Protein Week 2021 – It’s About the Quality of Protein; Not the Quantity!

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in the majority of India’s population. Many people are unaware of even their daily protein requirement.

They are large macronutrients that operate various critical roles in the body, including maintenance of proper structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.


They are involved in repairing various damages from the body. The proteins are in turn, made up of several smaller units called amino acids – the simplest form of a protein.

There are 22 such amino acids in our body. Among these, there are nine essential amino acids that the body cannot synthesize and must be obtained from dietary sources to meet the requirement.

The proteins daily requirement (RDA) for an average Indian adult is 0.8-1.0g per kg body weight (50-60 g of protein per day).



Significance of Proteins Deficiency

The two most common and severe forms of protein deficiency are Kwashiorkor – excess fluid accumulation in the body that leads to swelling under the skin (edema) and Marasmus – characterized by excessively low weight and energy deficiency.

Other signs of protein deficiency are slow metabolism, muscle loss, low energy levels and fatigue, unexplained tiredness, poor concentration, mood swings, muscle & bone pain, and low immunity.

The protein requirement is high among growing teenagers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes due to their increased body demands by a high metabolism. It is also required in high quantities for pregnant and lactating women, early recovery from illnesses in the elderly, and vegans.



Need for Proper Guidance

About73% of urban rich are protein deficient and 93% of them are unaware of their daily protein requirements as per a survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB).

The emergence of the busy lifestyle and daily work deadlines greatly hinder the intake of a balanced diet in people. This severely impacts the quality of life and therefore, inviting various ailments.

Lack of proteins is the key to varied diseases related to lifestyle like malnutrition, central adiposity, diabetes, high triglyceride levels, and many others. It also leads to weakness, fatigue, and delay in wound healing.



Right to Protein

The national week initiative – “Right To Protein” urges the citizens to focus on the consumption of ‘quality protein sources’.

The drive also proposes a professional guide – ‘Quality Protein – Hall of Fame’ that stars seven protein sources to satisfy the requirement for optimal protein intake. These proteins are easily digestible and at the same time, also include all nine amino acids.



“Protein is an integral part of our overall well-being, and its deficiency can have a long-term impact on one’s quality of life. Given that regular consumption of protein rich foods play an important role in boosting our immunity, it is also important to be well informed about quality protein sources especially plant based, a cause we have been championing at FSSAI, as part of the Eat Right Initiative. What better time than Protein Week to educate everyone about better protein consumption”,
says Ms. Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director at FSSAI.



Holistic Move

Indian diets derive almost 60% protein from cereals with low digestibility, making it a hub to protein sources. However, lack of proper information is the main idea that is stirred upon by the national protein week.

The drive – ‘Right To Protein’ invites the citizens through social media contest #7Days7Questions to stretch their education on quality protein sources. The Hall of Fame guide includes the following sources:

  • Chicken
  • Egg
  • Salmon
  • Soybeans
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Paneer

The focus should be on the quality intake of proteins rather than just focussing on the quantity.



Impact of Proteins Post-COVID

Apart from serving vital functions, proteins are also the most talked-about nutrient in this COVID-19 pandemic.

The loss of muscles and immunity is replenished significantly by increased intake of protein. It also boosts your energy levels and restores the quality of life (QoL).

Good QoL is essential both for our longevity as well as mobility. And protein is a very important nutrient to maintain our QoL through sound physical health.



Facts on Proteins


  • Around 18-20% of our body weight is contributed by proteins.

  • The word ‘protein’ has been employed since 1883 and dawns from the Greek word ‘proteios’ which means ‘primary’ or ‘first rank’.

  • The highest amount of cheesy protein (41.6 grams of protein per 100g) comes from the low-sodium parmesan.

  • Proteins help you lose weight as they have the potency to make you feel satiety.

  • Animal proteins are more readily and rapidly digestible when compared to plant-based proteins.

One of the fun-fact that may consider a valid explanation is a chicken or the egg? Some scientists believe that since the proteins that constitute eggshells can only be produced by hens, the chicken probably came before the egg!




References:

  1. Protein Week 2021: Experts call for attention to protein quality
    (https://theprint.in/ani-press-releases/protein-week-2021-experts-call-for-attention-to-protein-quality/702215/)
  2. Protein Fact Sheet – (https://depts.washington.edu/pku/PDFs2/ProteinFactSheet.pdf)
  3. Protein Facts
    (https://facts.net/science/biology/protein-facts/)

  4. What Are Proteins and What Is Their Function in the Body?
    (https://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/what-are-proteins-and-what-is-their-function-in-the-body)

Source: Medindia



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