While transitioning from the traditional Indian thali to fast foods, we lost quite a few essential nutrients in the process; a major one being protein. As per the study conducted by a market research firm, 9 out of 10 Indians in seven major cities of our country consume a diet that is inadequate in protein in spite of knowing the crucial role that protein plays as a building block.

There are two aspects to protein, namely, quantity and quality that require our attention. As per the WHO/FAO/UNU Consultation, the safe requirement of protein was established to be 0·83 g/kg/d. The National Institute of Nutrition along with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have specified the following Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Indians.

However, these protein requirements are also influenced by age, physical activity or stress and physiological status.

When it comes to quality, the composition (essential amino acids present), digestibility and bioavailability of the amino acids that the protein is made up of is taken into account. But how do we measure all this? There are tests (protein efficiency ratio, biological value, net protein utilization, and protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) that rank proteins taking into account their quality indices.

Dietary protein is derived mainly from either animal or plant sources. Although animal sources of protein are complete because they contain all the essential amino acids, they are also rich in saturated fat as well as cholesterol and hence their intake should be limited. Plant sources do not have all the essential amino acids but when eaten in certain combinations can provide all the essential amino acids.

The following table provides the rank of different proteins as per different ranking tests.

Protein TypeProtein Efficiency RatioBiological ValueNet Protein UtilizationProtein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score
Ideal Reading >2.7 Percentage value. Higher the value better the protein Percentage value. Higher the value better the absorption Upto 1
Beef 2.9 80 73 0.92
Black Beans 0 0 0.75
Casein 2.5 77 76 1.00
Egg 3.9 100 94 1.00
Milk 2.5 91 82 1.00
Peanuts 1.8 0.52
Soy Protein 2.2 74 61 1.00
Wheat Gluten 0.8 64 67 0.25
Whey Protein 3.2 104 92 1.00

Adapted from: U.S Dairy Export Council, Reference Manual for U.S. Whey Products 2nd Edition, 1999 and Sarwar, 1997.

Whey protein is by and large the best source of protein. Understanding this fact, BodyFirst ® Whey Protein Isolate was formulated and to aid digestion ProHydrolase ® and Probiotics has been added to this product. So do not forget to get your daily dose of good quality protein today!


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