Importance of Proteins : The Protein Week

The Protein week by IDA and PFNDAIRecently I got a chance to attend an event which aimed to create an awareness on the Importance of Protein for the development. It laid special emphasis on the protein requirements of a pregnant women, growing child and even we adults. This made such an impact that I’m attuned to share a series of posts stating the “Protein importance” and why we need to change our dietary patterns to have a healthy body in coming weeks.

Reason to announce,

“The Protein week” by IDA (Indian Dietetic Association) supported by Protein Foods Nutrition Development Association of India (PFNDAI) was :

  • Observance of 50% Inadequate protein in Indian diet patterns
  • Awareness around 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 proteins
  • Most of the vegetarian based diets are Incomplete sources of protein & there has to be apt fulfilment by certain combinations

The Protein Week – 24th-30th July 2017

This is a big opportunity to encourage people to become better informed about protein which is integral to our general health and well-being. Proteins impact in every life stage and have a great role in developing toddlers till 2 years and in pregnant womenThe 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.

I got to engage with some of the great panelists and Nutritional Pathologists as Dr. B. Sesikeran, a renowned name. 

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 bodybuilders. We see most of the Gym trainers asking every person to go for Whey proteins. But does the body actually requires these extra supplements? Protein is a fundamental nutrient across life stages and helps in maintaining good health and active aging.

Vegetarian diets also have adequate proteins if we include pulses and legumes in sufficient quantity but in combinations. Since cereal and pulses, both are incomplete Proteins (since they lack certain Amino acids), it was insisted to rather have a combination to get good quality protein. Even with a ratio of 5:1, cereals : pulses combination, the protein quality in terms of digestibility is only around 65% when compared with milk and animal protein. Also, pregnant women, the growing kid cannot achieve optimal protein intakes with exclusive vegetarian diets without adequate milk in their diets.”

Dr. Seema Puri, National Vice President, IDA had another set of views.

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. Those quitting dairy for certain reasons have to focus on the good quality meat. Digestibility of the food has a bearing on the 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 gave her views. 

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 a proactive disease-free course of life.

Along with an ample knowledge, this event also hosted the launch of new logo of “The Protein week”, which so very well aimed at the importance of these macronutrients in a human’s life.

Happy Nutritional Parenting!

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