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Would A Higher Intake of Protein Result In A Healthier Diet?

A diet with various foods plays a key role in overall well-being and health. Protein is one of the most important components in every diet.

In general, this nutrient enables the body to work properly by maintaining the structure and regulating other functions. You may get protein from different sources, such as grains, some veggies, dairy products, and meat.

A recent study published in the Obesity Journal suggested that consuming more protein would help with weight loss. More importantly, this would lower the loss of lean mass in the body and affect their food choices.

In this project, scientists examine the effects of self-selected protein consumption in caloric restriction on lean body mass and diet quality.

The study analyzed data from many trials with 207 individuals before and during 6 months of calorie-restricted diets.

All people were either obese or overweight. They had to participate in a weight loss program for 6 to 12 months with counseling sessions for the first 8 weeks and follow-up appointments with a dietitian nutritionist.

The authors examined their dietary intake and body composition, as well as other factors, such as diet quality and protein sources.

Participants were divided into two groups: higher and lower protein intake.

The results suggested that both groups experienced the same amount of weight loss. Nevertheless, the loss of lean body mass was less in those with higher protein intake.

In addition, the higher protein group made better food choices, such as reduced intake of added sugar and refined grains as well as increased consumption of green veggies.

In general, this study suggests that adding more protein to the diet may help with weight loss. However, there are several drawbacks.

Firstly, there may be some errors in collecting data as participants reported their dietary intake on their own. The authors reduced the risk by providing counseling.

Another limitation is that the form of protein would affect the benefits. In this project, most people consumed protein from plant sources or lean meats. Scientists also note that most participants were female and white. Therefore, the results should not be generalized.

Last but not least, the methods used for calculating lean body mass in this study did not differentiate between mass in muscles and mass in organs. For this reason, it is not reasonable to claim that the loss of lean body mass in those people with lower protein intake was merely from muscle loss.