Proteins, carbohydrates, and fat form the nutritional basics of every food we eat. We all are aware of these components of food. But do we also know that our body is also made up of proteins carbohydrates and fats? Proteins are rightly called the building blocks of our bodies. Here is your One-Stop Protein Guide! Read more to know about the sources of protein, Why it is important as well as how to calculate protein intake.
Proteins being an integral part of the body are constantly required in sufficient quantities, as protein is not stored in our body, and needs to be replenished every day. Additionally, Carbohydrates are majorly found in muscles and liver, whereas fat forms a protective layer around vital organs and skin.
Did you know?
Muscles contain about 30% protein, the liver 20 to 30%, and red blood cells 30% of protein. Basically, protein is found throughout the body like muscle, bone, skin, hair, and every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that aid chemical reactions. Hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood is not iron alone, But also constitutes of protein.
Constitution of Protein:
Protein is made from small building blocks called amino acids. These amino acids cannot be stored in the body. Thus, our body either produces it or we get it from our diet.
- Nonessential amino acids are made by the body from essential amino acids or in the normal protein metabolism.
- Essential amino acids are the ones that cannot be produced by the body. Thus it has to be provided through food over the day.
Bodies need a modest amount of protein to function well. According to the Indian dietetic association, the protein requirement is 0.8 gms per kg body weight. The requirement might increase up to 1 or 1.2 gms per kg body weight as per the body’s condition.
Sources of proteins from food:
- Animal sources: Dairy products, egg, poultry, fish, meat.
- Plant sources: Dals, pulses, legumes, cereals, nuts, soy, and products, nuts and seeds, certain fruits and vegetables.
Indian diet is carbohydrate-based thus the protein intake might be insufficient. Plant sources are not as high in protein as animal sources. Animal sources being high in proteins should be taken in adequate amounts. Indian non-vegetarian diets also do not consist of non-vegetarian foods regularly. This reduces the average protein intake of an Indian is not as per requirement. For better utilization of proteins in the body, the dietary ratio of plant protein to animal protein has to be 1:1. It is advisable to consult the professionals to know your protein requirements.
Protein deficiency occurs when your intake is unable to meet your body’s requirements. Deficiency may show some signs and symptoms that mustn’t go unattended. It might cause various health problems and worsen it further.
Signs and symptoms of protein deficiency:
- Skin, hair and nail issues: There can be redness on the skin, brittle nails, thin hair, faded hair color.
- Loss of muscle mass: This is the first sign of protein deficiency. The muscles are mostly made up of proteins, thus, lack of protein intake will lead to the breakdown of muscles.
- Increased risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis: Calcium requires protein to get itself deposited on the bones to increase its density. Thus, protein deficiency leads to a lack of calcium deposition on the bones. This may lead to osteoporosis or bone injuries or fractures.
- Risk of infections: Protein being part of immune cells, its deficiency leads to compromised immunity.
- Stunted body growth in children and malnutrition: Proteins are building blocks of our body Hence, Protein is essential for the proper growth and nourishment of children during the growth period. Protein deficiency at this stage of life may lead to stunted growth or malnutrition in kids.
How To Calculate Protein Intake?
The most important point is to know whether your protein intake is sufficient for your body. And the best way to do that is by calculating your protein intake. Dont worry, this small activity does not require you to read long books and do research about the protein content of food items. This process can be simplified by using a good and reliable protein calculator. A good example to refer to is the ‘Right to protein’ Protein-o-meter.
Who can use the protein calculator?
The protein calculator can be used to calculate proteins when you are
- On keto diet.
- Into sports.
- In a growth phase.
- Want a muscular or bulky body.
- On a weight loss regime.
- Suspect malnutrition.
- Are a vegan or a vegetarian?
The protein calculator becomes mandatory when you have certain disorders like
- Malnourishment or muscle wasting disorder
- Kidney disease
- Liver disorder
Protein Calculator O Meter:
The Protein-o-meter calculates your protein requirements based on your age, lifestyle and activity levels. When you enter your meal details, it not only calculates your current protein intake but tells you how short you are from your requirement. Well, it does not end at this. It goes on to suggest the food items that you must include in your daily meal to meet your actual protein requirement. It is hard to find an app that calculates the nutritional content of Indian meals.
Let us all come together and make each one of us aware of the importance of proteins in the diet. Correct use of valid information along with the technical help of such protein meters will help keep us healthy. So no more worrying about how to calculate protein intake.
Some interesting reads:
- Health benefits of Almonds
- 10 Easy chicken salad recipes.
- Your protein supplement guide.
- Indian High protein low carb diet plan for weight loss.
Tags- #righttoprotein, #protein-o-meter, #Protein Index, #Healthfirst, #nutrition, #protein