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High-Protein Diet Linked to Heart Failure for Older Women

A new study shows that women over age 50 who eat a diet too high in meat proteins are more at risk for heart failure, CNN Health reports. Vegetable proteins, however, did not pose a risk.

High-protein, low-carb diet fads have come and gone over the years as a method of losing weight, but only recently has it come to light that all this protein — usually sourced from meats — is simply not healthy. One of the primary problems with excess protein or amino acids is that it stimulates mTOR, which stimulates growth rather than regeneration. Fat calories do not stimulate mTOR, leptin or insulin.

Your mTOR pathway orchestrates all the available nutrient sensors in your body, and decides whether cells should replicate now or stay alive to replicate at a more opportune time in the future when nutrients are more plentiful. The latter is part of the mechanism that allows for life extension, and this is why calorie restriction appears to be so effective at making organisms live longer.

I recommend limiting protein to about 40 to 70 grams per day, depending on your lean body mass. The specific formula is one gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass, or one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. To determine your lean body mass, subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 30 percent body fat, then you have 70 percent lean body mass. Then multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.7) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos.