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How Much Protein Does The Indian Body Require In A Single Day?

Mon, Feb 08, 2021

Proteins are often referred to as the building blocks of life although they are often compromised or overlooked in the regular Indian diet plan. Protein consumption in India is still considerably lower at 48 grams per day, which has been discovered by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). The recommended dietary allowance for an average Indian adult is at least 0.8 to 1 gram of protein for every kg of body weight on a daily basis. Yet, the average intake is mostly around 0.6 grams for every kg of body weight in India.

Here are some vital statistics that will help illustrate the overwhelming need for protein in a literal sense:

  • 73% of Indians are protein deficient as per studies.
  • 90% are still not aware of their daily protein requirements.
  • 85% believe that protein only leads to weight gain.
  • Protein consumption is increasing globally with 68 grams per person being consumed per day on an average.
  • India on the other hand has the lowest average consumption rates for protein, i.e. 47 grams per individual per day in comparison to developed countries and other Asian nations.
  • The National Sample Survey of 2011-12 indicates de-growth in per capita protein consumption to the tune of 4% and 11% in urban and rural zones respectively.

Diets in India are predominantly based upon cereals and 60% of the protein is garnered from cereals which often have poor quality and digestibility alike. 71% of people between 30-55 years of age in the 8 top Indian cities have poor muscle health issues as per studies. The EAT-Lancet Commission report has also highlighted that Indians eat more simple carbohydrates regularly while consuming lesser volumes of complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. The Indian Consumer Market 2020 report has clearly indicated higher expenditure every month on processed foods and cereals for an average Indian household with just 1/3rd of the food budget being allocated for foods which are rich in protein.

Fulfilling protein requirements each day- What you should know

As per the Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA, the minimum amount of protein required for staying healthy is 0.8 grams for every kilogram (kg) of one’s body weight, each day. This is for people not following highly active lifestyles. For those who work out on a regular basis, protein intake should be at least 1.2 grams for every kilogram of body weight. Also, for bodybuilders, athletes and hardcore weight trainers, the intake may increase to 1.8-2 grams for every kg of body weight on a daily basis since they will require more protein for building more muscle post their heavy activity sessions.

Sedentary people weighing approximately 50 kilograms will have to consume 40 grams of protein every day while active individuals weighing 50 kilograms will have to consume 60 grams of protein each day. Somebody who performs heavy workouts will require anywhere between 90 and 100 grams each day. However, nutritionists and experts advise that you should keep your calorie limit in check on a daily basis for maintaining your weight suitably. The average calorie intake per day is 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 calories for women. Infants should consume 10 grams of protein each day and school-going children will need anywhere between 19-32 grams of protein each day. Teenage boys and girls will require 52 and 46 grams of protein each day while adult men and women will need approximately 56 grams and 46 grams respectively. Pregnant women will have protein intake adding up to 71 grams on an average each day.

Hence, the importance of protein cannot be underestimated for better health, strength, wellness and keeping several ailments at bay. It is vital to mix complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and whole-grain wheat) with protein for the best results. Protein is needed by the body for repair, growth and also for disease protection. There are complete (animal protein, milk, eggs) and incomplete (legumes, cereals, beans, nuts) which should be fused together in the daily diet. Create a balanced diet as per your body type and protein requirements.