The cheapest protein source in India: Proteins are very essential macronutrients for the human body. They are responsible for muscle growth. For this reason, they are considered as building blocks of the body. This is the reason why most gym-goers include a lot of protein in their diet. Your body requires protein, even if you don’t work out. General recommendations say that a normal healthy person requires approximately 50 – 60 grams of protein for both men and women. When you talk about gym and protein. The first thing that comes to your mind is protein supplements. However, they are more costly and many people cannot afford them. Let me make it clear that, to build muscle you don’t need any supplement.
The body absorbs protein as a whole. Your body doesn’t bother about the source it comes from. There are several alternatives and many cheapest high protein foods available in India. In this article, I’ll tell you what protein is and the 5 cheapest protein source in India, with cost per gram of protein.
What is protein?
As I said earlier, proteins are a very important macronutrient for the human body same as carbohydrates and fats. Every cell in the body has protein in it. It helps the body to recover, repair, and build cells and tissues. It is clear that proteins are responsible for muscle growth and hence they are considered as building blocks of the body. Protein is made up of a long chain of 20 amino acids. The specific order of amino acids arranged in a long chain determines the structure and function of each protein.
These food sources provided in this article are easily available in the Indian market and are the cheapest protein source in India.
5 cheapest protein source in India
The 5 cheapest protein source in India are as follows,
1. Soya chunks:
Soya chunks are also called ‘vegetarian’s meat’. They are the byproducts left after extracting soybean oil from soya seeds. Soya chunks are full of polyunsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins and they are also rich in calcium and iron while providing no extra sugar or sodium to the body. Soya chunks are a good protein source for vegetarians.
- Total calories per 100 grams of soya chunks: 345 calories
- Cost per 100 grams of soya chunks: 20 INR approximately.
- Protein per 100g: 52 grams
- Cost per 1 gram of protein: 0.4 INR approximately.
However, soya on the other side is one of the most controversial food items these days. Having too much soya or other soy products can increase estrogen and uric acid levels in your body. If you consume soy regularly, you’re more likely to develop female characteristics of the body. An increase in uric acid levels may also damage your liver and kidneys. Therefore, it is safe to only have 25 to 30 grams of soya chunks per day. Eating within these limits will not increase estrogen levels and uric acid levels in the body.
Eggs are the most affordable and easily available protein on the earth. Including eggs in your diet has several health benefits. One large egg contains 18 different vitamins and minerals. This is also among the most controversial food items. Many people consume only egg whites and throw away the most nutritious part ‘egg yolk’ for the only reason, it contains fat and cholesterol.
However, the cholesterol present in egg yolk is dietary cholesterol. It does not interfere with the blood cholesterol levels. There are no general recommendations on egg consumption. You can have up to 6 whole eggs in a day. The only thing you’ve to do is, keep a note on your fat consumption. If you eat more egg yolks, fat consumption in a day increases. As a result your daily calories also increase and you’re more likely to gain weight.
- Cost of an egg: 5 INR
- Total calories: 78 calories.
- Protein in 1 whole egg: 6 grams
- Cost per 1 gram protein: 0.83 INR
Click here to know the difference between a white egg and a brown egg.
3. Chicken breast:
Chicken is the most common poultry available in the world. It is not only the best non-veg protein source, but it also contains fat in the lowest proportion compared to its counterparts. If you are looking for a lean protein, then the chicken breast is your go. It is also a good source of vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc. Chicken contains healthier fats than those found in red meat. Usually, chicken breasts are higher in cost compared to wings and thighs. If you can afford few extra rupees, I would recommend you to go for boneless chicken breast.
- Total calories per 100g of chicken breast: 120 calories
- Cost per 100g: 25 – 30 INR
- Protein per 100g: 23 grams
- Cost per 1g protein: 1 rupee approximately
4. Green moong:
Green moong is also called mung bean. This is the most nutritious and less exposed food. This is the cheapest protein source in India. It is a plant species in the legume family and is mainly cultivated in the Indian subcontinent. It is a traditional ingredient in Indian cooking, often used in curries. Like other legumes, green moong is low in fat and high in protein and fiber. It is also a rich source of magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamin B-6.
You can consume green moong either soaked or roasted. Soak it overnight in enough water. Remove the water in the morning and consume it directly or roast the dal directly on the pan on a low flame for 1 minute. Wash and soak the mung beans in enough water for an hour and use as per recipe requirements.
- Total calories per 100 grams: 334 calories
- Cost per 100 grams: 10 INR
- Protein per 100 grams: 24 grams
- Cost per 1 gram protein: 0.41 INR
If you are looking for a complete protein other than chicken, here’s milk. Female mammals produce milk to feed their young since evolution. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It provides potassium, B12, calcium, and vitamin D, and is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine (B1). Additionally, it’s an excellent source of protein and contains hundreds of different fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s.
The nutritional content of milk varies, depending on factors like its fat content and the cow’s feed and treatment of the cow it came from. For instance, milk from grass-fed cows contains significantly higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress.
If you are too cautious about your daily fat intake, then I suggest you go ahead with skimmed milk. Other forms of milk such as flavored milk are always a NO as they contain sugar in huge amounts. A glass of milk (250ML) can serve to be a good protein option. Either it is fat loss or weight gain, including a glass of milk at any time of the day.
- Total calories in 250ML skimmed milk: 105 calories
- Cost for 250ML: 10 INR
- Protein in 250ML: 9 grams
- Cost for 1gram of protein: 1.1 INR
The 5 cheapest protein source suggested in this article are completely on my experience. You can add these foods to your daily diet to get enough protein. These foods are not to treat or cure any disease. Consult your doctor before changing your diet patterns. The cost of these foods may vary a little depending on your location.
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