Limit Protein as we age? Input, please!
There was some discussion of this in Griffís new journal, and Iím very interested but didnít want to hijack his journal!
Iím looking at how much protein is optimal for someone who is aging (Iím 58), wants to lose weight (20-25 lbs for me), and maybe also for those who are looking to regain health.
Based on a few things Iíve read (thanks, Griff & Molecular Grokologist!), it seems that for me, for instance, the following would be smart eating:
70 grams of protein a day (thatís 70% of my LBM)ówhich means about three servings of protein (3 eggs, 1 chicken breast, 4 oz. grass-fed beef)
plenty of fat from said protein sources, in addition to coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocado, etc.
green, leafy veggies + other low-carb veggies (maybe 50-75 gms of carbs)
very limited fruits (trying to stay around 15 gms sugars a day)
Basically, Iím trying to find the best balanceóI know that some folks feel that meat and more meat (with fat) is great, but for those of us slightly (to be generous) less active, too much protein turns to glucose, right? And too many amino acids (from meat) is not so great for aging? So, while the PB is a great plan for everybody, adjustments need to be made depending on age, weight concerns (or lack thereof), and activity/training levels.
Iíd love input from all of you researchers out thereóI really value the time and analysis so many of you share!!
Dr. Eades (of Protein Power) has written that the 'too much protein turns to glucose' mantra that you find constantly on weight loss boards is a gross exaggeration. If you're eating low carb, you body needs to convert protein both for energy and body maintenance, and an individual would have to eat really massive amounts of protein (c. 350g) in order to store fat.
Personally, before I began Primal, I was already eating low carb and pretty much following the principles of Protein Power. I found that I lost better when I increase my protein intake. I'm female, 68, and I really strive to get enough protein into my daily eating because it's such an essential nutrient.
To lose, I keep my carbs at no more than 30g daily (often less). I don't eat fruit. Other than fish, meat, green veggies, and eggs (and olive oil), I eat only (sparingly as a treat, almonds, walnuts, or almond butter--never have all three in the house at the same time!).
Sounds good to me Catalina. However, if you are trying to lose weight protein offers an incredible satiety benefit when in a calorie deficit (which is how you lose weight). So as long as eating 70 grams/day leaves you satiated and not hungry I would think that's about right. If you find yourself getting too hungry, then up your protein.
On a side note, I'd take what Eades says with a grain of salt. He skews everything he writes about to support his theory that low-carb has some magical power. In reality, it's about calories. HOWEVER, I believe eating primally is the healthiest and most efficient way of eating (and living) because of the effect of protein and fat on fullness and satiety.
Additionally, plenty of people have lost weight and gotten extremely lean on a diet extremely high in carbohydrates, but most are either a) cardio addicts (burn lots of calories but are unhealthy), B) bodybuilders who burn a ton of calories, or C) people who stay extremely hungry because carbs (not to mention high-carb diets are usually too low in dietary fat) make you hungrier due to the speed at which carbs are digested, which is fairly fast (outside of healthy, fibrous carbs). Insulin sensitivity is also another issue to consider. You'll never hear Eades admit that, even though it is a fact.
With all that said, eat enough protein and fat to keep you full and fill in the rest with carbs. On more active days, allow yourself more carbs.
There's more to the question than just whether the protein "turns to fat."
Nora Gedgaudas discusses the newly discovered pathways in her book. She advocates very moderate protein, especially for people not doing heavy labor. She also points out that it has to be absolutely the best quality, full, complete, with good fats accompanying. She stresses that vegetable protein, even if completed by food combining, carries far too much carb and not enough other nutrition.
What she describes is a pathway discovered quite recently (TOR) which evaluates how much protein you have coming in, and then directs you to one of two directions:
Lots of protein -- oh, good, you can make babies. She talks about the plan being, the emphasis is put on good babies, not preserving the parents into an extended old age. Kind of "seize the day for tomorrow you die".
Not so much protein -- oops, partial famine, not a good baby-making time. Therefore, better change gears to preserve the organism till conditions improve, so it can make babies later. Switch everything to repair and regeneration, away from aging.
Underfeeding animal experiments (in many different animals) show that tumors regress, diseases of aging are greatly delayed, and animals stay more active. But immune systems are so underfed that some of the animals had to be kept in sterile conditions.
Nora claims that while people were designing these studies for low total calories, actually you can have good saturated fat so you don't feel starved, because it's the protein level which determines which mode one is in. And of course it has to be low carb.
It's all very new to me. I'm wondering what other details will appear as people work through the science and try variations. In the meantime, it was of great interest to me, because it showed me why my previous low-carb-lots-and-lots-of-meat, fish, eggs, and cheese was not getting my muscles healed. It seemed like I just couldn't manage to direct all that good protein to the tasks needed. It was kind of mind-boggling to think that if I'd eaten less protein (but still low carb) I might have been able to improve the fibro-like muscle pains.
You don't lose weight by calorie deficit. At least not for me. I lose weight when I keep my blood sugar levels stable and my carb intake under 100 g. Calories are not an issue. Also a completely full stomach would raise body sugar, even if it was all meat or fat.
This may help your understanding of calories: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...different.html
Originally Posted by strom
I dunno if I can access the studies they did in a prison where they overfed inmates and most did not gain much weight. What you eat makes a bigger difference.
Ok I am a little confused. I thought body fat was the sole decider on reproducing. Fat more than protein should play a role in alerting the body of boby making shouldn’t it?
Originally Posted by piano-doctor-lady
MalPaz, I'm confused as well.
It apparently has to do with turning on some anti-aging genes called sirtuins. Maybe Googling that will help; better yet, maybe Grokologist can explain.
Thanks, everybody, for the input! I think I may get Nora's book next.