Health Alert | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Medical Minute 7-19: The Great Protein Debate: How Much is Too Much?

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

In 12 months, Kim Hastings went from 26 to 13 percent body fat and lost 12 pounds. She credits two things: A boot camp class and a lot of protein.

"I take over 200 grams of protein a day, I think an average person probably takes about a hundred."

Certified personal trainer Bryan Daskam says most of us don't get enough protein.

"People need more protein? Yeah especially if you're going to exercise, even if you're not exercising, you have to," said Bryan Daskam, B.S., Certified Personal Trainer.

Labels on all kinds of foods are pushing extra protein. But sports medicine specialist Doctor Kim LeBlanc says we don't need it.

"The normal diet even when it's not really terrific, the normal diet will have enough protein in it. If you eat too much protein you will turn it into fat," said Kim Edward LeBlanc, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Family Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center.

Try this formula: Say you weigh 130 pounds. Divide your weight by 2.2, then multiply that by point eight. 47 grams is your recommended daily protein intake in grams. Is it enough?

"There's just no way. I start with about a gram per pound minimum with an exercising female."

The doctor believes that's overdoing it.

"There's no data to say you need any more that what is recommended."

What about protein supplements, shakes and bars?

"These new and improved products, they're not, it's marketing, it's all marketing."

Kim disagrees.

"You know I've seen the changes in my body so I think high protein is the way to go," she said.

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500, jcherry@ivanhoe.com.
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BACKGROUND: According to trainer Kim Hastings, a high protein diet is the way to go if you are trying to shed extra pounds however, not everyone agrees. Sports medicine specialist Dr. Kim Leblanc says we don't need the extra protein that food labels are pushing and that a person's normal diet will have sufficient protein without the additives and supplements. Still, Hastings credits her successful weight loss to two things: a boot camp class and a lot of protein. High-protein foods include beef, chicken, fish, eggs and some dairy, beans, soy, nuts and seeds. Protein is used to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is also a building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

WHAT IS A HIGH PROTEIN DIET: According to the American Dietetic Association, diets that contain more calories from protein than is recommended could be considered high-protein diets. Usually this means that the total number of calories a person consumes each day, 25 to 35 percent of those calories come from protein, as opposed to a typical diet in which only about 10 to 15 percent of calories come from protein."
But how much protein is enough? According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, teenage boys and active men can get all the protein they need from three daily servings for a total of seven ounces. For children age 2 to 6, most women, and some older people, the government recommends two daily servings for a total of five ounces. For older children, teen girls, active women, and most men, the guidelines give the nod to two daily servings for a total of six ounces.

PROS AND CONS:
• A major benefit of high protein intake is that it leaves the person feeling full for a longer period of time and therefore curbs the dieters desire to eat frequently, which can lead to weight loss
• A major risk is eating only protein forces the body into starvation mode because you are depriving your body of necessary carbohydrates and the body begins breaking down muscle
DIVERSITY IS KEY: It is important to remember to diversify your diet. A helpful tip when diversifying your diet is to eat from all the colors of the rainbow to get those essential nutrients your body needs.

For More Information, Contact:

Leslie Capo
lcapo@lsuhsc.edu
504-568-4806


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