Been wanting to increase your protein intake but caught yourself in two minds about it?
Well, then here’s your ultimate guide that will help you resolve this doubt.
Protein is great for you, agreed! But in the quest of consuming more protein, what else are you feeding your body? Being one of the macro nutrients, you need to also check what other nutrients does your ‘protein-rich food’ provide you. Often it is the complete protein package that you need to look for.
A Guide to Complete Proteins
Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids which combine in different sequences to form a complete protein. Now, our body can make some of them from the raw material i.e. food we eat while some are needed to be provided directly. Majority of Indians consume plant-based proteins which make it inherently incomplete. Whereas, animal-based proteins provide complete protein!
What is the protein package?
Like mentioned earlier, we don’t eat protein in isolation unless it’s a supplement. Even then, any protein-rich food that we eat, for instance - dal, comes with other nutrients and anti-nutrient factors.
So we need to eat the entire protein package! Let us elucidate some instances
Quality of protein always matters
While there is the mad scramble for meeting the 1 gram per kg body weight of protein, one must remember the protein package concept. You not only need quantity but also the quality of protein for good health. Too much consumption of red meat and animal based-proteins can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even some forms of cancer.
How to meet the protein requirements?
Pertinent question! It is important to choose plant-based proteins and sparingly use animal-based proteins to strike a balance. The anti-nutritional factor in beans and dals can be countered by methods like soaking, sprouting, fermenting, malting as household processing methods. It is important to not judge food only basis its protein but by its package as well.
Most protein snack bars are designed to minimise or eliminate the bad fats and simple sugars. These protein bars contain a complete blend of soy, whey, casein, among other things like fiber, vitamins & minerals. This is surely another way to look for the ‘complete protein package’.