The pros of a protein-rich diet

Dr Nandan Joshi lists out types of protein and what you need to eat to help you perform better at work

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The vicissitudes of corporate life are everywhere. The 9-5 routine and the demands on one’s time pose a challenge to pursue an active lifestyle for most working people who have no time to exercise or eat healthy. This could be a precursor to some myriad diseases. It is an accepted knowledge that non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetics are a direct result of flawed lifestyle choices, but little is known about the impact of sedentary life on ones health, especially on muscle health which is critical for an active and healthy life throughout one’s lifespan.

Our body has 600 muscles which enable us with physical chores like walking, running, lifting objects, and much more. The amount of muscle mass and fat mass in the body determines the metabolic health of an individual. Focusing on our muscle health to keep it healthy is an investment for a better life in older years. It is a known fact that we start to lose muscle in our thirties and hence it is important to take corrective measures before it is too late. If not taken care of, muscles can degenerate.

A diet that is rich in protein ensures that everyday muscle loss is offset by new muscle synthesis. But how much protein does a person need to consume daily? Our body requires around 2,000-2,500 calories and 10 to 15% of the daily calories should be sourced from protein.

On an average, a body needs 1 gm of protein per kilo gram of body weight. So, on an average, men should consume 60 g of protein while women should limit their protein consumption to 55 g of protein per day.

The key word here is daily as the body is unable to store protein so don’t expect that a weekly binge of protein will help to compensate the daily protein requirements.

(The author is head, nutrition science & medical affairs, Danone India)

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