Dal and beans offer protein and tend to be sources of several minerals like potassium and magnesium. However, on the downside they offer only a moderate amount of protein. They contain 25% protein and approx 50% starch or high carbohydrate content, which explains why they’re so hard to digest. Also, beans are rich in protein and starch (requiring different digestive environments and enzymes) and this can make thorough digestion more difficult. While its protein is being digested, starch lies in the stomach and ferments, producing gas and toxins making one feel bloated and uneasy.
If one were to get protein needs from dal alone you would have to consume a huge amount of dal and beans. The table below explains how long does dal in comparison to egg, chicken etc. takes to digest. I can safely say that, going by the merit of protein, eggs are easily available, digestible, affordable and, most importantly, cannot be adulterated. They contain one of the highest quality proteins found in nature.
Dr Janaki Srinath, Nationally Acclaimed Nutritionist from Hyderabad very rightly said, “Given the risk low protein levels pose to the health of Indians, spreading proteins evenly across meals is extremely important. Combining vegetable, grain, pulses, egg and dairy products gives you a perfect protein intake for the day. Consumption of adequate protein ensures strong immune defense, efficient signaling of nerves and impulses, healthy hair and maintenance of fluid balance in the body. Protein can also turn into an energy provider when required by the body. Insufficiency of protein in the body affects all organs and overall growth and development. Probably the most important contribution of protein is its ability to reduce appetite and cause a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. Protein intake is essential for stages of life leading to a better body composition and metabolic rate in modern sedentary lifestyles. Protein is much more satiating than both fat and carbs.”
As digesting dal is not easy many experts recommend limiting its intake quantity for up to 50-60 grams per day. However, this gives you only 10-11 grams of protein per day which is much less than the recommended daily protein intake of 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight every day, like Poultry India says in its nationwide Protein Awareness Campaign!
Also, according to Dr Geeta Dharmatti, a nationally acclaimed nutritionist from Pune, “An egg as a whole has more nutrition than only egg whites or only egg yellow. The egg yellow (Yolk) has all the vital nutrients and half the protein of an egg. Studies recommend 1 whole egg daily for a healthy adult. One egg contains 333 Mg of cholesterol which is equivalent to one day’s requirement. To outweigh the impact of cholesterol it is recommended to have more fiber in diet as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Those who can, should add lean poultry because as little as 100gms of lean chicken per day will give nearly half the recommended protein intake your body needs. Lean Chicken, eggs whites, fish have less saturated fat than most red meat.”
As governments struggle to increase the production of pulses, the poultry sector could well be the solution to India’s hunger problem. It’s no secret that eggs are one of the best sources of protein. What makes this even better is the high ratio of protein/fat that eggs offer, with a little more than 6 grams of protein and just 5 grams of fat. Most important, the eggs are as vegetarian as milk because they are unfertilized and can never be hatched.
The article has been written by Mr. Harish Garware, President of Indian Poultry Manufacturers Association and member of the Executive Advisory Committee, organizers of Poultry India