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Clients At Risk 8 – 9

There are specific clients that are more at risk when we provide nutritional information
different types of protein
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8. Excess Protein Intake

Some of the problems with very high-protein diets (more than 35 percent of total daily intake) include that:

  • They usually promote a very low intake of carbohydrates. Glucose, made when your body breaks down dietary carbohydrate, is your body’s preferred fuel source. If your body does not receive enough dietary carbohydrate, it will break down muscle tissue to make glucose. This causes muscle wastage, reduced metabolism and a build-up of ketones
  • Fibre is largely a carbohydrate. Foods rich in carbohydrates (such as wholegrains and legumes) are also rich in fibre. Avoiding these foods leads to an overall low-fibre intake, which can result in constipation, bowel disorders and increased risk of colon cancer
  • There is evidence to suggest that the heart may not function as well if its main source of fuel is ketones
  • High intake of animal products (which is usually recommended in such diets) can also be high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which is associated with a range of conditions including heart disease
  • The liver and kidneys are put under strain because they have to detoxify and eliminate unusually high quantities of protein byproducts. Kidney problems may be exacerbated in people with diabetes
  • There is an increased risk of developing gout and gall bladder colic
  • Greater losses of body calcium may increase the risk of osteoporosis
  • High-protein diets can cause mild dehydration due to increased water loss through urine Increased risk of dehydration puts the body under pressure
  • Recent research shows that weight loss over one year is not greater on a high-protein diet when compared to safer, low-fat eating patterns.

Source: Better Health Channel, 2019.


Excess protein intake will be used as an optional additional energy (calorie) source for the body. However, if total energy intake exceeds total energy output, the excess calories from the protein will be stored as body fat.

Source: Dieticians Association of Australia, 2019.

9. Food Allergies and Intolerance

  • Food allergies and intolerance can lead to headaches, bloating, mouth ulcers
  • Allergies happen when an irritant chemical such as histamines have been released which cause an immune system reaction to certain foods
  • Side effects of allergies: itchy rashes, stomach upset, coughs, wheezes, and more severe reaction like anaphylaxis
  • Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and requires urgent medical aid and administration of an adrenalin auto-injector if the person has one.

Foods responsible for intolerance or allergy

Source: Dieticians Association of Australia, 2019.

© CQUniversity 2021
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