Protein is an important component of a balanced diet and its consumption is crucial for muscle repair, hormone production, immune function. Adequate protein intake is advised for sustaining energy levels throughout the day, growth, development and repair. However, consuming too much protein can lead to side effects and cause digestive discomfort and may also put a strain on the kidneys, particularly in individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions. It’s recommended to consume protein within the recommended dietary guidelines and to break down the protein intake evenly throughout the day to support optimal digestion and absorption. (Also read: 7 ways to add protein to your diet in winter)

In today’s sedentary lifestyle, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for overall health and well-being.(Freepik)

“In today’s sedentary lifestyle, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. While physical activity plays a significant role in determining nutritional requirements, ensuring an adequate intake of protein remains essential for everyone, including those with limited activity levels,” says Dr. Shailesh Gondane, Nephrologist-Renal Specialist, Ruby Hall Clinic, Hinjewadi Pune.

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“Incorporating a variety of these protein-rich foods into meals and snacks can help individuals with sedentary lifestyles meet their nutritional needs while supporting muscle health and overall well-being. Remember to balance protein intake with other essential nutrients and maintain a healthy, well-rounded diet to optimize health outcomes,” adds Dr Gondane.

TOP PROTEIN-RICH FOODS FOR PEOPLE WITH INACTIVE LIFESTYLE

Dr Gondane shares top 10 protein-rich foods tailored specifically for individuals leading sedentary lifestyles:

1. Skinless, boneless chicken: Lean and versatile, chicken is a go-to protein source. It boasts high-quality protein content while being relatively low in fat, making it an excellent choice for those watching their calorie intake.

2. Fish: Not only rich in protein, but fish also provides essential omega-3 fatty acids crucial for heart and brain health. Opt for varieties like salmon, tuna, or mackerel to boost your protein intake while reaping the benefits of healthy fats.

3. Eggs: A nutritional powerhouse, eggs are a complete protein source, containing all essential amino acids. Whether boiled, scrambled, or poached, eggs offer a convenient and affordable way to add protein to your diet.

4. Cheese: While indulging in moderation, cheese can be a flavourful addition to meals. It’s low in fat and high in protein, making it a filling and nutritious option for sedentary individuals looking to meet their protein needs.

5. Lentils: As a rich source of plant-based protein, fibre, and various nutrients, lentils are perfect for those seeking vegetarian or vegan options. Incorporate lentils into soups, stews, or salads for a satisfying and protein-packed meal.

6. Beans: Whether black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans, legumes are a fantastic protein source for sedentary lifestyles. They’re also rich in fibre and complex carbohydrates, aiding in digestion and providing sustained energy.

7. Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu is a complete protein and a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets. Its versatility allows for various culinary applications, making it an excellent addition to stir-fries, salads, or sandwiches.

8. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are all nutrient-dense options rich in protein and healthy fats. Snack on a handful of nuts or sprinkle seeds over yogurt or oatmeal to boost your protein intake throughout the day.

9. Greek Yoghurt: Creamy and satisfying, Greek yoghurt is packed with protein, calcium, and probiotics. Choose plain, unsweetened varieties to avoid added sugars and enjoy it as a snack or as a base for smoothies and dips.

10. Quinoa: As a complete protein source, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, making it an ideal grain for those seeking plant-based protein options. Use quinoa as a base for salads, stir-fries, or as a nutritious alternative to rice or pasta.

How much protein do you know as per your age, health conditions and kidney function?

It’s important to note that individual factors such as age, hydration status, overall diet, and underlying health conditions can also influence how protein intake affects kidney function.

“Recommendations regarding protein intake should be personalized and consider an individual’s unique circumstances both sedentary and active individuals may experience changes in kidney function in response to protein intake, but the impact can vary depending on factors such as activity level, overall health, and genetic predisposition. While sedentary individuals may need to be cautious about excessive protein intake, physically active individuals generally have higher protein requirements to support muscle health and performance. However, it’s essential for all individuals to maintain balanced diets, stay hydrated, and consult healthcare professionals for personalized nutrition advice, especially if they have concerns about kidney health,” says Dr Gondane.



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