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Protein Requirements in the Atkins 20 Diet Report

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Updated: Jan 17th, 2022

Critique of the High Protein Diet

A Summary of the Diet

The chosen high-protein diet is the Atkins 20 diet from the Atkins 20 website. This diet is implemented in four stages of increasing total carbs. The total carbs in stages 1, 2, 3, and 4 are 20 to 25 grams, 25 to 50 grams, 50 to 80 grams, and 80 to100 grams respectively (Atkins, 2016). The rest of the calories are obtained from protein and fat. The diet has a vegan variation that recommends obtaining 31 percent of calories from plant proteins. In the first phase, an individual begins switching the body from burning carbohydrates to fats. Weight loss occurs rapidly due to the breakdown of fat in a biological process known as ketosis. The dietary intake mainly comprises protein and fat. Carbohydrates are obtained from vegetables. However, vegetarians should not undergo this step. In the second stage of this diet, more foods are added back to the diet to determine the optimum amounts of carbohydrates that can be taken without excessive weight gain. In the third phase, the person learns how to maintain weight loss and get rid of the remaining few pounds. The last phase is the maintenance phase, which aims at sustaining the weight loss for the rest of the person’s life and preventing additional weight gain.

Important Facts about the Diet

The Atkins 20 diet is useful in the shedding of weight in the short term. The results of this plan are realized in the first few days. However, it is important to follow the rest of the steps to sustain weight loss. It is also beneficial in improving blood sugar levels. There is no need to exercise to stimulate weight loss on the Atkins diet plan. However, most people tend to substitute the missing carbs with red meat that contains large quantities of saturated fat, which may negate the benefits of the diet plan.

My Opinion about the Diet

In my opinion, as much as the diet is beneficial in helping to initiate weight loss, the longstanding consequences of restricting carbs and consuming excessive animal fat are unpleasant. For example, taking excessive fats contained in animal proteins may have disastrous effects on the blood lipid profile of a person thus predisposing them to cardiovascular complications such as atherosclerosis and hypertension (Fletcher et al., 2005). In addition, the burning of fats to liberate energy instead of glucose (from carbohydrates) leads to the accumulation of ketone bodies or ketoacidosis, which may interfere with the acid-base balance (Seifter & Chang, 2016).

My Protein Intake

My Protein Needs

Given that the recommended dietary allowance of protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, my protein intake should be 0.8 grams/kg ×60 kgs since I weigh 60 kilograms. My required protein intake is 48 grams per day.

Data Collection

On an average day, my meals consist of two large boiled eggs, two slices of bread, and a cup of black coffee for breakfast. For lunch, I tend to snack by eating a vegetable sandwich with a glass of milk. Dinner consists of a serving of white rice, minced beef, and steamed kales.

One large egg contains 6 grams of protein while a glass of milk contains approximately 8 grams of protein. One serving of minced beef contains 18 grams of protein, which brings the total protein to 38 grams per day.

My daily intake of protein does not meet the recommended daily dietary allowance of 42 grams a day. There is a deficit of approximately 4 grams of protein. The RDA can be accomplished by increasing the serving of minced meat or taking more milk.

Comparing My Protein Requirements to the High Protein Diet

A-List of Foods that the Plan Recommends

The Atkins 20 diet recommends foods such as healthy fats, cheeses, nuts and seeds, legumes, tomato juice, starchy vegetables, whole grains, whole milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt. On the other hand, my diet does not pay any special attention to the quantities of carbohydrates in a serving but aims to provide a simple balanced diet.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the High Protein Diet from a Nutritional Standpoint

The advantages of a high-protein diet are that it contains adequate proteins to meet the needs of people with high protein needs. It is also beneficial in weight control because proteins bring about a sense of satiety thus preventing the excessive intake of carbohydrates and fats, which are responsible for weight gain. A high protein diet is also useful in attaining a balance of blood sugar levels and correct blood pressure levels. It also helps in the sustenance of muscle mass in weight loss diets.

However, high protein diets are not healthy in the long run. Excessive quantities of protein are thought to result in kidney damage. However, these suppositions are not backed by adequate scientific evidence. Recent studies show that high protein diets do not affect the kidney function of healthy people (Antonio, Ellerbroek, Silver, Vargas, & Peacock, 2016). However, in people with kidney problems, hypertension, and diabetes, low-protein diets are preferable (Kitada et al., 2016). In addition, including red meats in high-protein diets has additional adverse consequences because red meat contains saturated fats that contribute to weight gain and the accumulation of low-density lipoproteins or ‘bad cholesterol’ (Alisson-Silva, Kawanishi, & Varki, 2016).

Why Someone May Choose to Be, or Not to Be On a High Protein Diet

Individuals may choose to be on high-protein diets for several reasons. For example, people involved in strenuous physical exercises tear down their muscle tissues, which need to be reinstated and built using amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Essential amino acids are only obtained in food proteins hence the need for a high-protein diet. High protein intake also helps build muscle and strength.

A person may choose to be on a high-protein diet to lose weight because high protein intake helps with low-calorie adherence by providing satiety. The satiety is attributed to the slow digestion of proteins, which sustains the feeling of fullness for a long. In weight loss regimens, taking large quantities of protein help in the prevention of muscle loss that results when dieting.

The physical activity of an individual also determines their protein needs. A physically active person requires more protein than a sedentary person. For example, endurance athletes require between 1.2 and 1.4 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight, which is higher than the normal RDA of 0.8 grams/kg for sedentary people.

The elderly also require more protein to prevent osteoporosis and the reduction in muscle mass, which is known as sarcopenia (Rozenberg et al., 2016; Hoffman, 2017). When recovering from injuries, it is important to take more proteins to facilitate healing.

References

Alisson-Silva, F., Kawanishi, K., & Varki, A. (2016). Human risk of diseases associated with red meat intake: Analysis of current theories and proposed role for metabolic incorporation of a non-human sialic acid. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 51, 16-30.

Antonio, J., Ellerbroek, A., Silver, T., Vargas, L., & Peacock, C. (2016). The effects of a high protein diet on indices of health and body composition–a crossover trial in resistance-trained men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13(1), 1-3.

Atkins. (2016). Web.

Fletcher, B., Berra, K., Ades, P., Braun, L. T., Burke, L. E., Durstine, J. L.,… Hiatt, W. R. (2005). Managing abnormal blood lipids a collaborative approach: Cosponsored by the Councils on Cardiovascular Nursing; Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology; Basic Cardiovascular Sciences; Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Clinical Cardiology; Epidemiology and Prevention; Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; and Stroke; and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Circulation, 112(20), 3184-3209.

Hoffman, R. (2017). Can the paleolithic diet meet the nutritional needs of older people? Maturitas, 95, 63-64.

Kitada, M., Ogura, Y., Suzuki, T., Sen, S., Lee, S. M., Kanasaki, K.,… Koya, D. (2016). A very-low-protein diet ameliorates advanced diabetic nephropathy through autophagy induction by suppression of the mTORC1 pathway in Wistar fatty rats, an animal model of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Diabetologia, 59(6), 1307-1317.

Rozenberg, S., Body, J. J., Bruyère, O., Bergmann, P., Brandi, M. L., Cooper, C.,… Rizzoli, R. (2016). Effects of dairy products consumption on health: benefits and beliefs—a commentary from the Belgian Bone Club and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Calcified Tissue International, 98(1), 1-17.

Seifter, J. L., & Chang, H. Y. (2016). Disorders of acid-base balance: New perspectives. Kidney Diseases, 2(4), 170-186.

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