Once confined to sports fanatics and bodybuilders, high-protein diets are now commonplace among non-athletes too – with diets like Paleo, Atkins, Zone and Dukan advocating that people eat large quantities of fish, meat, eggs, nuts and cheese in order to lose weight. In the UK alone, 37% of people believe protein helps with weight loss, and 43% of women eat more to prevent weight gain.
However some scientists suggest that high protein intake is linked to increased cancer, diabetes, and overall mortality in middle age. And restricting other foods, such as high-fibre fruit and vegetables, may cause other health problems from constipation to vitamin deficiency.
So should we worry about how much protein we eat?