Carbs over Protein: Why Indian mothers could be making risky choices

Four Protein Superfoods That Are Frequently Ignored

Fitness, India Protein Paradox
September 16, 2020

Right To Protein Team

Carbs over Protein: Why Indian mothers could be making risky choices

One would never say no to a good hearty Indian meal which includes roti’s, vegetables and dal, with a side serving of salad. One also wouldn’t mind topping it off with a scrumptious dessert afterward. This great Indian meal ticks all the boxes in the food pyramid that we have learned ever since we were kids. It is a meal that is rich in carbohydrates that are the body’s primary source of energy, and also comes with some amounts of protein. The typical Indian diet consists of more simple carbohydrates (rice and flour) and less protein (both animal and plant-based). This can lead to a dip in overall immunity and gaining fat even when following a controlled diet. Why? Because protein is a macronutrient required to build our muscles and has a regulatory role in synthesizing hormones and crucial immune-modulating regulators. While all the nutrients are vital for our body, some such as protein, need to be consumed more than they currently are in our daily diet.

A study conducted by The Indian Consumer Market in 2020 reported that in urban areas, beverages, refreshments, and processed foods account for the major monthly expense, while rural households spend the most on cereals. Only one-third of our food budgets are spent on protein-rich foods. A study conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO 2011-12) also reiterated the protein deficiency by stating that rural households consume 56.5g of protein, while urban households consume 55.7g, which is a lesser quantity from the survey done 1993-4.  India suffers from a Protein Paradox, and the Right to Protein initiative decided to take the first step to solve the problem.

Right to Protein commissioned Nielsen to survey over 2000 mothers, to try and understand why protein continues to slip out of daily Indian diets. The survey findings have been shocking and have helped a great deal in understanding o know why India could yet be consuming a protein-deficient diet.

While 95% of Indian mothers recognized protein as a macronutrient and believed it was necessary, only 3% really understood why they should consume it at all. Moreover, the mothers who identified protein as a macronutrient did not intend to increase the quantity in their daily diet. 82% of mothers are also under the misconception that their growing child only needs vitamin and energy rather than protein. One of the most essential things highlighted was that 81% of mothers feel that consuming regular Indian meals consisting of Dal, Roti, and Chawal is sufficient to meet the daily protein requirements. However, because of such beliefs, the actual protein requirements could easily be overlooked in our diets.

An IMRB survey in 2017 found that 73% of affluent urban Indians are protein deficient, and 93% are unaware of their daily protein requirements. These startling numbers confirm the fear that we don’t understand the problems associated with a protein-deficit diet. Issues including weak immunity that can be dangerous in the current environment and nutritional diseases like anaemia. Probable life-threatening situations like Hyperproteinaemia can also be caused by a deficit of protein in your body. Sarcopenia in kids and Protein Energy Malnutrition are also some of the disorders that can affect you if you don’t change the level of protein in your diet.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shared a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Indians, which states that average Indian adults need 0.8g-1gm per kg ideal body weight of protein. You can take small, simple steps in trying to follow this guideline. Do a thorough research of plant and animal-based protein sources and find out ways to add them to your daily diet. Also, ensure that the one-fourth portion of your plate is protein during meal times. The change starts with you.

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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