Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets are in high demand among people who want to lose weight. One of such eating patterns is the Protein Power diet. It is a high-protein eating plant that involves eating healthy fats and limits carbohydrate consumption. Also, this diet completely restricts the consumption of foods with added sugar.
Along with weight loss, restricting carbohydrates to small amounts contributes to lowering blood sugar, bad cholesterol, insulin, and blood pressure. In addition, such an eating pattern can boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is considered a good type of cholesterol. Therefore, the Protein Power diet can work for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease.
The Protein Power diet promotes eating plenty of animal-based and plant-based protein, low-glycemic vegetables and fruits, and moderate amounts of fats. The key to successful dieting is getting enough protein. Eating fish, meat, low-fat dairy products, eggs, beans, and vegetables that are rich in protein, including spinach and asparagus, can help you get enough protein.
This diet plan completely eliminates foods with added sugar and severely restricts legumes and grains. However, the occasional servings of legumes and grains are allowed.
The Protein Power diet emphasizes limiting carbohydrates to less than 20% of your daily calorie intake, or in other words, less than 100 grams of carbs daily.
There is no specific calorie amount or eating schedule suggested on the Protein Power diet. Therefore, you can eat whatever meals you prefer as long as you stick to the suggested amounts of carbs and proteins.
People with kidney diseases should be cautious because too much protein can stress the kidneys. Patients with diabetes and pre-diabetic people should monitor glucose levels carefully. People with heart diseases should be careful about their fat intake. People with these or other health conditions should talk to the doctor before starting the Protein Power diet.
In addition, eating too much protein may lead to increased uric acid levels, which can cause gout. Therefore, you should consult with a dietitian about the amount of protein that you can eat following this diet plan.
How to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies
The Protein Power diet is restrictive and can lead to vitamin B-9, vitamin B-7, vitamin D, vitamin E, chromium, and iodine deficiency. To avoid nutritional deficiencies, pay attention to the following products when planning your meals.
- Vitamin B-9 (folic acid): asparagus, eggs, leafy greens, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, nuts, avocado, and fortified grains.
- Vitamin B-7 (biotin): egg yolks, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, broccoli, yeast, and avocados.
- Vitamin D: salmon, sardines, canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, fortified plant-based milk.
- Vitamin E: wheat germ oil, almonds, peanuts, beet greens, collard greens, spinach, pumpkin, red bell pepper, asparagus, and avocado.
- Chromium: whole wheat flour, brewer’s yeast, ground beef, apples, and green beans.
- Iodine: seaweed, cod, low-fat dairy, iodized salt, shrimps, tuna, eggs, and lima beans.
You may also consider taking multivitamin supplements to ensure that you receive all nutrients your body needs.
Tips on improving dieting experience
Getting enough protein may be challenging for some people. Here are tips on how to get more protein with your meals or snacks:
- Do not forget about plant sources of protein. Such foods as seeds, nuts, quinoa, tofu, edamame, tempeh, beans, and peas are great plant-based protein sources.
- Consider whey protein powder. If you cannot get enough protein, protein powder may be a good choice. However, you should be careful not to use protein powder along with a meal to avoid weight gain. You can drink it on its own as a post-workout recovery drink or as a quick meal replacement.
The Protein Power diet is a dieting approach that essentially limits one of the major food groups – carbohydrates. As with any highly restrictive diet, it is challenging for most people to sustain for a long time and is not suitable for everyone.
Protein is associated with short-term weight loss and muscle gain in many studies. However, further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of a high-protein diet.