Ditch Supplements, Embrace The Flavour: Cooking Your Way To Healthier Habits

As a dietitian, I have seen the protein powder craze sweep across India like a culinary monsoon. From gym bros to busy professionals, everyone seems to be chugging those shakes, convinced they are the key to health and fitness. But hold on a minute! The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) just released dietary guidelines urging us to ditch the protein supplements and focus on real, whole foods.

Why the fuss over protein?

Protein is essential, no doubt. It’s the building block of our bodies, crucial for muscle growth, repair, and overall function. But here’s the thing: most of us can easily get enough protein from a balanced diet rich in foods like legumes, dairy, eggs, and lean meats.

The problem with protein powders is that they often oversimplify our nutritional needs. Sure, they deliver a concentrated dose of protein, but they lack fibre, vitamins, and minerals that whole foods provide. It’s like trying to build a house with only bricks – you will have a structure, but it’s going to lack the comforts and character that make it a home.

Plus, let’s not forget the potential risks. Research has shown that excessive protein intake, especially from supplements, can lead to issues like bone mineral loss and kidney damage. It’s not worth sacrificing your long-term health for a short-term protein fix.

The latest NIN guidelines are a welcome reminder that food is more than just macros. It’s about nourishing our bodies with a variety of nutrients that work together synergistically. So instead of reaching for that protein shake, let’s rediscover the joy of real, whole food.

Spice it up: Explore the colorful world of Indian spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander – they are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Embrace variety: Don’t just stick to the same old chicken and rice. Experiment with different lentils, beans, vegetables, and whole grains.

Prioritise quality: Choose fresh, seasonal produce whenever possible. Local markets often have a better selection than supermarkets.

Get creative in the kitchen: Explore new recipes and cooking techniques. Indian cuisine is rich in flavours and textures – don’t be afraid to experiment!

I understand that protein powders can be convenient, but let’s not forget that our bodies are designed to thrive on real, wholesome food. So next time you’re tempted to reach for that shake, ask yourself: Could I get this nutrient from a more natural source? Chances are, the answer is yes!

Remember, food is not just fuel; it’s a celebration of culture, tradition, and nourishment. Let’s prioritise whole, unprocessed foods that fuel our bodies and our souls. Let’s make every meal a delicious and nutritious adventure!

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