Please check out my new Biochemistry Primer!
*UPDATE* – Link changed.
“When excess proteins are consumed, your body converts these additional amino acids into fat.”
Actually amino acids come in two types, ketogenic and glucogenic. Most natural protein is a combination of the two which is why you may see people say “56% of excess protein is converted to glucose”. It is an average and can vary based on the protein source (e.g. pure protein powders like whey protein isolate can spike blood sugar faster and higher than something like salmon).
I think it maybe a misleading oversimplification simplification to say excess dietary protein => body fat. At least if I said something like that to my parents their reaction would predictably be eating even less LEAN meats…
Excellent point! You are 100% correct. The reason I didn’t get into this was that it was hard finding a balance between over-simplification and completeness/accuracy. I opted for over-simplification because when I was talking to my family.. I was constantly faced with statements like.. “I don’t get it” and “It’s still too science-y.” I know it’s not because my family is dumb, because they’re actually very intelligent, it’s just a testament to how complex nutrition and biochemistry can be.
The essential messages I wanted to get across were that glucose can get converted to fat and excess proteins can be converted to glucose which then gets converted to fat.
When I saw that this was a concept that was hard for them to grasp.. I immediately nixed the idea of going into the 20 different types of amino acids we use, what branched chain amino acids are, which amino acids are essential, and what the differences are between glucogenic and ketogenic amino acids are.
But if there is enough interest I’d be glad to do a short writeup on this topic too!
Thanks so much for the feedback. I have a feeling I’ll be updating and editing this along the way.
I would LOVE a writeup on amino acids!
As for family and “too sciencey” I am well familiar with the issue. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and keeping in opinions, solicited or otherwise to myself. Diet is the new politics…
Great post! Definitely helps to clarify things, especially since science has never been my forte.
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