Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Study Shows High-Protein Diets Easier to Follow

The South Beach Diet. Jenny Craig. The watermelon diet. The peanut butter diet.

Yikes!

With all the diets and diet plans out there, it can be really hard to figure out which diet is going to work the best for you. You might have to use some trial-and-error to figure it out for yourself, and obviously, if you have specific health conditions, you want to follow the advice of a health professional.

New Study on High-Protein Diets
Here's something that might help you out. A new study shows that a diet moderately high in protein (30%) works better than a conventional one with high-carbohydrates and only 15% protein. The study, led by nutrition professor Donald Layman at the University of Illinois, was reported in the March 2009 issue of "Journal of Nutrition."

The study put 130 overweight folks on diets with the same number of calories. The people on the high-protein diet lost 38% more body fat than the other group. The high-protein group also significantly reduced their LDL cholesterol while increasing their HDL, or good, cholesterol.

Participants in the high-protein diet found that diet easier to stick to. Researchers explain that this is because protein helps preserve muscle, which burns fat and helps people feel full for longer periods of time.

Which Source of Protein?
The research proves that a high-protein diet is better, but some nutritionists question whether the source of protein should come primarily from plant or animal sources. Says Maudene Nelson of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, "because there's so much evidence that a plant-based diet is healthier than an animal-based diet, aim for more plant sources of protein."

Examples of plant sources of protein include nuts, seeds, soy products, whole grains. Vegetables that are high in protein include broccoli, kale, spinach, and squash. If you'd rather pop a pill or drink your protein, consider blue-green algae, this high protein smoothie mix or wheat grass, which is served as a juice.

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