Despite being the superhero of the nutrient world, protein often flies under the radar in India—kind of like a secret identity crisis! But let's not overlook this powerhouse: from pumping up muscles to boosting the immune system, protein has a role in pretty much everything that keeps you from turning into a human pancake.

A 2017 study revealed that a staggering 73% of Indians are deficient in protein. That’s insane! We have to fix that.

What the hell is going on?

I think one of the main reasons are a lack of knowledge surrounding quality protein sources. Let’s take the example of something we are all familiar with: our parents obsession with dal. We’ve all heard it before, ‘beta, finish your katori of dal and you’ll grow’. To some extent that’s true, our dal does have protein. But how much?

Let’s take Moong Dal for example. A 100 gram serving of Moong Dal (that’s a fairly big bowl) contains 6 grams of protein. For comparison, a 100 gram chicken breast has about 24 grams of protein. So what does that mean for you? You’ll need to eat 4 big bowls of moong dal to get the same protein intake as that chicken breast. I don’t know about you, but I’m not doing that, especially if I’m watching my calories.

I know what you might say, “But you can’t compare non-veg with veg, India is vegetarian”. My response would be “That’s just not true. Almost 80% of Indians are non-vegetarian. That’s a big reason why we started DOKi!”. What is true is that meat is expensive. But we know as incomes rise (which is happening in India), consumption of meat rises too. So hopefully, we see this trend reversing soon (sorry vegans/vegetarians!).

A recent survey across 16 cities in India on perception, knowledge and consumption of protein found a gap in the knowledge of quality protein in daily diets. Some people even think protein intake leads to weight gain. I think this perception is changing, especially in our metro cities. But we have a long way to go before we see those big bellies deflate across the country.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Let's talk protein, the VIP of your diet! For the average Indian adult, the daily protein recommended amount is about 0.8 to 1 gram per kilo of your body weight. So, if you're tipping the scales at 60 kilograms, you should be scooping up around 48-60 grams of protein each day to keep those muscles happy.

But wait, there's more! If you're the workout warrior type, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine pumps up the volume to 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram. That means our 60kg friend needs to ramp it up to between 72 and 108 grams of protein to fuel those gains!

Keep in mind, protein needs can be a real diva, varying based on your age, activity level, muscle mass, and even your health status. Not sure how much protein you should be jamming on? I found this free tool useful in understanding how much protein I really need, based on my activity level.

Snack, Supplement, Sizzle: The Rockstar Guide to Protein!

Protein Potpourri: Mix it up like a DJ with a variety of protein hits—pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy, and eggs. Plant-based proteins are like the indie artists of the protein world; they're cool and all, but as I mentioned before, you might need to eat a whole lot of it to get the full effect!

Lean, Mean Protein Machines: For the carnivores out there, lean meats such as chicken, fish, and turkey are like the premium streaming service of proteins—high quality, no ads!

Snack Like a Boss: Let's face it, integrating protein-rich snacks into your diet is easier now than ever before. And here's where we cheekily mention our brand (oops, we did it again!). DOKi’s lineup—Chicken Jerky, Buff Jerky, and the chart-topping new hit, Pork Puffs—are not just packed with flavour but also crammed with protein. Perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle or when you just need a tasty, protein-packed pick-me-up.

Supplement Your Style: Sometimes, you’ve got to accessorize your diet like you do your outfit. When food alone doesn’t cut it, protein powders and bars can be your go-to accessories for a quick protein boost, especially after you've rocked that workout.

Meal Prep Magic: Plan your meals like you're plotting a season finale cliffhanger. Make sure every meal has a protein star to keep you satisfied and away from impulsive food flings—yeah, we see you, Golden Arches, but today, we swipe left!

 So now we know the problem, and we know how to solve it. The question is, are you going to do something about it?

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