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Scientists were trying to compare the thermic effect (DIT) of protein versus carbohydrate during the digestion and absorption of meals. Keep in mind, as the body's temperature increases (by DIT), so does the number of burned calories. Evidence from this study showed that postprandial (following a meal) thermogenesis increased 100% more with the high-protein low-fat diet versus the high-carb low-fat diet. Although protein had a greater effect on DIT, the study did not evaluate weight loss or the long term effects of this type of diet. The results did suggest that this type of diet may have a positive effect on weight loss. Scientists concluded that a diet high in protein, moderate in carbohydrate and low in fat contents may promote a higher rate of weight loss compared to the high carbohydrate, low fat diet.
On the other hand, they also warn that high protein diets may affect kidney function in those that have kidney conditions, but not in healthy individuals. Furthermore, they recommend daily protein intake should not exceed 2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. The American daily average is 1 gram per 1 kilogram. Further studies are required to assess the long term effects of high protein, low fat dieting. It is important to keep in mind, however, that DIT or the thermic effect of a meal only represents 3-10% of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). So we must keep things in perspective. Basal or resting metabolism accounts for up to 70% of TDEE and energy expenditure from exercise is responsible for the rest. Logic dictates, therefore that these two take precedence over DIT.