“Make sure you eat twenty-five grams protein in every meal” “If you want muscles, you need to swoop on protein bars”
Nobody is more enthusiastic about conversations on protein than an Indian who has just started hitting the gym. Though this talk is not restricted to just passionate gym-goers. It is inclusive of almost everyone who is slightly health-conscious. But there is a lot of smog around the issue of protein in our culture. Because of which most things that you know about protein are wrong!
Yes, you read that right. Most information passed through the word of mouth about protein is inaccurate. For instance, the dialogues mentioned above are wrong-headed but easily trusted.
The busting of this false information is long overdue. But before we begin, let us grasp what protein is and why is it important for our body?
What is Protein?
Proteins are macronutrients. They are needed by our cells for growth and maintenance. They help in building and repairing of tissues of all our cells.
Proteins are made up of amino acids. Nearly twenty-one amino acids are there in our bodies. Out of these, 9 are essential. Being essential means that these nine amino acids are not produced by the body, but must come from food.
To understand why everything you know about protein is wrong, we bring to you a game of guesses. Given below are some statements that may or may not be true. Guess your answer and test your knowledge about protein. Read on.
True or False About You Know About Protein Is Wrong
Statement 1: Only animal meat contains ‘complete’ protein.
False – Animal meat has a large quantity of protein as compared to plants. That does not imply that only meat contains complete protein. Nearly everything and anything you eat consists of the respective macronutrient. There are even some plants with a relatively high quantity of protein. For instance, beans, lentils, whole grains and more.
Statement 2: An average Indian is protein deficient.
True – Yes, we are a developing country but nearly 80% of our population is protein-deficient. This estimate was recorded in the Indian Market Research Bureau’s 2017 report. One of the reasons for this is our lack of awareness about protein. Most people believe that more protein equals better health. Nonetheless, it is not true. The source of protein is what matters here. While there are several other factors like poverty, high cost of healthy food products and inaccessibility of medical checkups, misinformation can be avoided.
Statement 3: You should eat lots of protein at every meal for complete health.
False – Overabundance can be harmful. If you believe that more is better, you may be wrong. You may be tempted to buy the product with a “high protein” sticker. But high concentration can lead to several health risks. Some common complications of consuming excess amounts of protein are weight gain, diarrhea, dehydration and more.
You do not need protein from specific food at every meal to meet your requirements. Your requirement depends upon various factors like your age, gender, health, activity and more.
Statement 4: More protein means more muscles.
False – If your gym partner tells you to dive into protein shakes for quicker and stronger body muscles, then send him/her this post. Because excess protein is not associated with muscle building. It is a lie, that calories from surplus protein turn into muscles. It turns into fat.
For bodybuilding, your physical activity would be the determining factor and not how much protein you take.
Statement 5: There is no relation between protein and insulin.
False – It may not raise blood sugar, but it certainly triggers insulin. Just like carbohydrates, proteins lead to a release of insulin. It should also be noted that the amount of calories in both, carbs and proteins, is the same.
Most knowledge or rather disinformation about protein is a result of the marketing by sellers in the industry. Some of these points make people ignorant of scientific facts and sound judgments. The above post has been our attempt to alter this ignorance.
We can summarise the above post as:
- More protein does not mean better health
- Plants, like meat, also have proteins
- Sources of proteins are of more importance than the quantity of intake
- Excess protein turns into fat
Now that it is clear that everything you know about protein is wrong, it is time for you to fix your eating habits. Only this macronutrient would not regulate your overall health. High-quality sources of food inclusive of protein would add your complete well-being.
Also, read about how you can boost your health with High protein diet in the article Boost Your Health With High Protein Diet For Vegetarians