Moderately high-protein diets may have short-term weight loss benefits, and may lower heart disease risk, but the “package” the protein comes in matters, said Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“If there’s too much protein and it comes from animal sources, it may have other health consequences,” Hu said in a Boston Globe interview published April 21, 2014. He recommended focusing on protein from plant-based foods such as beans, seeds, whole grains, and nuts, which are low-calorie and rich in other beneficial nutrients.

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