Experts Identify Protein as a Key Nutrition Challenge
- 50% Inadequate protein in Indian diet patterns
- Protein requirement in the 2nd growth spurt is twice of a toddler’s; and requirement is heightened by almost 20grams per day in the 3rd trimester compared to an adult woman
- Indians lack awareness about good quality sources of protein
Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), Delhi Chapter today declared 24th-30th July 2017 as The Protein Week. This initiative is supported by Protein Foods Nutrition Development Association of India (PFNDAI) and is a big opportunity to encourage people to become better informed about protein which is integral to our general health and well-being; impacting every life stage. The Protein Week will be the first such initiative in the country. During this Week IDA along with PFNDAI will hold educational seminars engaging key opinion leaders across the country to spread awareness and discuss myths and realities of protein.
During the event, Dr. B. Sesikeran, renowned nutritional pathologist along with members of IDA (Ms. Neelanjana Singh, Dr. Seema Puri, Ms. Anuja Agarwala) and PFNDAI (Dr. J.S. Pai and Dr. Bhupinder Singh) will help spread educational messages to the consumers.
Addressing the audience, Dr. B. Sesikeran said, “Proteins from different sources complement each other. In India there are many myths around the sources of protein, people are confused about their dietary protein intake and often assume that it is for body builders only, however protein is a fundamental nutrient across life stages that helps in maintaining good health and active ageing. Vegetarian diets also have adequate proteins if we include pulses and legumes in sufficient quantity. However even with a ratio of 5:1, cereals and pulses combination the protein quality in terms of digestibility and bio availability is only around 65% when compared with milk protein. Also, pregnant women cannot achieve optimal protein intakes with exclusive vegetarian diets without adequate milk in their diets.”
Stressing on the relevance of protein in everyday life Ms. Neelanjana Singh, President IDA, Delhi Chapter said, “We are happy to announce this unique protein initiative which is the first of its kind on the subject aimed to generate awareness. She believes that it is time that the discussion on the subject of protein moves beyond gyms and sportspersons and becomes relevant for each and every person who wants to be healthy. Not too much and not too little is the key to getting proteins right in the diet. Achieving the balance of proteins – in quantum and quality – can pave the road to good health.”
Dr. J.S. Pai, Executive Director, PFNDAI added, “We are happy to support this initiative of IDA. There is a firm need to bring protein discussions to mainstream. Our vegetarian diets are already deficient in protein both in quantity and quality, so we need to supplement with protein which not only fills up the gap but is high quality enough to ensure our cereal & pulse-based protein quality would be elevated.”
Dr. Seema Puri, Associate Professor, Department of Food & Nutrition, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi and National Vice President, IDA:
“Quality of protein is as important as quantity of protein eaten. Cereal based diets are not rich in high quality protein. Such diets need to be supplemented with foods such as milk products, pulses, eggs, fish, poultry or meat. Digestibility of the food has a bearing on utilization of protein in the body. For effective utilization of protein it is necessary to also include adequate calories in one’s diet.”
Ms. Anuja Agarwala, Nutritionist, Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS and Former President, IDA Delhi Chapter:
“It is important to begin early and focus on a protein rich diet right from the start, which should be continued through all the life stages of development and growth. Children particularly have high protein demand to propel their growth during growing years, as they grow in spurts. Demand for protein among children is particularly high during pre-teen and teen phases of growth spurts.”
“One should include at least one protein source in each of one’s 3 major meals and 2 snacks to keep the body’s protein balance positive. Set-off Pro-teen for proactive disease-free course of life”