Indians underestimate protein deficiency: Survey

Chennai: Never has the importance of health and immunity been felt and realised as much as it is in these Covid-19 days. And never has the importance and role of protein been in focus so much as now.

According to a recent survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB), most Indians think that protein deficiency is not an important concern. The most common myth around protein is that it is only meant for body-builders or gym-goers.

Another myth is that protein is the only nutrient that is difficult to digest by the body. Some feel that cutting on protein is a good way to lose weight.

The study that ascertained the levels of protein deficiency and awareness about protein in India, showed 73 per cent of urban rich is protein deficient with 93 per cent of them unaware about their daily protein requirements.

As Indians, protein requirements can be met by spreading them evenly across meals, said Aditi Mehrotra, a diet consultant.

This would mean combining dairy, pulses and legumes, sustainable grains such as millets, nuts and oilseeds, along with egg and poultry to give a perfect protein intake for the day, she added.

According to another nutritionist, even though Indians have shown an improvement in education levels and poverty elevation, very few are aware that the body needs approximately one gram of protein for every kilogram of the body weight every day. It is unfortunate that prosperity, which should have brought in awareness and a shift in the nutritional culture of Indians, is highly missing in them. Other westernised countries have responded very well in terms of awareness of a rich protein diet, he added.

Aditi explains the importance of protein as it is found throughout the body—in our muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that aid many chemical reactions and as haemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way.


NT Bureau