Can You Eat Too Much Protein?

The short answer from a dietitian

Protein as bacon, sausage, eggs for breakfast

Q: Is it possible to eat too much protein?

A: Like other food sources, too much of a good thing is not good at all. High protein intake also means ingesting excess calories and placing strain on your kidneys.

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Eating too much protein in one sitting over and over again can stress your kidneys which could lead to dehydration. So make sure you are distributing your intake evenly throughout the day.

How do you know if you are eating too much or too little? Following the standard rule of 0.8 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight is suggested. If you’re physically active, it’s OK for your intake to be a little bit higher to help with muscle repair and gain.

But you shouldn’t feel you have to eat strictly meat to help rebuild muscles. A variety of healthy protein sources are available for all diets.

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Choosing organic animal and plant-based proteins is always best. Look for lean, grass-fed meats or wild-caught fish. On the plant side, lentils, beans and nut butters are easy and nutritious sources.

If you’re wandering down the aisles looking at the countless tubs of protein powders, choose one that’s organic, has the fewest ingredients and is tested by a third party. Regulations for ingredients in protein powders are more lax, so it’s reassuring to know another source has verified the ingredients in a powder are safe and healthy.

— registered dietitian Kate Patton, RD

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