What are Proteins?

proteinProteins are the body’s cell builders. They are present in all the tissues of the body. They are used mainly for the repair in case of injury and muscle-building in growing age group.   They provide four calories per gram. Proteins are utilised as source of energy only when all other resources are exhausted.

Meat, poultry, milk products and eggs are rich sources of proteins but they also contain saturated fats and cholesterol. Therefore, it is better to avoid them as sources of proteins.  Protein is also present in abundance in legumes, grains, nuts and vegetables. Nuts contain plenty of fats. Hence, their use is also restricted. Vegetables, grains and legumes are low in fats and do not contain any cholesterol and have other nutrients as well.
The guidelines for the use of proteins in a diabetic diet are:

• Protein intake should be approximately 0.8 gm/kg ideal body weight. This usually comprises approximately 12-18% of the calorie intake.

• The requirements for proteins may be increased during illness, pregnancy, lactation and in some elderly patients.

• Protein intake may need to be restricted in patients with nephropathy

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