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King Richard ruled with high protein diet: Modern day protein weight loss debate

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King Richard of England earned a place in the history books as a medieval monarch. Now scientists have uncovered clues about what this aristocrat ate, and it appears that he satisfied his royal yens with a high protein low carb diet, reported CNN on Aug. 18.

Scientists at the British Geological Survey analyzed the last remaining vestiges of Richard III, which were discovered hidden under a parking lot in the English city of Leicester. Their tests revealed some surprising details about his diet.

Fish and birds both took center stage on his royal table, including swan and heron, rather than meat. Not so surprising: He also enjoyed wine.

Isotope geochemist Angela Lamb led the study and emphasized its high fat content. "Obviously, Richard was a nobleman beforehand, and so his diet would be reasonably rich already," reflected Lamb.

Historians also discovered the high protein menu from Richard's coronation banquet. "It was very elaborate -- lots of wildfowl, including real 'delicacies' such as peacock and swan, and fish -- carp, pike and so on, which were cultivated in special fishponds," she said.

But you don't have to be a king or member of the royalty family to benefit from protein power. As low carb diets like the Atkins plan become more popular, many dieters are seeking ways to add more protein to their diets to boost their weight loss. The latest research shows that protein powder, when carefully chosen, may provide a helpful option.

Studies show that depending on the type of protein powder you consume, you can "boost athletic performance, improve muscle tone and increase overall health," says Kieran Fisher, managing director of Bodybuilding Warehouse.

If you're training, drink a protein shake immediately after you exercise or 30 minutes prior to your first repetition in circuit training. And for a breakfast alternative, try sipping a protein shake as well.

But is protein powder the optimal source when it comes to weight loss? No, said celebrity trainer Vinnie Tortorich in an exclusive interview on Aug. 20.

"I am not a huge fan of engineered food, and protein powder does fall into that category," he points out. However, for convenience on the trail or when biking, it can serve its purpose. "It's not always so cut and dry, when it comes to supplementation, emphasizes Vinnie.

And while Dr. Mehmet Oz frequently touts the latest so-called "miracle" weight loss supplement on his popular talk show, Vinnie steers clear of hyping hope in a bottle.

"You can't get weight loss from a bottle," he says bluntly. By following a healthy low carb diet that follows his "No Sugar, No Grains" (NSNG) mantra, you should need only a "good multivitamin and multimineral daily. It will give you just what may be missing from your daily food intake."

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