India and the protein problem

Sukhatme, P. V. (1972) India and the protein problem Ecology of Food and Nutrition , 1 (4). pp. 267-278. ISSN 0367-0244

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An appreciable proportion of the population in India has an insufficient amount of protein in the diet. However, the same diets are almost always deficient in total energy. There is no evidence that the quality and concentration of protein in the cereal-pulse based diet normally eaten in India is inadequate to meet protein needs, provided man eats enough to meet his energy needs. What diets apparently lack is energy foods to avoid the catabolism of the protein which is consumed. Supplementing diets with protein or amino acids is a costly and inefficient method of meeting energy and protein needs under these conditions. The concept of recommended protein intake and its use in assessing protein needs is commented upon.

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