A high-protein diet in middle age increases the risk to life and health by 74%, according to the results of the latest study on this topic, conducted by scientists from the University of Southern California (USA).
Regular consumption of high-calorie foods – such as meat and cheese – greatly increases the risk of death from cancer and other diseases, so the consumption of animal protein should be considered harmful, they say. This is the first study in the history of medicine to statistically prove a direct link between a diet high in animal protein and a significant increase in mortality from a number of serious diseases, including cancer and diabetes. In fact, the results of this study speak in favor of veganism and literate, “low-calorie” vegetarianism.
American scientists have found that the consumption of high-protein animal products: including various types of meat, as well as cheese and milk, not only increases the risk of dying from cancer by 4 times, but also increases the likelihood of other serious diseases by 74%, and several times increases mortality from diabetes. Scientists published such a sensational scientific conclusion in the scientific journal Cellular Metabolism on March 4.
As a result of a study that lasted almost 20 years, American doctors found that moderate protein intake is justified only over the age of 65, while protein should be strictly limited in middle age. The harmful effects of high-calorie foods on the body, therefore, are approximately equal to the harm caused by smoking.
While the popular Paleo and Atkins diets encourage people to eat a lot of meat, the reality is that eating meat is bad, American researchers say, and even cheese and milk are best consumed in limited quantities.
One of the co-authors of the study, Dr., Professor of Gerontology Walter Longo, said: “There is a misconception that nutrition is self-evident – because we all eat something. But the question is not how to stretch 3 days, the question is – on what kind of food can you live to 100 years old?
This study is also unique in that it considered adulthood in terms of dietary prescriptions not as a single time period, but as a number of separate age groups, each of which has its own diet.
Scientists have found that protein consumed in middle age increases the level of the hormone IGF-1 – growth hormone – but also contributes to the development of cancer. However, at the age of 65, the level of this hormone drops sharply, and it is possible to eat foods with a higher protein content, safely and with health benefits. In fact, it turns on its head pre-existing ideas about how middle-aged people should eat and how old people should eat.
Most importantly for vegans and vegetarians, the same study also found that plant-based protein (such as derived from legumes) does not increase the risk of serious disease, as opposed to animal-based protein. It was also found that the amount of carbohydrates and fat consumed, unlike animal protein, does not have a negative impact on health and does not reduce life expectancy.
“Most Americans are eating about twice as much protein as they should – and perhaps the best solution to this problem is to reduce protein intake in general, and especially animal protein,” Dr. Longo said. “But you don’t have to go to the other extreme and give up protein altogether, so you can quickly earn malnutrition.”
He recommended using protein from plant sources, including legumes. In practice, Longo and his colleagues recommend a simple calculation formula: in average age, you need to consume 0,8 g of vegetable protein per kilogram of body weight; for an average person, this is approximately 40-50 g of protein (3-4 servings of vegan food).
You can also think differently: if you get no more than 10% of your daily calories from protein, this is normal, otherwise you are at risk for serious diseases. At the same time, scientists have assessed the consumption of more than 20% of calories from protein as especially dangerous.
Scientists have also experimented on laboratory mice, causing them to develop conditions for the occurrence of cancer (poor mice! They died for science – Vegetarian). Based on the results of a two-month experiment, scientists stated that mice that were on a low-protein diet, i.e. those fed 10 percent or less of their calories from protein were almost half as likely to develop cancer or have 45% smaller tumors than their counterparts fed a medium and high protein diet.
“Almost all of us develop cancerous or pre-cancerous cells at some point in our lives,” Dr. Longo said. “The only question is what happens to them next!” Are they growing? One of the main determining factors here will be the amount of protein that you consume.