It’s Time to Rethink High-Protein Diets for Weight Loss

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A new study suggests there’s a downside to all that protein

Eating a diet that’s high in protein is often recommended for people trying to lose weight, since high-protein foods make people feel more full, preventing overeating. However, a new study suggests that while the diet may help people slim down, it doesn’t necessarily improve other health problems under the hood.

In a small study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis followed 34 postmenopausal women with obesity for about six months. The women were split into three groups: One group kept their diet the same, one group went on a calorie-restricted weight loss diet (with the daily recommended amount of protein), and another group went on the same diet but also increased their protein intake by about 150-250 calories. The researchers provided all the meals for the women, and besides the increased protein, the diets were virtually the same.

The study authors found that while both groups of women were able to lose about 10% of their body weight, the women who ate more protein experienced no changes in their insulin sensitivity—which is important for overall health.

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