Discourse 28 Apr 2019 Protein obsession: P ...

Protein obsession: Protein fixation in the west

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 28, 2019, 7:27 am IST
Updated Apr 28, 2019, 7:27 am IST
There are serious concerns that a high protein intake over a lifetime harms the liver, kidneys and skeleton.
Many people in the west, especially the younger generation, are fixated on protein. They use protein bars, easily available in the market in variety, and sprinkle protein powder in their shakes.
 Many people in the west, especially the younger generation, are fixated on protein. They use protein bars, easily available in the market in variety, and sprinkle protein powder in their shakes.

Restrictive and obsessive diets are not easy to sustain. Many people in the west, especially the younger generation, are fixated on protein. They use protein bars, easily available in the market in variety, and sprinkle protein powder in their shakes.

When we seek out extra protein to suffuse our diets, most of us in rich countries are fixating on “a problem that doesn’t exist”, said David L. Katz, an American doctor and public health scholar who is the director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Centre.

 

Dr Katz, in his recent book, says “mythology of protein tends to propagate the notion that more is better”, there are serious concerns that a very high protein intake over a lifetime can result in harm to the liver, kidneys and skeleton. Protein mania has partly come about because so many people now regard carbohydrates or fats with suspicion. In my approach to cooking I tend to moderate servings (3 to 4 ounces) of lean protein like poultry and fish, balancing animal and plant sources.

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Including beans, nuts, tofu and non-saturated fat products is better strategy. Include healthy sources of fat for nutrients and satisfaction, such as nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil. While defining the recipes, I focus on balancing the right proportions of high quality proteins, carbohydrates containing fibre, lots of vegetables and fruit, and intelligent portions of healthy fats. By balancing these, people are happy to find their blood sugars stabilise, energy crashes are reduced, cravings are moderated, and hunger is controlled. This approach is better for healthy weight and lifestyle pratice. As the old grandmothers say moderation is a good approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

— May Fridel

(The author’s cookbook was recently published by American Diabetes Association for recommended balanced approach)

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