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-   -   How much protein is too much? (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=472082)

NEMarvin Tue, Feb-16-16 15:42

How much protein is too much?
 
The other thread made me thing of this question. Many of you are more well-versed on the science around this, and what the accepted opinion is, so I thought I'd ask. As a diabetic, and following Dr. Fung's protocol mostly currently, I know that excess protein runs the risk of elevating my BG, and even worse, the risk of being insulinogenic. So how much is too much? I seem to recall Dr. Atkins saying anything over 7 ounces in one meal could be considered excess and could cause a blood sugar rise. I don't recall Dr. Fung ever giving any specifics in this regard, though I may have missed it.

Thoughts?


ETA: Dr. Fung's new book just hit my desk, and a quick flip through found a reference to limiting protein to 20 to 30% of one's diet, but that sounded more like a concern over focusing on lean sources of meat protein as opposed to fattier cuts that I tend to favor.

GRB5111 Tue, Feb-16-16 18:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEMarvin
The other thread made me thing of this question. Many of you are more well-versed on the science around this, and what the accepted opinion is, so I thought I'd ask. As a diabetic, and following Dr. Fung's protocol mostly currently, I know that excess protein runs the risk of elevating my BG, and even worse, the risk of being insulinogenic. So how much is too much? I seem to recall Dr. Atkins saying anything over 7 ounces in one meal could be considered excess and could cause a blood sugar rise. I don't recall Dr. Fung ever giving any specifics in this regard, though I may have missed it.

Thoughts?


ETA: Dr. Fung's new book just hit my desk, and a quick flip through found a reference to limiting protein to 20 to 30% of one's diet, but that sounded more like a concern over focusing on lean sources of meat protein as opposed to fattier cuts that I tend to favor.

Marvin, I'm very interested in protein, not only in how much is adequate to consume, but also the impact the lack of protein has during fasting. I've moderated my protein to maintain a fat burning metabolism, and I find that I'm good at around 80 - 90 grams of protein per eating day. On occasion, I have more than that up to around 112 grams per day, which puts me in maintenance mode. Remember that an ounce of lean meat has approximately 7 grams of protein. So, a quarter pound of beef has approximately 28 grams or 1 ounce of protein. Here's the method of calculation recommended by Phinney and Volek, authors of two books I refer to often, "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance":

Quote:
The multiplying factor should be between 0.6 - 1 grams per a pound (1.3 to 2.2 grams per a kilogram) of lean mass. The range is based on your normal physical activity from sedentary to very active.

As an example, if your weight is 160 pounds and your body fat is 30%, your lean mass weight is calculated as follows:

160 lbs - 30% = 112 lbs

Therefore, your protein intake should be between:

112 x 0.6 = 67 g of protein (minimum amount)
112 x 1.0 = 112 g of protein (maximum amount)


The trick is to estimate your lean mass, and since I don't plan to have a DEXA scan anytime soon, I just make a rough guess. I happen to be one where I can stay at the low end of protein consumption and do well.

The overall question of protein and dietary influence is one I find lacks a substantial amount of research in regards to optimizing protein consumption. When one is fasting, autophagy (and phagocytosis) occurs which cleans out the system of dead or damaged cells, excess amino acids, and other toxins. This is considered a very healthy thing to do periodically, and I agree. What I've been most curious about is the role the lack of protein plays during this cleansing period. I believe the lack of exogenous protein is a major triggering factor for this cleansing process, but have found little research to confirm this or to describe in detail what triggers this mechanism. Yeah, it could be total lack of calories, which is how we define a fast, but since the cleanse involves the substances that are used to synthesize protein, the building blocks, I suspect the elimination of dietary protein is what starts this process.

Bonnie OFS Wed, Feb-17-16 17:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRB5111
Remember that an ounce of lean meat has approximately 7 grams of protein. So, a quarter pound of beef has approximately 28 grams or 1 ounce of protein


Bless you, GRB!!! That's the first explanation that was simple enough for me to comprehend. I'm going to save that. :)

JEY100 Thu, Feb-18-16 05:35

Dr Hallberg suggests 80g for a woman and 120g for a man as a average point to start...adjust from there. Though thinking back to my first six months following the New Atkins, I was way overeating protein, but still lost weight. I wonder if the impact of protein on BG is overblown (for me!)

GRB5111 Thu, Feb-18-16 08:06

I'm wondering the same thing. There are times when I consume more protein than I need, so it's really been an exercise to start at the guidelines recommended by Phinney and Volek and adjust from there. I've found that I'm fine at lower levels, but I believe that also has to do with one's activity level. When I was running and playing hockey years ago, I'm sure I required more protein and consuming more protein wouldn't have made a difference with my weight. Today, my activity is frequent, but not as intense, so I try to stay lower. It's more of finding what works, since we all have differences in how we react. I'm still adjusting protein to learn how to optimize.

Robin120 Thu, Feb-18-16 09:57

I find the TYPE of protein makes a huge difference for me. Eggs, chicken, fish, etc....don't spike me.
Whey is HUGE spiker.
Tofu mild spike....
Cheese no spike.

makes sense that the reason whey is so beneficial after weight training is because it is insulinogenic....right after a workout is the one time, insulin is great, as it helps build muscle during this period.

NEMarvin Thu, Feb-18-16 13:49

Thank you for the resources. I will spend some time with all of this, and do some other web searches to see what else I can find. Obviously, I'll do my own experimentation. I was hoping there was some "easy" answer...like the one Dr. Atkins gave in the book (or elsewhere?) about "beyond the 7 ounces" but apparently it is not that easy. And while the resources above all seem to talk about daily consumption, my hunch is that if you ate all of your protein allotment at one meal, that would have a larger effect on your BG (and insulin) than if you spread it out over 3 meals. I'll look at what Dr. Fung says about protein being insulinogenic, but I don't think he talks about specific amounts.

Some meals, all I want is protein and fat, and I'm afraid that if I eat too much meat at one time, I'm really not helping myself on the IR front.

MickiSue Thu, Feb-18-16 16:08

Who says you can't plop a nice pat of herbed butter on top of a steak, Marvin?

Or cream sauce over a hunk of wild salmon?

Dr Atkins doesn't say that you need to add fat. But neither does he discourage it.

NEMarvin Thu, Feb-18-16 16:10

No one. That's not my concern. But if I like to eat 8 ounces of steak at one sitting (or more) for example, but anything over 7 is going to cause an insulin or BG response, I'm concerned about that.

MickiSue Thu, Feb-18-16 16:21

8 oz of steak is not 8 oz of protein. According to MFP, a grilled 8 oz ribeye, for example, has 33 grams of fat, and only 15 of protein.

Now, an 8 oz filet, on the other hand, because it's much leaner, has about half the fat and twice the protein.

If you pick well marbled steaks, you will be fine; they have significant amounts of fat, and less significant amounts of protein.

NEMarvin Thu, Feb-18-16 16:57

I guess I understand that, and it's part of why this gets more complicated. And I'm not sure they 7oz number meant "pure protein anyway." I've also read that because glucagon is secreted along with insulin when eating protein, it's a non-issue. I'm going to have to do more reading and research....

deirdra Thu, Feb-18-16 19:28

Another complication is that what is called an "8 oz" steak typically refers to the raw weight, whereas its cooked weight will only be 6-7 oz and most logging tools use cooked weights (but some contain data for both and let you choose). A typical "6 oz" filet mignon actually weighs ~5 oz after broiling. And a "4 oz" burger or chicken breast actually weighs about 3 oz cooked.

The standard rule of thumb that 1 oz of meat/poultry/fish has 7 g of protein is for 1 oz cooked.

MickiSue Thu, Feb-18-16 20:52

Exactly. I think that, at some point, we can get too worried about the minutiae of our WOE. It's funny that the tools we have to measure our bodies' responses to what we eat, like ketostix and BG monitors, also can cause us distress, because the information that that they give us can be excessively worrisome, should that information be not what we're expecting.

Just as the biochemical processes that make up our metabolisms are not simple CICO machines, as so many doctors and laypeople believe, neither do they respond simply to the meal in front of us.

What we've eaten previously in the day (if anything) our activity levels, our usual eating habits, our level of stress or lack thereof as we're eating, and any number of other things that wouldn't seem to have any effect at all on how we process our food, does.

But so does the makeup of that meal. When I mentioned adding fat to a steak, that matters. Because the protein in a fatty meal isn't digested in isolation, it's digested along with whatever else was eaten, and the combination can speed up or slow down the entry of the amino acids into your bloodstream. Adding fat will slow everything down, such that you DON'T necessarily get a spike from the protein.

I really admire your attempts to discern the specifics of what is ideal for you to attain and maintain your goals, Marvin.

I'm not 100% convinced that there is anything that specific, though. The needs, as the processes, change as our circumstances change, daily.

I follow my WOE, and I know that if I vary to one side or the other, as long as I keep the carbs low, the protein moderate (and for me, that's about 60 gms/day) and the fat high, I'll lose, and I'll stay healthy.

I have the background to analyze beyond that. But I made a conscious decision, when I started this WOE, to NOT do that. I want to be able to eat, enjoy, and be done with it, knowing that I ate well, within the confines of what that means for me and my body.

Meme#1 Thu, Feb-18-16 22:14

My Atkins book on Rules of Induction says to:
#2 Eat liberally combinations of fat and protein.

Induction, Sample menus show 3 eggs for breakfast, 8 oz steak for lunch and 9oz fish for dinner.

Focus on carbs.

JEY100 Fri, Feb-19-16 04:59

Following what MickiSue wrote and my previous whinge about Hba1c and PIR...

At the last local support group meeting, Dr Westman advised a woman to stop testing her BG. She has been back on LC for about 6 months, sticking to plan, doing well but still has more abdominal weight to lose, driving herself crazy why BG was X this day, Z the next. If you are at the point you are off medications, you know what foods not to eat ( and a 6 or 10 oz steak is not going to differ that much), Stressing about the number is not going to help you (just read Dr Fung last night on stress, cortisol and Insulin). Take a short walk instead of hanging around home to test BG :)


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