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What are the risks of high protein, low carb diets?

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Some experts have raised concern about high-protein, low-carb diets.

  • High cholesterol.Some protein sources -- like fatty cuts of meat, whole dairy products, and other high-fat foods -- can raise cholesterol, increasing your chance of heart disease. However, studies showed that people on the Atkins diet for up to 2 years actually had decreased “bad” cholesterol levels.
  • Kidney problems. If you have any kidney problems, eating too much protein puts added strain on your kidneys. This could worsen kidney function.
  • Osteoporosis and kidney stones. When you're on a high-protein diet, you may urinate more calcium than normal. There are conflicting reports, but some experts think this could make osteoporosis and kidney stones more likely.
Reviewed by William Blahd on May 10, 2017
Reviewed by William Blahd on May 10, 2017

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How do you know if a low-carb diet is right for you?

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