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Seen At 11: The Health Risks Associated With High-Protein Diets

Experts: Excess Amounts Could Harm The Kidneys, Cause Dehydration

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, look around; you may be surprised by the number of products that feature added protein.

But could all of this added protein be too much of a good thing?

“I’m more inclined to buy the ones that have the little label on it that says ’27 grams of protein,’” Stephanie Ward recently told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson.

Eating healthy sources of protein can help make you feel fuller longer, research has shown, but now food companies are adding protein to foods that don’t normally contain it.

“We’re seeing protein being added to just about everything — granola bars, breakfast cereals, breads,” said supermarket guru Phil Lempert.

Even drinks like almond milk and water are getting an added shot of protein, and many shoppers are choosing these products as an alternative to meat and chicken.

“What we’re discovering through good science is that there’s a lot of vegetable proteins out there that are very tasty,” Lempert said.

Some of the most popular new protein sources on the market include hemp, lentil, and pea proteins.

“A lot of these proteins are dairy-free. They’re soy free. They’re gluten free, and they’re a great additive, especially for people that don’t eat meat,” explained Jim White of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

But, while protein is essential, experts told CBS 2 that it should only make up 10 to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake.

“The average American consumes about double the recommended amount of protein,” White said. “People need to know not to go overboard.”

Experts warned that going overboard on protein could cause some serious health problems.

“Consuming double the amount of protein we need can cause stress on the kidneys. It can increase the urinary loss of calcium. It can also cause dehydration,” White said.

To keep things in check experts suggested aiming for 25 grams of protein per meal, and cutting back on carbohydrates and fat to avoid gaining excess weight.

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