How To Safely Transform Dietary Protein into Healthy Longevity

Explaining the protein paradox based on science and personal experience

What is new?

High protein (HP) diets are popular for losing weight, gaining muscle, and improving health. These claims are true, BUT not because of the protein and not for most of the diets’ followers.

Why it matters

It is the combination with exercise that makes athletes thrive on a HP diet while couch potatoes suffer on it. And at older age the effects of LP vs HP diets may reverse.

What you should do

If you still can’t bring yourself to exercise sufficiently, take heed of the findings about right protein intake at the right age.



The basics of proteins and amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are very large molecules that show up in almost every metabolic reaction. They also provide structure, from the body’s cellular to its organismal level. Different proteins have different sequences of amino acids. These sequences are encoded in our genes.

When a gene is activated to string amino acids together into a specific protein, that process is called translation. There are 20 different amino acids which the body uses to translate genetic instructions into proteins. Of those 20 nine are essential, that is, we need to get them from our food. The 3 BCAAs are part of those 9. The remaining 11 we need not worry about, the body can produce them without our help.

A cautionary note about mice

While we share most genes, the genes’ networks are vastly different [5]. Mouse metabolism differs in key aspects from human metabolism, so exercise interventions that show a specific effect in mice may not replicate in humans [6].

  • Testing: Researchers can do a lot more testing. That includes euthanizing the mice after the experiment, which is generally frowned upon when dealing with human subjects.

Why are athletes, but not sedentary people, healthy on an HP diet?

Food intake and fat gain

“ resistance exercise protects from HP-induced increases in adiposity … and suggests that metabolically unhealthy sedentary individuals consuming an HP diet or protein supplements might benefit from either reducing their protein intake or beginning a resistance exercise program.”

“Protein restriction is sufficient to confer almost the same clinical outcomes as calorie restriction without the need for a reduction in calorie intake.”

What is it about protein restriction that promotes health and longevity?

Protein restriction

BCAA reduction may become counter-productive

Which protein diet are YOU supposed to eat? (for a healthy, long lifespan)

“Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” Theodosius Dobzhansky

“If I was under the age of 65, I’d probably think about ways to decrease my protein intake a bit. Pretty much everyone is eating too much protein.” Dudley Lamming

My Approach to Nutrition

I eat a meat-leaning diet, which complements my 5-days-per-week exercise regimen (30 minutes of split routine strength training and 60 minutes of cardio). In fact, I would rather live with no carbs than no meat.


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