Indian Dietetic Association, supported by Protein Food Nutrition Development Association of India, is observing July 24 - 30 as The Protein Week 2018. The initiative launched in 2017 aims at educating the public about the importance of protein, the major nutrient imperative at every stage of life for promoting general health and well-being.

Protein Week: Up Your Protein Intake

A study conducted by IMRB in 2017 revealed startling facts about the intake of protein and awareness among Indians. While 93 per cent of Indians are unaware of their daily protein requirement, vegetarian diets are 84 percent and non-vegetarian diets are 65 per cent deficient in protein respectively.

Another study conducted by Inbody echoes similar data. It reveals that 70 per cent of Indian adults have poor muscle health due to lower levels of muscle mass and body protein. “Low intake of protein and sedentary lifestyle lead to various ailments. Low protein intake may result in impaired muscle function, fatigue and poor metabolic function. One has to meet their daily protein requirement and also exercise regularly,” says Ms Naazin Husein, president of Indian Dietetic Association.

Both modern day dieticians and doctors believe that the awareness on protein intake should move beyond gyms and not be associated only with body builders, athletes. The doctors recommend 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight for the Indians.

Dr Pai, the executive director of PFNDAI expresses serious concern on how intake of protein is being neglected in our country. “The inadequate supply of protein is a serious concern and it has to be addressed immediately. One has to adopt a healthy lifestyle for a better health. There are several myths and notions revolving around the intake of protein and a lot of awareness is needed in this area.

How Low Protein Intake Affects You:

If you are not consuming the required amount of protein you may suffer from:

  • Muscular atrophy
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Constant urge to sleep
  • Affects ability to fight infections, due to weakened immunity
  • Water retention, uncomfortable bloating
  • Sudden spike in blood sugar as carbs tend to replace proteins in the body.

Vegetarian Options for Protein: 

  • Soya or Paneer
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Various types of beans
  • Sprouted grains
  • Chia seeds 

Non-Vegetarian Options for Protein: 

  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • White Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Seafood
  • Chicken