Sparing no effort in making people aware of muscle health

People of all age groups need proteins, says NIN former Director

July 29, 2019 10:45 pm | Updated 10:45 pm IST - HYDERABAD

In case of proteins from non-vegetarian sources like fish and chicken, the absorption rate is 100% unlike the vegetarian sources, which is about 60% to 70%.

In case of proteins from non-vegetarian sources like fish and chicken, the absorption rate is 100% unlike the vegetarian sources, which is about 60% to 70%.

It’s a popular notion that the gym-goers or those who want to build muscles have to be particular about their protein intake. However, former director of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and other nutritionists stressed that people of all age groups, especially the elderly, should have muscle strength and proteins proportionate to one’s body weight has to be consumed every day to increase it.

They underscored that mere consumption of proteins would not ensure strength unless people take up some form of exercise.

“Most of the food we eat, either rice or wheat, is filled with carbohydrates that increases energy and fat content in one’s body. Proteins are required to build strength and for children’s growth. Every day, an adult needs one gram of protein per one kg of body weight. If anyone does heavy physically activity such as body building, 1.2 grams of protein is required per one kg of body weight,” said B. Sesikeran, former director of NIN at an event held here on Monday. He said muscles become weak if people are physically inactive. Citing an issue experienced by many, back ache, he said apart from one’s posture, back muscles become weak if a person does not exercise and due to poor intake of proteins. One of the biggest risks in old age is falls that lead to fractures. “If their muscles are strong, the risk of falling down reduces,” he added.

Nutrition consultant at Arogya World, Meghana Pasi, said proteins help in muscle generation only when people exercise. “Unless muscles wear and tear, proteins will not be of any use. Be it walking, jogging, swimming or cycling, some form of exercise is necessary,” she said. Dr. Sesikeran said when compared to vegetarian food, better quality proteins are present in non-vegetarian food. While only 60% to 70% of proteins from vegetarian sources are absorbed, the absorption rate is 100% in case of proteins from non-vegetarian sources. Besides, red meat such as mutton has fat, which is difficult to separate. But in case of chicken and fish, which is white meat, fat can be separated, he said. Milk, eggs and various forms of legumes are listed as some of the sources of protein.

Danone India, Arogya World India Trust and InBody are organising sessions from July 24 to 30 to make people aware of muscle health by changing their attitude towards consumption of proteins and lifestyles. They aim to sensitise one lakh people through these sessions. At a press conference held here on Monday, Nandan Joshi, head of Nutrition Science and Medical Affairs at Danone India, said they have already conducted awareness sessions for 40,000 people across India.

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