Is your Daily Diet Missing Something in Your Daily Homemade Food?

Is your Daily Diet Missing Something in Your Daily Homemade Food?

protein deficiency

I love homemade food. Everyone who reads my blog knows how passionate I am about food. As I read more about food, I have realized how important it is for us to consume a well-balanced meal all the time. Each meal should contain all the nutrients i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

I often find that we in India consider carbohydrates to be our enemy and denounce them from our diet thinking that it will make us lose weight faster and help in maintaining body weight. But, there is a very important nutrient in our diet which we often miss. The nutrient that is ignored in Indian cooking is protein.

Think of poori sabzi, upma and some of our other traditional breakfast and meal options and you will find them rich in carbohydrates, but low in proteins. Furthermore, if you are a vegetarian, then it may be a bit difficult to completely satisfy your protein requirements just by eating homemade food.

Let’s try and understand protein a bit better:

Protein is very important for the growth and maintenance of our cells and tissues. Our skin, hair, nails, body tissues are made up of protein. Proteins are also essential for formation of hemoglobin, hormones, enzymes, muscles and antibodies (required to maintain a healthy immune system). Thus, our body needs adequate proteins on a daily basis to function appropriately. Hence, if your diet is low in protein, you may experience dryness in skin and your nails and hair may become weaker. It is said that our bodies need 1.0g of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight. Therefore, protein is considered as a wonder nutrient that is absolutely crucial for our bodies.

One other very important fact about protein is that it cannot be stored in the body, unlike carbohydrates. Hence, the body does not have any reserves to fall back upon in times of need. This is the reason why you must meet all your protein requirements from your diet every day.

Since I got to know these essential truths about protein, I have become more conscious of incorporating it in every meal e.g. boiled egg with upma or veg paratha with curd. I have increased the quantity of dal, pulses and lentils consumed in every meal. And of course, for those times after my workout or when I have not had protein in my food, a protein shake like Protinex helps take care of any protein deficiencies that might occur in my diet on a regular basis. I have read that protein supplements based on milk protein -whey are the best to consume.

Are you having enough protein in your diet? Check out this Calculator to see where you stand.

Here are my results

protein deficiency

Do let me know how you handle protein deficiency in your diet?

Pic courtesy: Africa Studio on Shutterstock

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18 thoughts on “Is your Daily Diet Missing Something in Your Daily Homemade Food?

  1. I can’t tell you how timely this is. I’ve always wondered how to include more protein in my diet and being vegetarian I know we have limited choices. Must really start maintaining a food chart regularly. Thanks Rachna!

    1. Oh yes, a food chart is a great idea. I hope you are maintaining a food and water log. Do it for 3 months to get a good idea of how your diet is. Having protein makes us feel full and is really important to have after workout to repair wear and tear. Glad you liked the post, Shy.

  2. I remember the taste of Protinex. My aunt used to take it regularly and I would beg for a spoon of the powder. The Indian diet is actually not very low on protein – in fact, research shows that the original south indian meal is one of the most balanced – unfortunately most people skip the protein rich side dishes and vegetables, and go straight for the rice overload. Then they suffer in the long run. Protein, along with fiber also keeps one fuller and less prone to snacking. Good post Rachna! 🙂

    1. You are absolutely right when you say that we skip the protein rich dishes and pile on the carbs. I have also realized that we have one of the most nutritionally balanced diets in the world but unfortunately so many of us are running away from it. Yes, I like the taste of Protinex too. 🙂

  3. I love Protinex and we have been using it for a long time. Even when I was growing up. Eggs – I can start everyday. For now they are on alternate days but I agree that after work out, the body should be nourished. Loved the calculator and I also got a 100% 🙂

    1. Lovely! You are keeping your diet high in protein. Of course, we have many sources like daal, legumes, dairy as good veg sources of protein. But l do need my protein shake after my workout. ?

  4. Ha! Janaki and I were having this discussion recently after wondering whether lack of energy was related to insufficient protein in our diet!
    For some reason, the calculator link is not loading for me!

    1. While so many people go all out to have more protein, they neglect the carbs and feel low on energy. ? And there are others who never get enough protein. Tricky this balanced diet business. Oh l don’t know why the calculator did not work for you.

  5. You are right. We are not taught to emphasize on the importance of protein in our diet as much as we do for carbs. I know everyone is more educated and aware these days. I am also trying my best to include more protein in our diet with every meal. Part of our family is non-meat eaters and part of them eat meat. All in all, we try to consume less meat. Having said that, kids munch on peanuts, I soak almonds in water, give them eggs, milk, our lunches are quinoa or fox tail millet (These are available in plenty in B lore). Evening snack would be soaked and boiled beans of different kinds.

    1. Same here. Even though we eat non veg, we have it only occasionally. Nuts, legumes, dairy, pulses, millets all are great sources of protein like you mentioned. You are doing good incorporating protein in your diet. Awareness does wonders.

  6. This is a great post Rachna… I too have started concentrating on Proteins more… started drinking milk regularly or at least with cereals. I feel our cuisine has all the right amount of elements if only we reduce the rice intake. I didn’t get the result from the calculator… will check again but I feel after going through the questions I might lack something as I don’t eat most of them daily … but on weekly basis yes. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Raj. I think we worry a bit too much about carbs even when we mostly consume good quality complex carbs. About rice or for that matter any food component, excess is not good.

  7. I have begun having eggs oftener, but I think having Protinex is also a.must. However, I prefer to stay away from.milk amd have buttermilk. Milk causes gas in my system. What can I do about it, Rachna? I also am not fond of dal (arhar dal) as that too upsets my tummy. Lentils are okay, but not dal. And I am.a vegetarian. So, what do I do?

    1. If milk does not suit you, then have curd. That is a wonderful source of protein. Have it at every meal. Have more dals, lentils and beans like rajma, chhole, sprouts etc. Greens also have calcium. You can supplement with a protein shake.

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