People who are into muscle building and want to increase their daily protein intake can entirely rely on this article as this blog mentions the best and cheapest protein sources in India right now. While creating this list easy availability of these protein sources has also been kept in mind. All foods mentioned in this are not entirely lean sources of protein but some are incomplete sources of protein ( all 9 types of amino acids are not present in the protein) as well. If you are having a balanced diet you do not need to worry about this.
Many people in India believe that protein is only for people who are into bodybuilding and muscle building. But this is entirely wrong as a normal person who wants to live a healthy lifestyle also needs protein in their regular diet.
The basic protein requirement in our body is 0.8g/kg of body weight. If you are having high muscle-building goals and fitness goals then the protein required by your body may increase to 2g/kg of body weight. Along with protein you also keep a check on your daily carbohydrate and fat intake as well. All of these entire depends on your BMI (Body Mass Index).
- If your BMI is less than 18.5 then you are stated as underweight
- If your BMI is between the 18.5-25 range then your weight status is normal
- If your BMI falls in the 25-30 range then you are overweight
- If your BMI is more than 30 you fall under the obese group
So it is always advisable to choose the best and cost-efficient protein sources that are high in protein but low in fat. So even if you fall in any of the BMI ranges you can consume these proteins without affecting your health. So, let’s begin with the list of the best and cheapest protein sources available in India.
12 Cheapest vegetarian protein sources in India
1. Soy chunks
Soy chunks are the cheapest and the healthiest vegetarian source of protein. The best part about soy chunks is that it offers a very high amount of protein at such a low rate. The presence of a high amount of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, high-quality protein but low in fat makes soy chunks a top selection for people with serious bodybuilding and muscle-building goals. Soy chunks are also rich in calcium and iron which makes them a great choice for aged people as well. Soy chunks can be included in meals as a sabzi or can also be eaten boiled.
Price of 100g soy chunks – Rs 20
Amount of protein present in 100g soy chunks – 52g
2. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds can be considered the highest protein content food. It is filled up with protein, unsaturated fats ( good for your health) and omega 6 fatty acids. They are also rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants. Generally in India, pumpkin seeds are eaten either roasted or blenched and it actually tastes good.
Price of 100g pumpkin seeds – Rs 60
Amount of protein present in 100g pumpkin seeds – 32g
Oats are the trending food item that is consumed as a breakfast meal everywhere in India. There are several brands of instant oat recipes available in the Indian markets which are actually cost-effective. Alongside this, oats have several health benefits and are fortified with various, vitamins and high-quality protein. Consuming oats on a regular basis in breakfast will fulfill your daily protein requirement.
Price of 100g oats – Rs 30
Amount of protein present in 100g oats – 18g
4. Kala chana ( Indian Black chickpeas )
Kala chana also known as Indian Black chickpeas or Cholas are great sources of protein. Kala chana is packed up with carbohydrates, iron, fiber along with high protein. India is famous for its variety of chanas. Especially, the Kala chana and Kabuli chana are the most famous ones because of their nutritive values and being cost-efficient. Kala chanas are eaten raw, soaked, roasted or even used in sabjis to prepare a full course meal.
Price of 100g Kala chana – Rs 10
Amount of protein present in 100g Kala chana – 19g
Peanuts are packed up with protein, fat and fiber, and are considered one of the best vegetarian sources of protein. Be it roasted, boiled or fried we can have peanuts anytime at lunch, dinner or as an evening snack. Peanuts are rich in Vitamin E and various minerals like magnesium, folate and copper.
Price of 100g peanuts – Rs 18
Amount of protein present in 100g peanuts – 25g
6. Rajma ( Red kidney beans )
A superb vegetarian source of protein rajma or kidney beans is known by all because of their high protein content and ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Rajma is enriched with various vitamins and minerals and consists of several health benefits. It is generally eaten as gravy along with chapatis or rice. Sometimes people consume it as a whole as well. And obviously, we are all aware of the rajma chawal recipe.
Price of 100g rajma – Rs 15
Amount of protein present in 100g rajma – 24g
7. Sattu and Sattu sherbet
Sattu is generally made by grinding roasted black chana. In India, Sattu is generally eaten by making a paste or drunk as a drink known as Sattu sherbet. Sattu aids in digestion and maintains your blood sugar level. It is preferred during the summer months as it keeps your body cool for a longer time.
Price of 100g sattu – Rs 20
Amount of protein present in 100g sattu – 23g
8. Natural peanut butter
There are various types of peanut butter available in the Indian markets. Be it processed, natural or flavored peanut butter provides you with high-quality protein. Among all, natural peanut butter is the most preferred one as it is completely free from preservatives and stabilizers. It is generally consumed as a spread on our regular bread or fried items.
Price of 100g peanut butter – Rs 30
Amount of protein present in 100g peanut butter – 30g
Flaxseeds also known as Alsi in India are a great vegetarian source of protein as well. It is power-packed with minerals, dietary fiber and omega 3 fats. Ther are a source of high-quality protein and generally added as toppings on yogurt, lassi and other healthy drinks to enhance the taste as well as its nutritive value.
Price of 100g flaxseed – Rs 30
Amount of protein present in 100g flaxseeds – 20g
10. Milk ( Toned )
Toned milk and double-toned milk are considered great protein sources. Though the difference between whole cow’s milk and toned milk is very little but to go less on calories one should definitely choose toned milk over whole cow milk. Toned milk is filled up with protein, vitamins and minerals.
Price of 100ml toned milk – Rs 10
Amount of protein present in 100ml toned milk – 15g
Paneer is comparatively lesser in price compared to tofu. You can read a detailed article about the differences between tofu and panner here. Paneer is highly nutritive and along with protein, it is also rich in calcium and calories. The amount of carbohydrates present in paneer is moderate which makes it one of the best choices for vegetarians.
Price of 100g paneer – Rs 25
Amount of protein present in 100g paneer – 19g
Tofu is one of the most expensive vegetarian protein sources on this list. It is highly proteinaceous but may not be the most cost-efficient one especially if you are trying to consume it thrice a week or more.
Price of 100g tofu – Rs 30
Amount of protein present in 100g tofu – 15g
5 Cheapest non-vegetarian protein sources in India
1. Chicken gizzard
Chicken gizzards are a muscle found in the digestive gland of the chicken. Many people are unaware of the high nutritive value and health benefits of the chicken gizzard. But anyone who knows the protein content of this food definitely consumes it at least once in 2 weeks. It is one of the cheapest non-vegetarian sources of protein and is extremely tasty. Be it curry or a spicy dish adding chicken gizzard in it will enhance the taste and at the same time increase the protein content of the dish.
Price of 100g chicken gizzard – Rs 17
Amount of protein present in 100g chicken gizzard – 20g
Beef is mandatory for people who are into regular bodybuilding and muscle pumping. Beef is red meat and unlike any other red meat, it is extremely high in protein. As beef is banned in some parts of India, it can be replaced with mutton. But as mutton becomes an expensive option, beef is considered a cost-efficient non-vegetarian protein source. Beef is extremely tasty if cooked well and is considered extremely nutritive as well.
Price of 1 kg beef – Rs 180
Amount of protein present in 100g beef – 32g
An egg is considered the best protein source in the world. To be safe we put eggs in the non-vegetarian section, as the controversy of eggs being vegetarian or non-vegetarian is still unsolved. Eggs are cost-efficient as well as are considered an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. People who have high body-building goals should definitely consume 2-3 eggs a day. People who consume the egg yolks along with the egg whites are the most benefitted ones. Eggs are generally eaten boiled or raw by people with high fitness goals.
Price of 1 egg – Rs 7
Amount of protein present in 1 egg – 6g
4. Chicken breast
Chicken breast is one of the preferred non-vegetarian protein sources. We all know how nutritive chicken breasts are and especially it is famous for their great taste. Needless to say, chicken breasts are great as a protein source and the best part is that it is carbohydrate-free.
Price of 100g chicken breast – Rs 50
Amount of protein present in 100g chicken breast – 25g
5. Rohu fish
Rohu fish as mentioned in our previous article is very high in nutrition and possesses several health benefits. A combination of Omega 3 fatty acid, protein and vitamins make rohu fish one of the cheapest and best non-vegetarian protein sources in India. In India, rohu fish is widely available and is generally included in meals along with rice or chapati.
Price of 100g rohu fish – Rs 38
Amount of protein present in 100g rohu fish – 20g
You can easily combine these vegetarian and non-vegetarian edible protein sources in your diet to make your diet highly proteinaceous. The amazing feature of these sources is that they are extremely cheap in price and anyone who dreams of achieving huge muscles or to fulfill their daily protein requirement can easily introduce them to their diet.