Whether you want rock-hard abs, a lean body or simply be fit, it doesn’t happen overnight. Plus, it takes a good workout routine and a healthy diet that includes protein. Protein has been a quintessential part of every nutrition-related debate out there! As more people indulge in healthy eating and fitness, they keep a count of how much protein they are consuming on a daily basis. But what about the quality of the protein you’re consuming? Believe it or not – good and bad protein exist! Let us explore the protein landscape as we unravel the difference between good protein and bad protein.
Protein is an important nutrient for the human body, vital for maintaining and repairing tissues, as well as making enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an integral part of the bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, and unlike fat and carbohydrates, explains Internal Medicine specialist Dr Hemalata Arora. Also, the body does not store protein, which is why it is essential to consume it regularly in your diet. It is important to understand the difference between “good” and “bad” protein, especially in India where the diet requirements change with the change in topography, climate conditions, and population demographics.
“Good proteins are rich in essential amino acids and are easily digested and absorbed in the body. Lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes, and nuts are good sources of ‘good’ protein. On the other hand, “bad” proteins are processed meats and other protein sources that may be high in saturated fat and additives, which might impact your health in the long run,” explains Dr Arora.
Protein is believed to be the building block of the body, which helps you maintain overall health. So, it is vital to choose the right protein to be able to maintain good health and prevent chronic diseases. Opting for good proteins that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol can help manage and prevent conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity which are becoming prevalent in India these days.
The expert warns that people with comorbidities such as kidney disease, lactose intolerance, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need to be more careful about choosing the right type of protein. Plus, people who have limited access to the kind of protein that they can consume every day should be more mindful of the quality of protein.
Also Read: 7 protein-rich foods to include in your diet
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There is a reason why they have been given the title of “bad” proteins. They are highly processed or high in saturated fat, which can prove harmful to your health, increasing the risk of heart disease, kidney problems, and other health issues. So, steer clear of foods that are processed, and fried such as some types of sausages, bacon, and deep-fried snacks. All of these will be extremely unhealthy for you as they contain preservatives and high levels of salt. Dr Arora recommends eating good proteins, including dal, pulses, paneer, yogurt, lean meats and fish, eggs, and nuts.