This 74th republic day let's shed some light on the relevance of protein deficiency in India. Healthy citizens are the backbone of a prosperous nation. Unfortunately, many of the population from developing countries, including India, lack awareness about the importance of protein resulting in low consumption of this macro-nutrient. More than 72% of Indians are deficient in protein intake while more than 93% are unaware of the daily requirement of protein. There are a number of myths surrounding protein consumption which has led to many misconceptions
Here are a few signs that a protein deficit human body might exhibit:
- Lower concentration and retention power
- Weakened Immune System
- Fatigue/ Lethargic behavior
- Bone/Joint pain
- Stunted Growth
- Brittle nails & hair thinning
- Constant Hunger
- Slow wound healing
As per an IMRB survey, major cities that have the highest percentage of the protein-deficient population in the country are Lucknow (90%), Chennai & Ahmedabad (84%), Vijayawada (72%), and Mumbai (70%) followed by Kolkata (43%). 84% believe that vegetarian (leafy greens) intake is sufficient for proteins. 65% of the non-vegetarian diet lack in proteins and 97% of the pregnant women are not aware of their protein needs. India’s protein consumption is much lower than the 48 gms/day that is recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The recommended protein itake for an average Indian adult is 0.8 to 1 gm per kg body weight, however, the average intake is about 0.6 gm per kg body weight.
It’s alarming to know that approximately 62% of lactating mothers face protein deficiency Around 70%-80% working-class women are found to be protein deficient. 95% of Indian moms surveyed claim to know protein as Macro-nutrient but only 3% understand its function. Only 52% of mothers of 7-15 years old associate protein with health. 70% of pregnant and lactating women believe that proteins are easily available in fruits and vegetables. They may be partially right, but the proteins from fruits and veggies are not easily digestible. In fact, proteins from eggs are far more easily digestible than proteins from an apple. 73% of the urban Indians assume that leafy vegetables are a good source of protein .And 20% of people believe that proteins are bad for health. 53% of people beived in the benefits of protein but only one-third of them believed that lack of it can lead to weakness and fatigue. 85% also believe that consumption of protein can lead to weight gain.
CONCLUSION : Be mindful of what you consumes. Indian diet consist of more simple carbohydrates and less of protein and fibre. It’s important to consume protein on daily because unlike fats they can’t be stored in our bodies. Lack of Awarness of this macro nutrients result into low consumption of the same. So the next time you hear someone tak about the paradoxes of protein call them out and educate them.