Eating more protein has become an obsession for many Americans. Many popular diets are all about eating more of it. Everywhere you look you read something new about the benefits of protein, or about how to eat more.
It can help you lose weight. It can help you build strong muscles and bones. It can help you conquer the world.
And that’s great. There’s no doubt that getting enough protein is important to maintaining a healthy body. But getting too much can also be harmful, especially if a lot of that protein is coming from animal sources.
What Too Much Protein Does to Your Body
Getting too much of your protein from animal sources can lead to all kinds of different health conditions from heart disease and high cholesterol to cancer and diabetes.
But your biggest concern should be your liver. By eating too much protein you can overwhelm it, damaging its ability to filter your system and causing dangerous toxins to build up in your blood.
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What Protein Does to Your Liver
Ordinarily your liver acts a filtration system for your body, cleaning out toxins as they come in. So when you eat protein, your liver breaks everything down and filters out the bad stuff. Ammonia oddly enough is a natural byproduct of breaking down protein. Ammonia!
So having a healthy liver to filter out these toxins is super important to your health. If you eat too much animal protein, however, over time your liver can become overworked, allowing those toxins to remain in your system.
As a result, you can end up feeling sluggish and tired, and you can put stress on your kidneys and colon. If your liver isn’t healthy, your whole body can’t function properly. If left unchecked, you can even develop a liver condition that affects your brain and nervous system, causing confusion, forgetfulness, and an inability to concentrate.
What the National Liver Foundation Has to Say
For good liver health they recommend watching the amount of protein you are eating and to limit the amount you are getting from animal sources. It should make up less than half of the protein you eat.
The recommended amount of protein will vary depending on a number of factors, like your age, sex, and how active you are, but 10-15 grams per meal is a reasonable goal.
To help your liver breakdown the protein, you should eat plenty of MCT fats, like the kind you get from coconut oil and avocados, and to make sure you’re eating some complex carbs as well. Drinking plenty of water also can’t hurt.
Where Your Protein Should Come From
In addition, the National Liver Foundation also recommends getting plenty of fiber and vitamin C, by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, and nuts.
So by all means, keep eating protein. Just make sure to get it from the right sources, so that your liver can stay healthy.
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