According to findings presented last week at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic, researchers have found that a high-protein diet may increase the risk of weight gain and early death for those at risk for heart disease.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from over 7,000 men and women aged 55 and over without heart disease.
Researchers assessed their protein consumption for about 5 years using food questionnaires. Although participants did not have heart disease, they all had either type 2 diabetes or three or more risk factors for heart disease, such as hypertension, smoking, dyslipidemia, and obesity.
Results showed that when protein replaced fat, risk of death increased by 66% and when protein replaced carbohydrates, it was increased by 59%.
When protein replaced carbohydrates, participants had a 90% higher risk of gaining more than 10% of body weight.
Diets rich in animal protein have also been associated with an elevated risk of colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
A high-protein diet may backfire for people at risk for heart disease—increasing the likelihood of weight gain and early death, a new study suggests.