There have been numerous articles recently which claimed that a High Protein diet increases the risk of Heart Failure. Perhaps one of the fairest reports came from the University of Eastern Finland where the study was done. “High protein diet slightly increases heart failure risk in middle-aged men.

Researchers studied 2,441 men, age 42 to 60, at the study’s start and followed them for an average 22 years. Overall, researchers found 334 cases of heart failure were diagnosed during the study and 70 percent of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7 percent from plant sources. Higher intake of protein from most dietary sources, was associated with slightly higher risk. Only proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study, researchers said.

At the bottom of the article was a link to the actual study report. That report actually speaks to a number of variables that really impact the results.

Table 1 shows the baseline characteristics of the study population. Men with greater total protein intake were younger, more likely to be married, had longer education, and higher income than those with lower protein intake. On the contrary, they had higher BMI and were more likely to have diabetes mellitus. They had higher intake of fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fruits, berries and vegetables, and processed red meat. High animal protein intake was also associated with more favorable socioeconomic factors, but with higher BMI, higher probability of being smoker and having diabetes mellitus. Those with higher animal protein intake had lower intake of fiber but higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids. High plant protein intake was generally associated with healthier lifestyle and dietary factors (Table 1).

Two questions unanswered:

(1) What amount protein is actually a high protein diet? If you are eating a VLCHF diet, you should be eating “normal” levels of protein – whatever that amount is. For me – it is one (1) gram per pound of lean body mass.

(2) Can you eat healthy if you are eating VLCHF? Yes – No Question. You merely need to know how to eat. Eating the way we do has put me on the healthiest food path of my many ill spent years. Knowledge is everything.