All that glitters is not gold: Polished vs unpolished dal
Whole pulses and dals are beyond doubt one of the most important ingredients of an Indian meal. And for vegetarians especially, dals and pulses are the most important source of protein. Having said that, it ecomes crucial that the pulses and dals we buy are of the best quality which guarantees optimum nutrition and health benefits.
The truth is that before hitting the grocery store shelves, most pulses and dals undergo an extensive process of polishing. Polishing is done to mainly increase visual appeal for the consumer. There are different polishing ingredients used such as nylon polish, leather and makhmal polish and the most prevalent being oil and water polishing (1). Doing so gives each and every grain of the dal a shiny appearance and a uniformity.
Although polished dal does look shiny and attractive is it really nutritious? Are we ready to compromisenutrition of our family based on aesthetics? Let’s find out why you should choose unpolished dals over the polished ones.
As mentioned before, polishing is a multi-step process that dals and pulses go through while losing a lot of their natural nutrients. For instance, unpolished dal may contains natural fiber in the form of husk attached to it. During the process of polishing, the polishing plants remove the husk hence stripping off the goodness of natural fiber that is known to keep our digestive system healthy. Secondly, unpolished dals contain a high amount of protein in comparison to polished dal. This helps us reap in maximum nutritious benefits of natural nutrients along with giving food wholesome flavor.
All in all, the one thing we should remember is that all that glitters is not gold. And this holds especially true for the dals and pulses we eat. So let’s be wise and choose health over shine!
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Considered as an important part of a vegetarian diet in the Indian subcontinent, masoor dal is know for its high levels of antioxidants and also as a good source of iron and potassium.