Consuming a high-protein diet as an adolescent may lead to weight gain as a person ages, according to findings published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism.
During a recent study, a total of 18 rat litters were divided into three groups of six, and were fed a high prebiotic fiber, high protein or a normal diet. The researchers continued feeding the animals these diets until they were 14 weeks old, and then switched them to a high-energy diet consisting of fats and sugars for six weeks.
The results showed that after consuming a high-protein diet, this group of rats experienced an increase in weight gain and body mass. Furthermore, this protein-based diet had a higher energy intake when compared with the animals that were given the fiber-based regimen.
The team concluded that further research will be needed to determine other long-term effects on future food consumption after following diets that are enriched with protein or sugar.
Raylene Reimer , lead researcher of this study, stated that these findings suggest that “a long-term diet high in protein, when mismatched with a high energy challenge, has negative effects on body mass and hormones and genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism.” She added that “however, a fiber-enriched diet may provide some protection.”
Those who wish to increase their fiber intake can benefit from adding apples, nuts, soy, watermelon and whole grains to their dietary regimen.