a DASH or Mediterranean dietary pattern. Even when protein needs are greater, such as in athletes or for muscle mass gain, an experienced nutritionist (like our founder) can achieve them with a balanced diet for sports nutrition – and no need for supplements!