You’ve probably been told that a high-protein diet can lead to weight loss. But, not all types of protein are created equal. Some proteins lead to substantial weight loss, while others actually lead to significant weight gain over time.
One study compiled the data of three different studies that tracked the exact diets of thousands of Americans over 16 to 24 years. It found that proteins like hamburgers, hotdogs, pork and bacon led to significant weight gain, whereas proteins like plain yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken and nuts led to the most weight loss. The researchers hypothesize that the benefits of yogurt has to do with gut bacteria, but more research is needed.
All numbers were adjusted for age, body mass, sleep duration, smoking, physical activity, television watching, alcohol use and other dietary factors.
The type of protein you habitually eat is more important than the total amount. Overall, you should decrease your intake of hamburgers, hotdogs, pork and bacon and eat more plain yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken and nuts. Read the chart in detail to see how your own diet can be improved.
You can read more about the science of weight loss here.
Mozaffarian, Dariush. “Dietary and Policy Priorities for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Obesity A Comprehensive Review.” Circulation133.2 (2016): 187-225.
Smith, Jessica D., et al. “Changes in intake of protein foods, carbohydrate amount and quality, and long-term weight change: results from 3 prospective cohorts.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 101.6 (2015): 1216-1224.