Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Over the years, protein has been a nutrient that has taken center stage. This “hyped” nutrient has drawn a lot of attention lately, with protein balls, bars, and fortified protein versions of essential foods, from cereals to soup, dominating grocery shelves.
The term “protein” is often used by those looking to lose weight, gain muscle, reduce or increase their meat consumption, or addressing general health problems. Despite its widespread use, there is a lot of misinformation about its role in our diet.
Protein takes its name from the Greek word “Proteins‘which means “first place”. It is one of the most important macronutrients that are essential to our overall health. Protein-rich foods are broken down into amino acids in the stomach and absorbed in the small intestine, after which the liver determines which amino acids the body needs. The rest is excreted in the urine.
But before we discuss and debunk any myths surrounding protein, it’s important to double-check that we know what protein is or not. So let’s take a look at some of the popular misconceptions about protein from a dietary perspective.
Myth # 1: Vegetarian means limited choices in high protein foods
It is a myth that high quality protein can only be found in animal products and that vegetarians and vegans suffer from protein deficiencies. Plant-based sources of protein can be more than sufficient. While animal products like meat and eggs are very high in protein, vegetarians have many options when it comes to protein.
There are many high-quality vegetable sources of protein, from legumes to walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, quinoa, tofu, flax seeds and soy-based products. In fact, some plant-based proteins, such as soybeans, are as high in protein as animal proteins. Including one or more of these foods in your diet goes a long way towards meeting your daily protein needs. So, If you are concerned about getting enough protein on a meatless diet, then you really shouldn’t.
Myth 2: There is no such thing as “too much protein”
We all know the saying that anything is harmful to health in excess. In the case of protein intake, this can be the case. Everything should be in moderation – even protein. For most healthy people, a diet that is too high in protein is generally not harmful. However, if the protein intake is followed for an extended period of time, it can cause several health problems. Protein is vital to our bodies, but too much of it can also be dangerous.
Although protein is not in itself dangerous, many protein supplements are high in carbohydrates (carbohydrates), which can reduce gas, gas and gas. can cause stomach pain. In addition, a diet high in protein can increase your risk of heart disease or worsen kidney function, especially if you have an underlying medical condition kidney or liver Problem. Dehydration, weight gain, constipation, diarrhea, and kidney dysfunction are other common risk factors.
Myth # 3: Protein supplements are great alternatives to whole protein foods
A common misconception today is that protein supplements can meet our daily protein needs. Although protein supplements are excellent sources of protein, there is a reason why they are called dietary supplements.
While they are a convenient way to get protein, they are not a substitute for the protein our bodies get from normal food sources. Most people can get enough protein from their regular meals by consuming high protein foods like eggs, yogurt, lentils, meat, fish, soy, and other foods.
Myth # 4: protein needs don’t change with age
Experts agree that while getting enough – but not excessive – protein is important for bone health in children and adolescents, protein needs increase with age and illness. Compared to younger adults, older adults require a 50% higher daily protein / kilogram intake to maintain the balance and mobility necessary for independent living. In older years, the risk of sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass, strength, and function – is higher.
In addition, the recommended amount of protein also increases if an adult is malnourished due to an acute or chronic illness. It is important to note, however, that higher protein intakes can put the elderly at risk if they have some type of kidney dysfunction. As with any health and diet change, it is important to talk to your doctor about your protein needs and intake as you age.
The essential amino acids in protein are the building blocks of life and important nutrients for muscle health. Remember to make protein a priority at every meal to help maintain your strength, energy, and overall health. However, eating more protein than you need is completely wasteful as the excess protein is excreted in the urine.
In conclusion, when you ingest too much protein, in addition to unwanted side effects, you are effectively flushing your money down the toilet. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends a protein intake of 0.8 to 1 g per kg of body weight for the average Indian adult. That’s all you need. No longer. No additions are required.
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