Body eats muscles when not given enough protein: List of effects and solutions

Why proteins are important for muscles.

Why proteins are important for muscles.

Having a two-time meal in a day is not a sign of a healthy lifestyle but a balanced diet with an adequate amount of nutrition is. Although we have been studying the balanced diet for ages, we fail to understand how to imply it in our lifestyle.

According to a new study, about 68 per cent people in India are protein deficient, while 71 per cent have poor muscle health.

Also, it is alarming for the people who are following the vegan lifestyle. According to an Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) study (2017), 84 per cent of Indian vegetarians do not take required proteins, while about 64 per cent non-vegetarian diets are protein deficient.

“According to our latest survey with IPSOS, a leading global market and opinion research firm, around 68 per cent of people have lower protein content in their body than adequate and 71 per cent of the people have poor muscle health,” InBody Clinical Executive Dr Ankita Ghag said in a statement to PTI.

“We believe there is a need to build awareness about the importance of muscle health amongst Indians and find appropriate solutions,” Ghag said.

Head of Danone, a French multinational food-products corporation, nutrition science and medical affairs, Nandan Joshi said protein is the most misunderstood nutrient with a lot of fallacies around it like it is only for bodybuilders or the belief that our daily diets have sufficient protein.

“To compound the situation, not many people are aware of their daily protein requirements. Similarly, muscle health is often ignored since it is misunderstood as an area which is of relevance only to a sportsperson or a gym-goer. Not many Indians know about its overall impact on health and wellness,” Nandan Joshi added.

You need this much protein in a day

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, women falling under the age group of 18-30 years need to take protein as per their weight, for example, a woman of 40 kg needs to take at least 30 gms of proteins daily.

Keep adding four grams of protein after every five kg. For instance, 45 kg woman would need 34 grams of protein, 50 kg would need 47 grams of protein and so on.

Likewise, men falling under the age group of 18-30 years need 37.5 grams of protein starting from 50 kg. They too can add four grams of protein after every five kilograms.

As per the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) given by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for Indians, 0.8 to 1 gm proteins per kg body weight per day is the requirement of a normal, sedentary person without any disease.

What are the consequences of not having enough protein?

There are some severe repercussions of not having proper protein.

Muscle wasting: This can cause muscle cramping, weakness, and soreness, reducing your body mass, muscle strength, and function. This will compel your body to take protein from muscle tissue and use it as energy to support other vital body functions when protein is low.

Poor wound healing: Deficiency of protein may lead to low wound healing rates and reduced collagen formation and hence poor wound healing.

Infections: The immune system needs proteins to work fine. If you are not taking the required amount of protein, your body may attract infections and diseases.

Foods that you should take for protein

For vegetarians, these foods can be a good source of protein: Eggs, Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Lentils, Chick Peas, Quinoa, Almonds, Green Peas, Endama, and Chia Seeds.

For non-vegetarians, these foods can be a good source of protein: Chicken Breast and Tuna.

“This (the study) concluded people are not getting enough protein from their daily diets and to maintain good muscle health, the body needs between 10 and 14 additional grams of protein per day,” nutritionist Kavita Devgan said.

Good muscle health is not only a key for an active lifestyle, but also for carrying out daily physical activities to maintain a healthy life, Joshi said.