Dr. Mehmet Oz said a high-protein Paleo-style diet enhances weight loss, and prevents heart disease and diabetes on the Aug. 4 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Oz said one in three people is not getting enough protein and stressed that eating more protein can help you lose weight and boost your metabolism.
"It's the single best thing to fight disease and lose weight fast," he said. "It'll jump-start your metabolism, and you'll actually lose more weight with the calories from protein."
Dr. Oz slammed recent sensationalistic reports claiming a high-protein diet is as bad as chain-smoking for causing early death, heart disease, and cancer.
If anything, Dr. Oz said consuming high-quality animal protein such as grass-fed beef, poultry, wild fish, and pastured eggs is good for you. He said a 20-year study confirmed that a high-protein diet reduces heart disease and diabetes, especially for people in their thirties and forties.
A diet rich in protein and healthy fats has also been shown to promote hair growth and make your locks stronger and healthier. Dr. Oz suggested eating five to six servings of protein each day, and said each meal should always contain protein (whether from animal sources, nuts or plants). He said a serving size is about the size of your palm.
Scientists: High-Protein Diet Is the Key to Lasting Weight Loss
Oz echoed the findings of a recent study from the University of Sydney. Scientists said their research suggests a high protein diet like the Paleo diet enhances weight loss by suppressing appetite. Nutritional ecologist David Raubenheimer said the findings could have important implications for combating obesity, which is a global epidemic.
"We can use this information to help manage and prevent obesity, through ensuring that the diets we eat have a sufficient level of protein to satisfy our appetite," said Raubenheimer, who led the study.
Raubenheimer, a professor at the University of Sydney, said it's not surprising obesity has soared during the past 60 years, as protein has become a smaller part of our diets, and carb intake has soared.
Raubenheimer and his team found that baboons who consumed a high-protein diet maintained their weight even when they ate more calories, underscoring the weight loss benefits of protein.
The latest study confirms similar research published in the biology journal, FASEB, which monitored 39 adults on a calorie-restricted diet with varying levels of protein. After 31 days, the group that consumed twice the recommended daily amount of protein lost more weight than the low-protein group while maintaining lean muscle mass.
Professor Raubenheimer concluded by saying the best diet is similar to the Paleo diet: One that limits processed junk and focuses on whole foods.
"A simple rule for healthy eating is to avoid processed foods – the closer to real foods the better," he said. "Our bodies and appetites are not adapted to biscuits, cakes, pizzas and sugary drinks, and we eat too much of them at our peril."