Is Too Much Protein Bad for the Heart?

protein diet heartThere is a trend in the diet world of increasing your intake of protein and reducing your intake of carbohydrates. At first, this style of eating can lead to drastic weight loss, but is it safe?

A new study finds that high protein diets can increase the risk of heart failure among middle-aged men.


The study analyzed information from over 2,400 men aged 42 to 60 who recorded what they ate over the course of four days. The men were not instructed to adhere to a specific diet.

The men were divided into one of four groups based on their protein intake. The participants were tracked on average for 22 years. During the follow-up period, 330 men were diagnosed with heart failure.

The men in the highest protein consumption group were 33 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart failure compared to those with the lowest consumption of protein.

Protein from dairy and meat were more related to heart failure risk than protein from plant-based sources, but even high amounts of plant-based protein still carried a 17 percent higher risk of heart failure compared to lower consumption.

Senior author of the study Jyrki Virtanen explained, “As many people seem to take the health benefits of high-protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets.”

Dr. Andrew Freeman, who was not involved in the study, commented, “The overall sum of the data that’s out there would suggest that the high-protein diet that’s become a fad as of late is not necessarily the most ideal diet. Americans consume way too much protein.”

It is recommended that people consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 pounds per body weight. For example, a person weighing 155 pounds would need to consume 56 grams of protein.


How much protein a person requires varies depending on factors such as activity level, health status, gender, and age.

Although high protein diets are trendy right now, you should always speak to your doctor prior to beginning a new diet, especially if you already have other risk factors for heart failure.

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Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.


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