Chandigarh, 14th December: Proteins are one of the essential components of a healthy diet and play a pivotal role in facilitating several functions within the body. According to a survey, 73 percent of Indians do not consume the recommended daily amount of protein, and over 90 percent are unaware of this necessity. To educate consumers on the importance of including an optimal amount of protein in the diet, the Almond Board of California hosted a session on ‘A Natural Approach to Mitigating India’s Protein Problem’ at Hotel Hyatt Regency Chandigarh on December 14, 2023. The session was conducted by well-known Punjabi actress Molina Sodhi and Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi andmoderated by Jasnoor.
India faces a concerning issue of protein deficiency, with many individuals not meeting the required daily intake. The recommended protein intake for an average adult in India is 0.8 gram per kilogram of body weight. However, the average consumption typically rests at about 0.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. Addressing this concern, the discussion centred around lack of understanding about protein sources in Indian households. Additionally, panellists during the event highlighted the importance of sufficient protein intake for maintaining health.
During the discussion, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi said,“Recognizing the crucial role of protein in a balanced diet, it is essential to ensure sufficient intake of both quantity and quality. The escalating commercialization of fitness-related diets has led many to falsely believe in the necessity of protein supplements. However, it’s important to understand that natural sources of proteins are most times enough to fulfill one’s protein requirements
Nuts, pulses, lentils, eggs, chicken, and fish are excellent sources of protein. For those seeking plant-based protein alternatives, soybeans, pulses, lentils, and nuts such as almonds offer nutritious options. A 30g serving of almonds provides 6.3g of protein. They are also a source of nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin E, and Vitamin B2.”
The misconceptions surrounding the sources of protein, daily needs, and its function in numerous biological processes within our body were some of the key discussion points during the event. Some of the misconceptions included the belief that vegetarians lack sufficient protein sources, that it causes weight gain and that it’s hard to digest. The facts are that protein consumption can help to prevent weight gain, help one feel satiated, along with being good for muscle health.
Another survey revealed that many households in India are not aware of the importance of protein as a vital macronutrient. The study, primarily involving mothers, found that most of them lacked an understanding of the essential role of protein and the reasons for consuming it. In this context, access to good quality protein becomes an important lever for achieving a balanced diet for India’s population.
During the discussion, popular Punjabi actress Molina Sodhi said “Almonds are my go-to health heroes. Almonds contain many nutrients including protein, which keeps me energized throughout my hectic days on set. Including almonds in my daily diet is like giving a nutritious boost to my health. More than just a snack, they stand as a powerhouse of goodness. In the hustle of showbiz, I’ve learned that true beauty comes from within, and almonds play a big role in that. It’s simple—just make wise choices. I always keep a handful of almonds in my bag as they are a great source of protein and a healthy snack option. Almonds are not only delicious but also provide sustained energy throughout the day Making almonds a part of my daily diet has significantly enhanced my overall well-being!”.
Overall, there’s a pressing need to raise awareness about the right types and amounts of proteins, the importance of macronutrients, and easily accessible protein sources. Ensuring the body meets its daily nutrient requirements is crucial for maintaining good health. By promoting collective awareness and informed choices, we can effectively tackle the issue of protein deficiency in the country.