Beyond the headline. Protein guidelines for Indians

Beyond the headline. Protein guidelines for Indians

When it comes to protein, it's easy to believe that more is always better. But at Gytree we are always keeping users informed and aware to have enough protein that their body needs. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, hormones, and enzymes.

Get the right amount of protein

The recommended amount of protein is 0.8 grams per kilo. In India women are severely deficient which means they are not even consuming this much protein in their diets. 

Nutritionist at Gytree says that Indians are already quite low on protein and hence they do need to increase baseline consumption. "Many times our foods and diets are inadequate or of poor quality. A high quality plant protein can be beneficial for people who don't consume regular protein diets."

Proteins you consume should be free of emulsifiers, gums, maltodextrin, bulking agents, anti caking agents. Always make a conscious effort to choose a protein like this with all natural ingredients.

Recently the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) released guidelines on protein consumption and warned against having more than twice the amount of protein your body needs. It lays emphasis on avoiding excessive whey protein, which is rich in branched-chain amino acids. ICMR claims it may lead to higher risk of non-communicable diseases.

Anything in excess is best avoided but let's double click on the specific concerns raised by ICMR.

  • Those with complex health issues should not consume protein

  • Excessive protein (twice the amount recommended per person) for muscle mass gain must be avoided

  • Always read details on protein packets and consume protein with full knowledge of ingredients.

  • ICMR raises concerns on excessive whey in report

    These guidelines are a reminder to be well informed, and aware. At Gytree we share these with our users and ensure they go beyond sensational headlines and understand the truth.

    Almost 80% of our Indian population don't meet their daily protein requirements and 90% of the Indian population aren't aware of their daily protein requirements. 9 out of 10 people don’t meet their daily protein requirements.

    Are plant proteins better than whey?

    Plant proteins, derived from sources like peas, rice, hemp, are typically rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These additional nutrients can contribute to overall health and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. ICMR notes that whey proteins have more adverse affects on the body. One of the reasons for ICMR to say this could be that plant proteins are generally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to animal-based proteins.

    Who should not have protein?

    Protein intake is good for everyone with a deficiency or those who don't have adequate daily intake. However, there are exceptions and we must know them.

    People with kidney issues should not have protein.  Your kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from protein metabolism. When you eat too much protein, they have to work harder to process all the extra waste.

    "It's essential to balance your protein intake according to your body's needs to avoid unnecessary strain on your kidneys and other organs," advises Dr. Jane Smith, a nutrition specialist.

    Nutritionists and doctors clearly talk about the importance of protein in the body. Given how deficient Indians are. Whey has been mostly the go-to option for those looking to build muscle mass and some people have seen side effects like those below.

  • Constipation: Diets high in protein but low in fiber can slow down your digestive system, causing constipation.

  • Diarrhea: On the flip side, dairy or processed protein sources can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea if not well-tolerated.

  • Another point to consider is the impact on your overall balanced diet. Consuming too much protein often means you're not getting enough of other essential nutrients like carbohydrates and fats so always aim to have a balanced diet.

    Here are 17 ICMR guidelines 

    1. Eat a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet
    2. Ensure provision of extra food and healthcare during pregnancy and lactation
    3. Ensure exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continue breastfeeding till two years and beyond
    4. Start feeding homemade semi-solid complementary foods to the infant soon after six months of age
    5. Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents both in health and sickness
    6. Eat plenty of vegetables and legumes
    7. Use oils/fats in moderation; choose a variety of oil seeds, nuts, nutricereals and legumes to meet daily needs of fats and essential fatty acids (EFA)
    8. Obtain good quality proteins and essential amino acids (EAA) through appropriate combination of foods and avoid protein supplements to build muscle mass
    9. Adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent abdominal obesity, overweight and overall obesity
    10. Be physically active and exercise regularly to maintain good health
    11. Restrict salt intake
    12. Consume safe and clean foods
    13. Adopt appropriate pre-cooking and cooking methods
    14. Drink adequate quantity of water
    15. Minimize the consumption of high fat, sugar, salt (HFSS) and ultra-processed foods (UPFs)
    16. Include nutrient-rich foods in the diets of the elderly for health and wellness
    17. Read information on food labels to make informed and healthy food choice
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