Does India Really Know About Protein? Where Is The Protein Paradox Leading Us?

Does India Really Know About Protein? Where Is The Protein Paradox Leading Us?

India Protein Paradox, Protein 101
August 31, 2020

Right To Protein Team

Does India Really Know About Protein? Where Is The Protein Paradox Leading Us?

Did you ever stop yourself from buying a bottle of peanut butter because of its fat content? Was there a time when you put down a block of cheese or packet of soy nuts because they weren’t a part of your new diet? We hate to burst your bubble, but those were high protein foods that were wrongfully ignored – and you may be a subject to India’s Protein Paradox!

When we set out to speak to over 2000 mothers (the primary decision-makers of a household’s food intake) about protein, we were met with a shocking revelation – while 95% of Indian mothers recognized protein as a macronutrient and believed it was “very important”, only 3% really understood why they should consume it at all! Moreover, a majority could not even correctly identify more than 3 protein-rich foods from a list of 11 ingredients. The survey also highlighted that about 82% of Indian mothers with kids feel that they should focus more on vitamin and energy than proteins for their children. Meanwhile, 81% of mothers were under the belief that eating basic meals with dal, rice, and roti provides adequate protein. This is evidence of the fact that in a country like India, where daily meals are carbohydrate-heavy, macronutrients like protein that have traditionally been overlooked as an important component of daily meals.

So, does India really know about protein? The short answer is, NO!

What the Protein Paradox study finally reveals is that Indian households have held on to certain misconceptions that may have directly contributed to the gradual declining of protein intake in the country (NSSO) and existing protein deficiency in India (IMRB). But it remains an under-debated issue today, making it not just a public health problem, but also a behavioral one.

What’s the solution?

With it comes to food, there is a wide-held belief that ‘we are what we eat’. The intake of the right kind of food and nutrition dictates our well-being. In fact, the year 2020 has reminded us of the importance of eating right, making good nutrition a priority, shopping mindfully, and working with sustainable solutions for long-term health and wellbeing. It’s no doubt that the foundation of health is in consuming the right kind of food, in the right quantities, and through the right sources. And this is why it is important for citizens to be nutritionally aware.

Citizens can learn more from public health awareness initiatives that have been focusing on increasing awareness about adequate protein consumption for overall better health and nutrition while debunking several myths around protein consumption in India. Referring to publicly available protein-rich food guides and tools can be used in consideration of one’s physiological status to make dietary changes at an individual level. As per the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) given by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for Indians, 0.8 gm to 1 gm protein per kg body weight, per day is sufficient to meet the basic nutritional requirements. An effective way to do so would be to ensure that at every meal, 1/4th of the plate is filled with protein.

There may be a long road ahead to solve India’s Protein Paradox for good. But it is up to us to get a jump-start by remembering to exercise our Right To Protein!

 

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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