Vegetarian diets lack protein? Busting this age-old myth!

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Vegetarian diets lack protein? Busting this age-old myth!

Proteins are an essential component of a healthy diet, playing a crucial role in various bodily functions. But India continues to face a concerning issue of protein deficiency, with many individuals not meeting the required daily intake. The recommended protein intake for an average adult in India is 0.8 gram per kilogram of body weight. However, the average consumption typically rests at about 0.6 grams per kilogram of body weight.

In India, there is a common association of proteins with non-vegetarian foods like meat and fish. Challenging this misconception, the Almond Board of California recently hosted a session in Chandigarh. During this event, Dietician Dr. Ritika Samaddar, emphasized that natural protein sources, such as almonds, can often sufficiently meet one’s protein needs. She addressed common misconceptions about vegetarian diets lacking protein, concerns about weight gain, and issues related to protein digestion.

Unfortunately, even today, a significant number of Indians lack awareness about the vital dietary necessity of protein. According to a survey, 73 percent of Indians fail to meet the recommended daily protein intake, with over 90 percent lacking awareness of this shortfall. Moreover, another survey has unveiled a pervasive lack of understanding about the importance of protein as a vital macronutrient, especially among Indian households, particularly mothers.

During the recent session, Dietician Dr. Ritika Samaddar emphasized that the increasing commercialization of fitness-related diets has led many to mistakenly believe in the necessity of protein supplements. She stressed the importance of recognizing that natural protein sources, including almonds, pulses, and dals, are often more than sufficient to meet one’s protein requirements. She also discussed the availability of plant-based protein options like soybean, pulses, dals, and nuts, with almonds being a notable example. Dietician Dr. Ritika Samaddar said, “Everyone’s body and fitness needs are different, influenced by things like how fast our metabolism is, how active we are, and what our personal goals are. A balanced diet is the key to achieve holistic health. Adding protein is a key, and it’s good for us in the long run. One easy way to get more protein is by snacking on almonds every day; they’re healthy, handy, and packed with protein. A 30 g serving of almonds provides 6.3 g of protein. Almonds are also a source of nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin E, and Vitamin B2.”

Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome, and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming, and production on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond growers and processors in California, many of which are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on­­ the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.almonds.in

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