Scientists have discovered that individuals under the age of 65 who have a diet that is rich in eggs, dairy and meat increase their risk of death from diabetes or cancer fourfold.
This high protein diet may carry the same risks as smoking 20 cigarettes each day.
The study which was undertaken by researchers at the University of Southern California included 6318 adults over 50 years old. The results indicated that 74% were more at risk of an earlier death than their counterparts who maintained a low-protein diet. They were also at much higher risk of dying from diabetes.
The harmful effects of the diet appeared to be eliminated when the protein was derived from plant sources, such as legumes and beans. However, the risk of cancer was still three times as high for middle-aged people who had a high protein diet, in comparison to those on a low protein diet. The study indicated that individuals who had a diet high in animal protein tended to die at a younger age from diabetes, cancer and other diseases. However, the same type of diet appeared to protect the individual’s health when they reached an older age.
Valter Longo of the University of California recommended that people in this age group should switch to a diet with only 9 to 10% of the calories being derived from protein.
The ideal situation would be for this quantity to be based on plant protein. The researchers are not recommending that you come up with a set diet. If the results of the research and the recommendations are incorrect, you will not suffer any ill health effects. However, if the recommendations are accurate, you could add a few extra years to your lifespan.
Examples of high-protein foods below:
Soy protein isolate – 80g per 100g
Boiled green soybeans – 12g per 100g
Whey protein concentrate – up to 89g per 100g
Whey protein isolate – 90g+ per 100g
Peanuts – 4g per 100 g
Steak – 27g to 34g per 100g
Chicken breast – 31g per 100g
Salmon fillet – 25g per 100g
Tuna, canned – 19g per 100g
Image credit: Taryn