In my opinion, one of the worst diet fads ever to come along is the high-protein diet. Sure, a lot of people lose weight on these diets. But that's because the diets limit sugar, refined carbs, and starches. If you limit these, just about any diet will be successful.

The problem with high-protein diets is that they're very high in saturated fat. And saturated fat can lead to many health problems, including heart disease and cancer.

Two new studies confirm this.  In the first study, researchers followed middle-age men between the ages of 50 and 60. Not only did the researchers discover a direct link between high-fat intake and prostate cancer, but they found the probable reason why.

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When you eat more fat, you put on more fat tissue. And inside those fat tissues is an enzyme called aromatase, which converts male hormones into estrogen.  And excess estrogen has been implicated in prostate cancer. 

So by lowering your fat intake, you may lower your aromatase, and thus your risk of estrogen-induced cancers. 

This was confirmed in the second study, where researchers found that a low-fat diet will significantly lower women's risk of breast-cancer recurrence. While recurrence is a little different than preventing the disease altogether, the goal in both cases is to prevent the growth of cancer cells.

The study included women aged 48-79 years, with 975 receiving a low-fat diet and 1,462 women on the standard diet of about 35% fat calories. According to the researchers, those participants who reduced the fat content of their diet to a low 15% reduced recurrence by a remarkable 24%. It was almost twice as powerful if the cancers were estrogen-receptor negative.

The findings startled the American Cancer Society. One official said comparable findings would be cause for excitement had the trial tested a chemotherapy agent instead of diet. You can say that again. But instead, the study was cut short for a lack of funding and found little support among the medical journals.

These studies provide more evidence to support what I've been saying for years. For most of you, fat should be only about 10%-15% of your diet.  Most of the protein in your diet should come from sources other than meat, as the fat content is so high.

For those telling you to eat lots of meat and fat, I say baloney!

Yours for medical freedom,

Ref: Family Practice News, July 1, 2005.

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