Not enough protein in your diet can make you very sick. The results of the recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data, which analysed the average Indian diet to find out how it has changed in the last decade, are an eye opener in many ways.

The survey found that while almost half of urban Indians consume milk, pulses and green vegetables every day, the consumption of meat products is much lower. Less than seven per cent consume fish or eggs daily. For chicken and meat intake, the figure is less than two per cent. And what appalled me was the gender gap in daily milk/curd intake in the 15-20 years’ age group (more boys have dairy products), and the fact that vegetarianism is more common among women.

I don’t understand the reason, but I am concerned. Due to the dual perspective I get as a practising nutritionist and health writer-researcher, I see the misinformation that is floating about macronutrients – fat, carbohydrates and the protein – from close quarters. I see it everywhere in all age groups, and all strata of society. And I am worried about protein in particular.

Even today, in this age of “too much information”, I hear people say things like: Oh, I get enough protein because I have vegetables and fruits every day. Let’s get the facts straight: vegetables and fruits are poor sources of protein, unlike dairy, meats, legumes and soya.

ALSO READ:  NZ Skipper 'Kane Williamson' To Lead 'Sunrisers Hyderabad' In IPL 2019

The NFHS data exemplifies that protein intake for many of us might be much less than required, particularly for women, specially those who are vegetarian and don’t have enough dairy in their diet, too. That’s unfair because let me be blunt – we simply can’t exist without enough protein, and a deficiency can have a drastic effect on our health.

Why is protein so important?

Firstly, protein is needed on a daily basis, as it is not stored in the body. Any excess gets used up as energy or gets converted into fats or carbohydrates. Thus deficiency will lead to depletion of our muscles mass, which we must avoid at all costs.

Secondly, every body part is made up of protein, and we need it on a daily basis for the maintenance, upkeep, and regeneration of all our body cells, and organs – right from hair to hormones, antibodies to nerves, and haemoglobin to bones.

That is why it’s important to look out for signs of protein deficiency – sluggish metabolism, loss of muscle mass, low energy levels and fatigue, and a general feeling of unexplained tiredness, foggy brain, poor concentration, moodiness and mood swings, muscle, bone and joint pain, slow wound healing, and low immunity.

ALSO READ:  Why Police Booked Anti-CAA 'Minor Protesters' With 'Harsh Laws' Against The Juvenile Justice Act In Hyderabad?

Who’s at risk of protein deficiency?

Growing teenagers, fitness enthusiasts and athletes who exercise regularly (as they burn more calories and use more protein to build muscle), pregnant and lactating women (their needs are biologically higher) and vegetarians and vegans (they don’t get enough complete protein) tend to have higher protein needs.

The elderly (because as we age our digestion and ability to use protein gets less efficient), those recovering from an acute illness or injury (to heal you need at least one and a half times the normal protein recommendations), those who are stressed (stress hormones increase muscle and tissue breakdown in times of both physical and emotional stress), people on a weight loss diet (adequate protein is needed for weight loss to balance blood sugars and prevent muscle breakdown), and those with digestive issues or low levels of stomach acid (to digest protein, one must have adequate stomach acid or HCL) too need to pack more protein in their diets.

And on the basis of the data unveiled, I would like to add most women to this list.

Even if you don’t fall in any of the categories, it pays to make sure that your protein intake is up to the mark.

ALSO READ:  Govt Says ‘No Shortage’ As Hospitals Struggle With Dwindling Oxygen Supply

All of us need enough good quality protein on a routine basis to lead a healthy and active life, and a balanced diet can help ensure that. But what is important to know (and not many know it) is that both the quantity as well as the quality of protein are essential. Quality is more important. Not all food sources of protein contain all the nine essential amino acids our body requires to support muscle and cell health.

It needs to be mentioned here that many vegetarian protein sources (cereals and lentils) are incomplete. And since the majority of the protein content in Indian diets comes from vegetarian sources, they tend to be predominantly low in quality protein.

Where protein needs are not being met through food, supplementation with a high quality protein source might become necessary to help to bridge the dietary gap, specially for high requirement groups.

Take protein seriously. Look closely at your plate to check if there is enough high quality protein in there. If not, ensure it consciously, to help keep serious health issues at bay and lead efficient lives.#KhabarLive


  1. I just want to tell you that I am new to blogging and absolutely savored this web site. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You really have remarkable well written articles. Appreciate it for revealing your website page.

  2. Faytech North America is a touch screen Manufacturer of both monitors and pcs. They specialize in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of Capacitive touch screen, Resistive touch screen, Industrial touch screen, IP65 touch screen, touchscreen monitors and integrated touchscreen PCs. Contact them at, 121 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013, +1 646 205 3214

  3. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

  4. Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

  5. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than three hours these days, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s pretty price enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the internet will likely be much more helpful than ever before. “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” by Lawrence Peter Berra.

  6. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  7. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  8. Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

Comments are closed.