Study: Too much protein as harmful as smoking cigarettes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Too much protein as harmful as smoking cigarettes

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There are all kinds of diets out there, both good and bad. However, a recent study shows one of the diets may actually be as harmful as smoking cigarettes. There are all kinds of diets out there, both good and bad. However, a recent study shows one of the diets may actually be as harmful as smoking cigarettes.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

There are all kinds of diets out there, both good and bad. However, a recent study shows one of the diets may actually be as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

You may want to check inside your freezer because new research shows too much meat and other proteins could shorten your life.

Patrick Koetting says four and a half years ago, his eating habits were completely different.

"I had a lifestyle where I was eating lots of big meals, thinking I needed the energy and meat was the center of it,” Koetting said. “One day, one of my coworkers started making fun of me. It got to me, got under my skin and I thought ‘This is the one change I can make.’"

He completely cut meat from his diet. He went vegetarian.

"I recover quicker from being sick,” Koetting said. “I just feel differently in the morning."

According to a recent study, Koetting has the right idea. Research shows extremely high-protein diets can be as harmful as smoking cigarettes, especially for middle-aged adults.

"What they found was, people who had those amounts had more risks for chronic diseases,” Dietitian Raina Childers said.

Childers says while protein is important, you may not need as much of it as you think.

"Really, the body is incredibly efficient with protein, so you don't need large amounts,” Childers said. “What we've found is, if you have small amounts then distribute it throughout the day, you maximize the benefit and you're less likely to over consume that way as well.”

Koetting says if you think it’s time to cut back on the protein, give it a try. He says it’s possible for even the biggest meat-eaters.

"Instead of having a 16 ounce Porterhouse, dial it back,” Koetting said. “Have eight ounces of meat, you know, and let's bone up on the green vegetables, the colored vegetables and try it."

Dieticians say you don't have to cut out meat and protein altogether. They say at any age, a balanced, healthy diet is always the way to go.

Dieticians say about a quarter of each meal should be made up of protein. However, that could vary depending on your age and lifestyle. They say registered dieticians can help you figure out which diet works best for you.

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