How Much Protein Should You Eat?

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Dont sacrifice your carbohydrates for a high protein diet, and think twice before bulking up those biceps with protein to look better at the gym. Your daily diet shouldnt contain more than 30% protein ideally, because an excess of it will do you more harm than good. So says Gail Butterfield, Ph.D., director of Nutrition Studies at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Dr. Butterfield says that excess protein in your diet may have harmful effects. If you increase protein without adding more calories and exercise to your daily life, instead of building muscle mass you will put your other body systems under undue stress. And eating more protein while increasing calorie intake — but keeping at the same exercise levels — builds an equal amount of additional fat and muscle. Meanwhile, a diet where protein is more than 30% of your calorie intake causes a buildup of toxic ketones. A ketogenic diet, or one high in ketones, pushes your kidneys to excessively flush themselves free of toxins. This can cause you to lose a significant amount of water, which puts you at serious risk of dehydration, especially if you exercise heavily during your...

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