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Experts warn against high-protein diet for weight loss

September 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many people think high-protein diets are the answer to losing weight. But eating excessive amounts of protein can lead to heart disease, stroke and brittle bones.

Experts say the key to long-term weight loss and health is a balanced diet.

The Institute of Medicine recommends 0.4 grams of protein per pound of a person's body weight. So if you're 130 pounds, you should eat 52 grams per day.

Family medicine expert Dr. Manuel Momjian says people have no idea how much protein is in the food they're eating, so common sense should prevail.

"They should have diets mainly composed of fresh fruits and vegetables, other sources of protein that are plant-based, and legumes," says Momjian.

For other sources of protein, he recommends fish above all, then boneless, skinless turkey and chicken breast, and very limited amounts of red meat.