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Where's the Beef? Where's the Health Benefit?

Protein for health and weight loss

Can a Certain Type of Protein Lead to Weight Loss?

Apparently, it doesn't matter whether your protein primarily comes from lean beef or chicken. As long as you reduce your total calories by 500 a day and participate in an exercise program (in this study it was a walking fitness program), you will most likely enjoy some weight loss and improved cholesterol levels. This evidence comes from a recent study with overweight, sedentary, nonsmoking women conducted by the Rippe Lifestyle Institute in Shrewsbury, Mass.

A recent six-month trial demonstrated that replacing "some" dietary carbohydrate with protein improved weight loss -- but this was when the diet was still, overall, a reduced-fat diet.

Higher protein is in vogue these days because of the publicized success of quick weight loss. But studies also show that there might be long-term health consequences of such a diet, and slow but sure weight loss can take place with a healthy high-fiber, moderate-protein, and moderate-fat plan -- a way of eating that we can live with for the rest of our lives. Yes, we do need protein, but at levels of 15%, not 50%, of calories from fat. So when it comes to protein, it looks like moderation is the healthiest choice of all.

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Reviewed on June 06, 2003

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