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Avoid too much protein?

I read Gary Taubes' book 'Why we get fat" which Tim said he agrees with most of what he says. In it, Taubes warns about having too much protein saying that it can cause light headedness, diarrhea etc. and not to restrict the amount of fat you get. I've also heard that fat is a much cleaner fuel compared to protein since it doesn't tax the liver as much.

I watched this youtube video also which the doctor recommends 10-15% carbs, 15-25% protein, 60-70% fat as the ideal ratio.

The slow carb diet seems to promote leaner meats, maybe to burn more fat? I guess it depends on your goals, I've lost most of my weight now and am trying to focus more on general health.

What do you think is the most 'healthy' balance?

  • dimbooti commented Apr 2nd 2012:

    I think you bring up some good questions. I just don't have any answers. I guess what I've learned so far is the variety of ways people are going about following the exact same rules. But the rules are just guidelines. I'm trying to figure out what works for my body. It appears that I need much less carbs (I've 1/2 my beans) and upped my protein and veggies and seeing what changes occur. I think the increase in good fats is going to help also. But there seems to be a unique balance between different people (based on reading this site). It inspires me to keep tweeking the diet till I get it right for me.


The Best Answer

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This is called the Ketosis Diet. The increase in fats produce Ketones in your kidneys telling you that your body has burned off the excess glycogen and is now in fat burning. You can measure your ketones by using Ketostix. The Ketosis Diet was first used to control Epilepsy, but are now finding that the increase of medium chain triglycerides (ex// coconut oil) with or in between meals that there has been significant improvement in Parkinsons and Alzheimer Disease. The added benefit is that the good fat keeps your insulin low which causes your body starts to use the fat as fuel.

I have increased fats (1 tsp melted in an 2oz of water with each meal or in between meals to control insulin), a little less protein and low carbs for a few days the body starts to produce ketones and I loose 1-3 lbs. Great way to kick start a diet if you start to stall. As an added bonus, increasing fats also drastically decreases sugar cravings and appetite.

I also notice that after having a cold bath for 30 minutes that the body produced Ketones. Another way to support Tim's approach to Cold Therapy.

Hope this helps a bit. Take care.

  • Dane Lipscombe commented Apr 3rd 2012:

    Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware you could measure your keytones. I have heard that running purely off keytones isn't good for the brain and other organs long term. But you would probably only want to do that ratio if you want to burn fat or reverse heart disease (as in the video) etc., and had enough motivation to avoid carbs for a while.

    I think that I will test increasing my fats (including saturated) since learning how good they are for you.

  • Ramonastar commented Apr 3rd 2012:

    You can get urine sticks over the counter at the drug store to test for ketones.

All Answers


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I eat lots of both fat and protein =P

TF did bring up a study where subjects were fed a 90% diet of either fat, protein and carbs. The subjects that were fed a 90% fat diet lost a small amount MORE than those on the protein diet. However, a 90% diet does not seem very palatable to me.

As I progressed on the SCD, I found myself moving towards Taube's ratios. I raised my fat quantity mainly to offset the decrease in carbs. I kept losing fat.

I am on Occam's Protocol. I would estimate that I am at 50% fat, 30% protein, 20% carbs. Part of that ratio is based on aiming to eat 1.25 gram of protein for each lb of LBM and maintaining around 80 -120 grams of carbs. The rest of my calories by default comes in the form of fat.

I don't think the issue is too much protein or too much fat or carbs for that matter. I think it's a matter of what sort of lifestyle you have (are you an endurance athlete, looking to put on muscle, or just looking to maintain general health).

I think Taubes guidelines are a good place to start but I think it's up to each person to self-experiment and find a balance that works specificially for them. In the end, for me is to be more intuitive about my eating rather than follow some ratio of macronutrients. Part of that is to retrain/recalibrate the body so it runs cleaner and better so it seeks a healthier diet naturally.

In the end of all, if your diet is making you sick (diarrhea, light headedness) then you need to examine it.

  • Sam Green commented Apr 3rd 2012:

    Wouldn't you just lose more muscle on a 90% fat diet? I did that back in the summer, it's called the Atkins Fat Fast. Very similar go fasting - I lost 1lb a day every time I did it and felt dizzy everytime I stood up. No hunger or cravings but costly on health.

  • Dane Lipscombe commented Apr 3rd 2012:

    Yes, it does depend on your what your trying to achieve. Extreme ratios don't seems so enjoyable but are more goal focused. Since I am not so worried about weight loss, I can probably be a bit more relaxed on having carbs (I'd like to have a bit of dairy). ;)

    I have experienced a bit of light headedness while cutting out carbs initially, but not from too much protein. If I just make sure I'm getting plenty of fat with my protein, then I can probably stop worrying about too much protein damaging my health. :D


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This is a great video. Thanks for posting.


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Thanks for sharing the video. Watching now. Very informative!

  • Icandoit commented Apr 3rd 2012:

    I agree. I sent it to all my friends and family who are freaking out about all the eggs and meat I'm eating. Heart disease and diabetes run in my family and we've all been struggling with diet. Apparently we've been following the completely wrong diet. I hope they watch and listen. It's tough to undo 40 years of brainwashing.

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