All you need to know about India’s Protein Paradox

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Protein Paradox
India Protein Paradox, Protein 101
July 14, 2020

Right To Protein Team

All you need to know about India’s Protein Paradox

Protein Paradox, a 16-city study with over 2,000 mothers across India, finds key challenges in the protein intake of Indian households. From poor understanding to myths and misinformation, read on to find out the three key trends and causes that is making us eliminate protein from our daily diets:

Protein Paucity

While protein awareness exists, there is a low knowledge of protein sources which is causing poor protein consumption in Indian households. The Protein Paradox study brings forth a worrying trend of Protein Paucity in India – the lack of protein consumption in Indian homes due to poor understanding of protein as a macronutrient, leading to the elimination of protein in the daily diet.

The study shows that although 95% of Indian mothers surveyed claim to know protein as a macronutrient, only 3% of the population really understand the prominent functions of protein or why one should consume it. If we compare cities, 82% mothers residing in mini metros such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad were unable to correctly associate protein with its functions and attributed low importance to protein consumption as a part of balanced meals. So, while eight out of ten mothers believe protein is “very important”, protein is not adequately included in their daily diet. This has detrimental consequences not just for the mothers’ health, but also for the health of their families as mothers tend to be the main decision-makers on food preparation in Indian households.

Protein Psych

Mighty barriers of misinformation and myths are overshadowing protein consumption in Indian homes. India’s Protein Paradox survey revealed various myths and misconceptions which dilute the importance of protein and create barriers for its inclusion in daily diets.

More than 70% of Indian mothers surveyed believe in myths that protein is difficult to digest, leads to weight gain, is only for ‘body-builders’ and is expensive to procure. Furthermore, an average more than 85% of the cohort of mothers who believe that protein leads to weight gain also agreed that they would prioritise the consumption of vitamins and carbohydrates rather than protein for themselves and their children.

Protein Pinch

Indian households reduce protein intake to a pinch amongst basic staples, as most protein sources remain unidentifiable.

While earlier findings reveal that the consumption of protein is not a priority in most households, it was even more concerning to find that most of the Indian mothers don’t know the key sources of protein. During the survey, most mothers failed to correctly identify 8 of 11 protein-rich food items presented to them. Furthermore, 81% of mothers incorrectly believe that just a regular Indian diet consisting of roti, dal, rice is enough for daily protein needs. As a result, dairy and pulses remain the primary high-protein sources of protein in majority Indian households. These beliefs, coupled with an inability to identify the correct functions and sources of protein lead to low protein consumption, despite 85% of Indian mothers believing that protein is important for health.

What next?

The solution to our current predicament outlined by the India Protein Paradox study points towards nudging a behavioural change in the people’s mindset regarding protein. This includes bridging the gap between knowledge and practice, with informed perceptions. However, it can be best accomplished through various stakeholders like government or organizational bodies, food industry, educational institutes, media, nutritionists, and other health experts coming together for the nutritional wellbeing of India’s masses.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

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