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A handful of Almonds a day: A Natural Approach to Mitigating India’s Protein Problem


Vishakhapatnam, 17th October 2023: Proteins are one of the essential components of a healthy diet and play a pivotal role in facilitating several functions within the body. According to a survey, 73 percent of Indians do not consume the recommended daily amount of protein, and over 90 percent are unaware of this necessity. To educate consumers on the importance of including optimal amount of protein in the diet, the Almond Board of California, today, hosted a session around A natural approach to mitigating India’s protein problem’.

The event was held at Hotel Taj Gateway, with sessions featured by well-known Celebrity Sucheta Pal, as well as Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy, and was moderated by RJ Anusha. The discussion at the event focused on the lack of understanding regarding the sources of protein among Indian households and the importance of adequate protein intake in maintaining health. India faces a concerning issue of protein deficiency, with many individuals not meeting the required daily intake1. 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 weight2.

Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, “Given the importance of protein in one’s diet it’s vital that it is consumed in adequate quantity and quality. The escalating commercialization of fitness-related diets has led many to falsely believe in the necessity of protein supplements. However, it's important to understand that natural sources of proteins are most times enough to fulfill one’s protein requirements. Some of the foods rich in protein are nuts, seeds, pulses, dals, egg, chicken, and fish. For people looking for plant-based proteins, there are several options like soybean, pulses, dals, and nuts like almonds. 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.”

The misconceptions surrounding the sources of protein, daily needs, and its function in numerous biological processes within our body were some of the key discussion points. Some of the misconceptions included the belief that vegetarians lack sufficient protein sources, that it causes weight gain and that it's hard to digest. The facts are that protein consumption can help to prevent weight gain, help one feel satiated3, along with being good for muscle health.

Yet another survey revealed that many households in India are not aware of the importance of protein as a vital macronutrient. The study, primarily involving mothers, found that most of them lacked an understanding of the essential role of protein and the reasons for consuming it4. In this context, access to good quality protein becomes an important lever for achieving a balanced diet for India’s population.

Celebrity Fitness Coach, Sucheta Pal, said “As a fitness enthusiast, diet is one of the most crucial aspects of my daily routine, as a lot depends on it. One of the pillars of my nutritional strategy is protein since it helps in muscle growth and recovery. I am always on the lookout to make my diet interesting and almonds with their versatility allow me to go creative and experiment. Almonds also help me keep my hunger pangs at bay, making them an incredible snacking option. This makes it so much easier to curb the instinct to snack on unhealthy foods, and helps me keep my body in shape.”

There is an urgent need to create awareness on what kind of proteins to eat, how much to eat, the importance of macronutrients and easily available sources of protein. It is important to ensure that the body’s daily nutrient requirements to maintain good health are met. Collective awareness and informed choices can address the problem of protein deficiency in the country. 

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