Growing up in India, the most nutritious food item loaded with protein besides vitamin A and other healthy stuff was the mighty ghee. Nobody cared about its fatty contents as calories.

I don’t know on the health chart what ghee’s status shows up now in India. But in most of the economically developed nations, protein is the king.

Recommended by health professionals and followed by extensive advertising, protein has buildup as an essential component of daily intake of healthy food.

Protein supplement production represents a billion-dollar industry globally. Its formulation is mostly a combination of whey and casein, both found in milk or peas, soy, and brown rice.

Protein is a complex molecular arrangement that meets our need for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.

Protein bars, protein shakes and smoothies, besides the regular protein content in animal food, fulfill our daily protein requirement. However, the hype for protein has escalated its consumption much more than what we need.

The USA National Academy of Medicine recommends a daily protein intake: 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. A dedicated athlete need not take more than120 grams of protein per day.

The academy warns that a high protein diet can strain kidney and liver function and increase heart disease and cancer risk.

Moreover, when we replace meals with a protein bar, shake, etc., we also risk missing out on the rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and many other benefits of real food.

Protein intake presents its consumption limits per day, so does the time-honoured ghee.

But the latter also has its culinary value. Besides its taste and flavour, ghee occupies a good spot in our cultural, traditional, and religious affairs.

The Punjabi delicacy of ‘Sarson da Saag’ and ‘Makki di Roti’ offers a dry look unless it gets garnished with a topping of a spoonful of ghee. What could be savorier than the sweet and heavenly combination of ghee, ‘shakkar,’ and ‘Makki di roti’ for the dessert?

Love your protein within the recommended limit. And enjoy the ghee but in moderation according to taste while keeping an eye on the waist.

-Promod Puri

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