Proteins are major structural and functional components of human body
The minimum requirement for protein is defined as .8-1 gm/kg (body weight). A least 10% of total calories in food should come from protein. On the other hand, protein should not provide more than 30-35% of total calories.
Indian diets typically give less than 15% calories from protein. In fact, a big number of Indians get even less than 10% of total calories from food because of our less protein dense staple protein foods (dal or pulses)
The answer is yes, to a very large extent!
Some health problems may result if a high-protein diet (proteins higher than 30% of total calories) is followed for an extended time (Indians hardly ever manage more than 20% of total calories by protein intake) :
What are ‘good’ or ’complete proteins’? Are proteins of vegetable sources ‘incomplete’ and therefore could vegetarians have deficiencies of essential amino acids?
Proteins used to be graded on the basis of their amino acid constitution. The ones that provided all or nearly all amino acids were considered complete and had high scores (Biological Value, PDCAAS etc.). Proteins from plant sources often lack one or more amino acids (e.g.. lysine in most grains) and thus have low biological value or PDCAAS. They were considered inferior to animal proteins in the past.
But the importance given to BV or PDCAAS has gone down in recent times. This is because people often eat various food stuff together and thus compensate for deficiencies. Vegetarians also will have no problem ensuring that they get all essential amino acids in diet, if they consume protein from various sources (grains, dals/beans, milk etc.)
Good protein choices include
The protein foods to consume in moderation are
To know more about choosing the right proteins, go to ‘Tips for making healthy protein choices‘
CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on diet