Are we overeating our proteins? What Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says | Health - Hindustan Times
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Are we overeating our proteins? What Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says

By, New Delhi
Jun 08, 2023 01:19 PM IST

Eating protein in excess can lead to acidity, constipation, and even anxiety, says Rujuta Diwekar. Here's how to eat your proteins right.

Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar in her recent Instagram post has said that many people are overeating proteins and ignoring the regular balanced meals which has the right proportions of various essential nutrients required by our body. Citing the report by International panel of experts on sustainable food systems (IPES foods), Diwekar mentions that evidence clearly suggests there is no protein gap anywhere in the world and protein is just one of the many nutrients missing in the diet of those suffering from hunger. The nutritionist further shares that this disproportionate focus on protein has led to the emergence of companies that are offering high protein products to consumers. (Also read: 3 reasons why soya chunks are not healthy for you)

While eating protein is one thing, assimilating it and getting benefits out of it is another. (Unsplash)
While eating protein is one thing, assimilating it and getting benefits out of it is another. (Unsplash)

"Eating protein in excess can lead to acidity, constipation, and even anxiety. Because for protein assimilation what is required is whole food matrix," says Diwekar.

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What is whole food matrix

Explaining the concept of whole food matrix, Diwekar explains that it simply means eating other foods in the time-tested proportions.

"This includes khichdi, idly and even dal baati, a puran poli. These dishes have fixed proportion of lentils or pulses. Similarly in biryani, the proportion of meat and rice is fixed. This is to ensure that protein assimilation is good," she says.

Tips to assimilate protein well

While eating protein is one thing, assimilating it and getting benefits out of it is another. Diwekar says one should follow the below-mentioned tips for proper protein assimilation.

- Exercise well and do it consistently. Don't overdo it.

- Sleep on time because if you don't do that no matter how much exercise you do or how much protein you eat, it will not benefit you

- In absence of sufficient protein, you won't be able to grow properly or repair tissues, or maintain existing tissues. For this you need your regular food. You will be able to get protein from whole food matrix.

Quoting a study, the nutritionist says that people were given regular milk and then the people were given the same milk with fat removed and they added more protein and amino acids to it. What researchers discovered was that people who had regular milk got better access to protein compared to the ones who actually consumed more protein but lesser fats with it.

"Have things as they are to optimise your chances of better assimilation," says the expert.

Is it safe to take protein supplement?

Diwekar says that many diets require people to exclusively eat protein which must be avoided. However, in combination with a healthy and balanced meal, protein supplements are safe to take.

"You can take it if it is not the mainstay of your programme. If you are going to be eating regular food, you are ensuring you have adequate access through lentils and pulses, millets, wholegrains, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, dairy, exercising. Sleeping on time, having good relationships. Problem happens when protein becomes the mainstay and you have given up regular eating There is a whole lot of scientific evidence that is urging us to really eat according to local, seasonal, traditional practices," Diwekar says.

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