The problem is not with affordability.There are two large problems that outline most Indians' eating habits. Let me elaborate this with a couple of real-life stories.My dad is diabetic. In his view, his dose of protein comes by consuming egg whites (he discards the yellow yolk). He thinks this is healthy. But in fact, a single egg white consists of just 3 gms of protein while a whole egg consists of 6–8 gms. It is either that or a small cup of sprouts occasionally.He grew up thinking egg yolks add cholesterol in his body so he threw them away. Whole eggs are the healthiest foods that exist out there. Whole eggs are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids & Cholin.
There is a lady in my gym who used to come regularly for two whole weeks. Post that she suddenly dropped out. She then turned up after 10 days complaining about how she worked so hard in the gym for TWO whole weeks and still did not lose even half a kg.The trainer started to probe her on her food habits. Turns out, she kept consuming copious amount of Jaggery as a substitute to sugar with her tea. According to her, jaggery was a healthier form of sugar. Apart from that, she also consumed way too many vegetables that were high in the glycemic index such as Carrots, Beetroots etc. along with roti/rice.It took a good 20 minutes for the trainer to explain to her that Jaggery is in no way better than white sugar on the calorific value. Consuming it four times a day would not help her lose weight.Indians, in general, lack knowledge of food and its nutrients. Specifically on what is good for us and what is not. We have never been taught what foods are beneficial in what way…remember when our moms force fed us Okra (bhindi) claiming that it's going to make us smarter.Schools should make it mandatory to explain healthy food habits that children can adopt in their life. This shouldn't always be the mother’s responsibility.
Indian cuisine is incredibly carb heavy. Our dominant food is either roti (Indian bread) or rice, which can be consumed with any curry or sambhar (Lentil soup).Meat is a luxury food here which is consumed only on a Sunday. It is the best source of protein and we get that adequate protein only on a Sunday.In my household, meat was considered something that tainted everything. Most Hindus, post consumption of meat would not indulge in any religious activities. Eating meat every day is considered impure and something that is preferred only on weekends.Ideally, every human being must consume 70 - 110 grams of protein daily. That means 200 - 260 grams of kidney beans (Rajma) for vegetarians. It is impossible to consume that many beans (which is again rich in carbs) on a daily basis.Meat is your best source if you are a meat eater. If you are a vegetarian, Soya chunks can come to your rescue.We prefer vegetable diet inclusive of carbs on a daily basis. Unlike Europeans, chicken is never consumed as a main course in India. It is always clubbed or taken as a side dish with rice/roti. I am not saying western concept of nutrition is better. My point strssess on protein consumption only, be it for vegetarians or meat eaters.