Submitted to: Society for Nutrition Education
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2002
Publication Date: July 27, 2002
Citation: BOWMAN, S.A. AN EVALUATION OF HIGH-PROTEIN DIETS: THEIR ENERGY CONTENT AND NUTRIENT PROFILE. SOCIETY FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION. 2002. 35th Annual Meeting, St. Paul, Minnesota, July 27-31, 2004. Vol. 35, No. 1. Technical Abstract: High-protein diets are among the many weight-loss diet programs that are marketed in the U. S. Weight-reduction is achieved through having a negative energy balance. Women, more than men, are frequent dieters. The purpose of this study was to evaluate self-selected diets having varying protein levels for their energy restriction and nutrient profile. Dietary intake data of women, 19 years of age and over, in the USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals 1994-96 was used. The women were grouped into three groups based on the percentage of total energy from protein: Group 1, less than 20 percent (N= 3975); Group 2, 20 percent to 25 percent (N=640); and Group 3, above 25 percent (N=272). Although Group 3 women had the highest meat, poultry, and fish (265 g) intakes, their diet was the most energy-restrictive (1,170 kilocalories) of the three and had the lowest total fat (40 g) and saturated fat (13 g) content. Group 3 also ohad the lowest grain products, fruits and fruit juices, and milk intakes and therefore had the lowest carbohydrate intake. Their diet was restrictive in vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium and low in vitamins A and C. Group 1 had the highest energy (1,718 kilocalories), carbohydrate, total fat, and saturated fat intakes. Group 2's diet was moderately energy-restrictive (1,437 kilocalories) and fairly adequate in many essential micronutrients. Dietitians providing weight-loss guidance need to recognize that high-protein diets, though energy-restrictive, may lack adequate levels of a few essential micronutrients including antioxidant vitamins. This study was funded by USDA/ARS.