Counseling Sheet


Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

A balanced diet is one that takes no more than about 10% of its calories from protein, no more than about 15-20% of its calories from fats, and the rest in carbohydrates.

Too much protein causes harmful amounts of ammonia to accumulate in the body. Ammonia has the quality of slowing the growth of cells in cell cultures. It appears clear that in a given tissue, ammonia will slow the growth of normal cells, but hardly affects the growth of cancer cells, apparently giving cancer cells an advantage over normal cells. It may be that the ammonia production from a high protein diet is the very thing that increases the risk of cancer from a diet high in protein.

It can be readily understood that a high-protein diet for an elderly person would be particularly detrimental. An elderly person may easily lose bone matrix, resulting in osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones that causes pain and much discomfort in elderly individuals. In addition to loss of calcium, there is also loss of iron, zinc, and phosphorus from the urine during a high-protein diet. It is known that zinc is needed to balance other minerals in the blood.

The best dietary is a very simple one consisting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Apart from these three food groups, all other foods should be used sparingly. Some nutrients should be used sparingly, such as salt. The recommended salt allotment each day is around 1/2 teaspoon in all that one eats. Oils should be severely restricted, as they may cause an increased susceptibility to cancer and heart disease. No added protein should be used, and the very high-protein foods such as animal products should be used very sparingly.

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Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875