Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 8
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Schrijvers, Jenna McNaughton, Sarah Beck, Kathryn and Kruger, Rozanne 2016. Exploring the Dietary Patterns of Young New Zealand Women and Associations with BMI and Body Fat. Nutrients, Vol. 8, Issue. 8, p. 450.

    Wojcik, Jennifer L Aukema, Harold M Zahradka, Peter and Taylor, Carla G 2016. Effects of high protein diets on metabolic syndrome parameters. Current Opinion in Food Science, Vol. 8, p. 43.

    Alizade, Mohammad Didarloo, Alireza and Esmaillzadeh, Ahmad 2015. Dietary Patterns of Young Females and Their Association With Waist Circumference as a Health Index in Northwest of Iran, 2007. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, Vol. 17, Issue. 5,

    Qi, Lu 2015. Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics in Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods.

    Arildsen Jakobsen, Louise Margrethe Vuholm, Stine Aaslyng, Margit Dall Kristensen, Mette Sørensen, Karina Vejrum Raben, Anne and Kehlet, Ursula 2014. Sensory characteristics and consumer liking of sausages with 10% fat and added rye or wheat bran. Food Science & Nutrition, Vol. 2, Issue. 5, p. 534.

    Mellberg, C Sandberg, S Ryberg, M Eriksson, M Brage, S Larsson, C Olsson, T and Lindahl, B 2014. Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 68, Issue. 3, p. 350.

    Qi, Lu 2014. Gene–diet interaction and weight loss. Current Opinion in Lipidology, Vol. 25, Issue. 1, p. 27.

    Villaverde, Cecilia and Fascetti, Andrea J. 2014. Macronutrients in Feline Health. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, Vol. 44, Issue. 4, p. 699.


The role of high-protein diets in body weight management and health

  • Lisa Te Morenga (a1) (a2) and Jim Mann (a1) (a3) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2012

Studies examining the health benefits of high-protein diets typical of most affluent and many developing countries are not consistent. Prospective epidemiological studies relating dietary protein to clinical and metabolic endpoints suggest increased weight gain and increased risk of diabetes amongst those with a high protein intake and an increased risk of cancer with high intakes of red meat, but lower blood pressure and possibly a reduced risk of heart disease with higher protein intakes. The potential for high-protein diets to confer greater benefit than other diets has been examined using ad libitum and energy restricted diets. Of greatest interest have been the comparisons between high-protein and high-carbohydrate diets. Many trials have reported greater weight loss especially in the context of ad libitum diets over the short-to medium-term, sparing of lean body mass, lowering of triglyceride levels, improved HDL: total cholesterol ratio and improved glycaemic control. Limited data regarding insulin sensitivity are less consistent. A major difficulty in interpreting the results of these studies is that carbohydrate quality has not been taken into account. Furthermore, longer term comparisons of weight reducing diets differing in macronutrient composition have reported similar outcomes, suggesting that compliance is a more important consideration. Nevertheless dietary patterns with high-protein intakes are appropriate for weight reduction and weight maintenance and may be useful for those who have high triglyceride levels and other features of the metabolic syndrome.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The role of high-protein diets in body weight management and health
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The role of high-protein diets in body weight management and health
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The role of high-protein diets in body weight management and health
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Lisa Te Morenga, fax +64-3-479 7958, email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1M Konner & SB Eaton (2010) Paleolithic nutrition: twenty-five years later. Nutr Clin Pract 25, 594602.

3AJ Nordmann , A Nordmann , M Briel , et al. (2006) Effects of Low-Carbohydrate vs Low-Fat Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arch Intern Med 166, 285293.

4M Hession , C Rolland , U Kulkarni , et al. (2009) Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obes Rev 10, 3650.

5Y Song , JE Manson , JE Buring , et al. (2004) A prospective study of red meat consumption and type 2 diabetes in middle-aged and elderly women: the women's health study. Diabetes Care 27, 21082115.

6MB Schulze , M Schulz , C Heidemann , et al. (2008) Carbohydrate intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam Study. Br J Nutr 99, 11071116.

7I Sluijs , JW Beulens , AD van der , et al. (2010) Dietary intake of total, animal, and vegetable protein and risk of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-NL study. Diabetes Care 33, 4348.

8MA Pereira , DR Jacobs Jr, L Van Horn , et al. (2002) Dairy consumption, obesity, and the insulin resistance syndrome in young adults: the CARDIA Study. JAMA 287, 20812089.

9SC Larsson & A Wolk (2006) Meat consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Int J Cancer 119, 26572664.

12AM Bernstein , Q Sun , FB Hu , et al. (2010) Major dietary protein sources and risk of coronary heart disease in women. Circulation 122, 876883.

13SR Preis , MJ Stampfer , D Spiegelman , et al. (2010) Dietary protein and risk of ischemic heart disease in middle-aged men. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 12651272.

14SR Preis , MJ Stampfer , D Spiegelman , et al. (2009) Lack of association between dietary protein intake and risk of stroke among middle-aged men. Am J Clin Nutr 91, 3945.

15C Sauvaget , J Nagano , N Allen , et al. (2003) Intake of animal products and stroke mortality in the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Life Span Study. Int J Epidemiol 32, 536543.

16LE Kelemen , LH Kushi , DR Jacobs Jr, et al. (2005) Associations of dietary protein with disease and mortality in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol 161, 239249.

17W Altorf-van der Kuil , MF Engberink , EJ Brink , et al. (2010) Dietary protein and blood pressure: a systematic review. PLoS One 5, e12102.

18AR Skov , S Toubro , B Ronn , et al. (1999) Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 23, 528536.

19FF Samaha , N Iqbal , P Seshadri , et al. (2003) A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. N Engl J Med 348, 20742081.

20A Due , S Toubro , AR Skov , et al. (2004) Effect of normal-fat diets, either medium or high in protein, on body weight in overweight subjects: a randomised 1-year trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28, 12831290.

21KA McAuley , CM Hopkins , KJ Smith , et al. (2005) Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women. Diabetologia 48, 816.

22KA McAuley , KJ Smith , RW Taylor , et al. (2006) Long-term effects of popular dietary approaches on weight loss and features of insulin resistance. Int J Obes (Lond) 30, 342349.

23M Claessens , MA Van Baak , S Monsheimer , et al. (2009) The effect of a low-fat, high-protein or high-carbohydrate ad libitum diet on weight loss maintenance and metabolic risk factors. Int J Obes 33, 296304.

24KA McAuley , SM Williams , JI Mann , et al. (2002) Intensive lifestyle changes are necessary to improve insulin sensitivity: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care 25, 445452.

30DA Lasker , EM Evans & DK Layman (2008) Moderate carbohydrate, moderate protein weight loss diet reduces cardiovascular disease risk compared to high carbohydrate, low protein diet in obese adults: A randomized clinical trial. Nutr Metab (Lond) 5, 30.

31GD Brinkworth , M Noakes , JB Keogh , et al. (2004) Long-term effects of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet on weight control and cardiovascular risk markers in obese hyperinsulinemic subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28, 661670.

33ML Dansinger , JA Gleason , JL Griffith , et al. (2005) Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. JAMA 293, 4353.

34CD Gardner , A Kiazand , S Alhassan , et al. (2007) Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA 297, 969977.

35GD Brinkworth , M Noakes , B Parker , et al. (2004) Long-term effects of advice to consume a high-protein, low-fat diet, rather than a conventional weight-loss diet, in obese adults with type 2 diabetes: one-year follow-up of a randomised trial. Diabetologia 47, 16771686.

36NH Baba , S Sawaya , N Torbay , et al. (1999) High protein vs high carbohydrate hypoenergetic diet for the treatment of obese hyperinsulinemic subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 23, 12021206.

38J Mann (2007) Dietary carbohydrate: relationship to cardiovascular disease and disorders of carbohydrate metabolism. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, Suppl. 1, S100S111.

39LA Te Morenga , MT Levers , SM Williams , et al. (2011) Comparison of high protein and high fiber weight-loss diets in women with risk factors for the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. Nutr J 10, 40.

40PM Piatti , F Monti , I Fermo , et al. (1994) Hypocaloric high-protein diet improves glucose oxidation and spares lean body mass: comparison to hypocaloric high-carbohydrate diet. Metabolism 43, 14811487.

42HJ Leidy , NS Carnell , RD Mattes , et al. (2007) Higher Protein Intake Preserves Lean Mass and Satiety with Weight Loss in Pre-obese and Obese Women. Obesity 15, 421429.

43DK Layman , EM Evans , D Erickson , et al. (2009) A moderate-protein diet produces sustained weight loss and long-term changes in body composition and blood lipids in obese adults. J Nutr 139, 514521.

44DS Weigle , DE Cummings , PD Newby , et al. (2003) Roles of leptin and ghrelin in the loss of body weight caused by a low fat, high carbohydrate diet. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 88, 15771586.

46PH Dessein , EA Shipton , AE Stanwix , et al. (2000) Beneficial effects of weight loss associated with moderate calorie/carbohydrate restriction, and increased proportional intake of protein and unsaturated fat on serum urate and lipoprotein levels in gout: a pilot study. Ann Rheum Dis 59, 539543.

48JI Mann (2006) Nutrition recommendations for the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome: an evidenced-based review. Nutr Rev 64, 422427.

49B Parker , M Noakes , N Luscombe , et al. (2002) Effect of a high-protein, high-monounsaturated fat weight loss diet on glycemic control and lipid levels in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 25, 425430.

50KR Sargrad , C Homko , M Mozzoli , et al. (2005) Effect of high protein vs high carbohydrate intake on insulin sensitivity, body weight, hemoglobin A1c, and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Am Diet Assoc 105, 573580.

51F Tremblay , C Lavigne , H Jacques , et al. (2007) Role of dietary proteins and amino acids in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Annu Rev Nutr 27, 293310.

52T Linn , B Santosa , D Gronemeyer , et al. (2000) Effect of long-term dietary protein intake on glucose metabolism in humans. Diabetologia 43, 12571265.

53L Te Morenga , S Williams , R Brown , et al. (2010) Effect of a relatively high-protein, high-fiber diet on body composition and metabolic risk factors in overweight women. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 13231331.

54TF Lotz , JG Chase , KA McAuley , et al. (2006) Transient and steady-state euglycemic clamp validation of a model for glycemic control and insulin sensitivity testing. Diabetes Technol Ther 8, 338346.

56EG Siegel , VE Trapp , CB Wollheim , et al. (1980) Beneficial effects of low-carbohydrate–high-protein diets in long-term diabetic rats. Metabolism 29, 421428.

59J Stamler , P Elliott , H Kesteloot , et al. (1996) Inverse relation of dietary protein markers with blood pressure. Findings for 10,020 men and women in the INTERSALT Study. INTERSALT Cooperative Research Group. INTERnational study of SALT and blood pressure. Circulation 94, 16291634.

60LJ Appel , FM Sacks , VJ Carey , et al. (2005) Effects of protein, monounsaturated fat, and carbohydrate intake on blood pressure and serum lipids: results of the OmniHeart randomized trial. JAMA 294, 24552464.

65JC Witteman , WC Willett , MJ Stampfer , et al. (1989) A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among US women. Circulation 80, 13201327.

70HS Kahn , LM Tatham & CW Heath Jr (1997) Contrasting factors associated with abdominal and peripheral weight gain among adult women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 21, 903911.

71HS Kahn , LM Tatham , C Rodriguez , et al. (1997) Stable behaviors associated with adults' 10-year change in body mass index and likelihood of gain at the waist. Am J Public Health 87, 747754.

74M Rosell , P Appleby , E Spencer , et al. (2006) Weight gain over 5 years in 21,966 meat-eating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford. Int J Obes (Lond) 30, 13891396.

75AC Vergnaud , T Norat , D Romaguera , et al. (2010) Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 398407.

76MS Westerterp-Plantenga , A Nieuwenhuizen , D Tome , et al. (2009) Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr 29, 2141.

77MA Veldhorst , AG Nieuwenhuizen , A Hochstenbach-Waelen , et al. (2009) Effects of high and normal soyprotein breakfasts on satiety and subsequent energy intake, including amino acid and ‘satiety’ hormone responses. Eur J Nutr 48, 92100.

81J Bowen , M Noakes , C Trenerry , et al. (2006) Energy Intake, Ghrelin, and Cholecystokinin after Different Carbohydrate and Protein Preloads in Overweight Men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 91, 14771483.

82MS Westerterp-Plantenga , V Rolland , SA Wilson , et al. (1999) Satiety related to 24 h diet-induced thermogenesis during high protein/carbohydrate vs high fat diets measured in a respiration chamber. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 495502.

85M Veldhorst , A Smeets , S Soenen , et al. (2008) Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiol Behav 94, 300307.

88MS Koren , JQ Purnell , PA Breen , et al. (2007) Changes in plasma amino Acid levels do not predict satiety and weight loss on diets with modified macronutrient composition. Ann Nutr Metab 51, 182187.

91JD Militante & JB Lombardini (2002) Treatment of hypertension with oral taurine: experimental and clinical studies. Amino Acids 23, 381393.

92JP Lekakis , S Papathanassiou , TG Papaioannou , et al. (2002) Oral L-arginine improves endothelial dysfunction in patients with essential hypertension. Int J Cardiol 86, 317323.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *