The effects I stressed in my explanation of protein deficiency are extreme. Situations such as the ones I described are mainly seen in cases related to starvation, or liver pathologies, such as cirrhosis of the liver. Please do not get alarmed by the article. In liver abnormalities, such as cirrhosis, ascites is the manifestation similar to the absence of protein intake related to starvation. Please refer to this Website for further information: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/.
In any event, many of you seem to agree that: “ We should not completely eliminate fats and increase proteins instead. Proteins are broken down into amino acids which are used to build muscle. Fats are used to energize the body. If there are not enough fats or carbohydrates in the body, the organism will use proteins for energy. You do not want to eliminate fats from your diet completely but limit the use of fats as little as possible.”
Let me elaborate on this idea if I may, as there are several schools of thoughts regarding diets, some of them although very effective, might be detrimental, if not lethal. I would like to bring to your attention the concept of blood chemistry as it relates to “Ketone Bodies“.
A molecule of fat is composed of a glycerol backbone molecule attached to three fatty acids. Once fats are released, their basic constituents, are metabolized (degraded), to acidic substances. So basically, ketones are nothing else than acidic products of fat breakdown. More ketones in the blood, and more acidic that blood will be. Very well, what are the consequences of ketoacidosis ( acidic blood as a result of too much fat breakdown)? coma, seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, possibly death, and much more.
By consuming only proteins, the body does not have many other options of getting its energy, except from using the fats readily available in our organism. As a result, too much fat is broken down (excessive weight loss), and degraded to ketone bodies. The acidity of the blood therefore goes up, causing the potential problems described above.
The presence of ketones in the urine a condition known as ketonuria indicates that excessive fat breakdown is taking place and ketones are accumulating in the body. Since ketones are not normally detected in the urine, this could represent a red flag.
Dr. Zachary Lahlou