Metabolic effects of high-protein diets

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2007 Dec;9(6):472-8. doi: 10.1007/s11883-007-0063-y.


Protein is more satiating than carbohydrate or fat, and high-protein diets (25%-35% of energy) are commonly used for weight loss. High-protein diets usually replace carbohydrate with protein and may be low or high in saturated fat. Invariably, serum triglyceride is lower with the lower intake of carbohydrate, but the effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol are strongly dependent on the amount of carbohydrate restriction and the intake of saturated fat, and in some cases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol may rise despite weight loss. In situations of weight stability, higher intakes of protein are associated with lower blood pressures, and in diabetic patients higher intakes of protein are associated with lower glycosylated hemoglobin. The overall effect on long-term atherosclerosis risk is not clear, as the current limited epidemiology provides conflicting data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Soybean Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Triglycerides / analysis
  • Weight Loss / physiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Soybean Proteins
  • Triglycerides