A low-protein diet can sometimes be recommended by doctors or dietitians for people with liver or kidney disease. Protein contains nitrogen, which the body gets rid of the urine. If your liver or kidneys are not working properly, this can build up in the blood, such as ammonia or other toxic nitrogen waste. Side effects may include nausea, headache and fatigue. The problem of a very low-protein diet is that the body needs protein for tissue repair, growth, healing and fighting infections. Protein should never be completely eliminated from the diet.
Protein deficiency can cause the body to take the necessary amino acids, or building blocks of protein from muscle tissue and other body areas. This creates a catabolic effect and can cause muscle weakness and muscle loss. Protein is also an important factor in the body’s ability to balance calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D, which is essential for bone health. Anyone on a low protein diet need to check these levels closely, and take supplements if necessary. Iron is an essential mineral that may be lacking in a low-protein diet. Iron deficiency anemia is common in people who do not get enough protein in your diet. Malnutrition is also a consideration.
After a low-protein diet may mean getting some of your protein from complex carbohydrates and animal proteins. While complex carbohydrates does contain a certain amount of protein, this is not as bio available as more traditional sources. It is important to get at least 0.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This corresponds to about 40 g to 50 g for most of us. Many cereals and cereal contains about 2 grams of protein per half cup, while vegetables contains about 1 gram. Trace elements found in fruits. Anyone following a low-protein diet should consult a doctor or nutritionist for advice first.
Importance of Training
Exercise is an important factor for anyone on a low-protein diet, so strength training can help with muscle loss. In 2004, researchers at Tufts University’s Center on Aging in Boston, those with chronic kidney disease and on low-protein diets benefited from regular strength training. Total muscle fibers increased by 32 percent in those who exercised for 45 minutes three times a week, compared with those who did not. Those who have not lost about 3 percent of their body weight during the same period.