Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Non Vegetables - Nutritional Information


Meat in culinary and butchery term refers to muscular flesh of a mammal. In modern English meat is often refers to animal tissue used for food mostly skeletal muscle and associated fat. But it may include livers, brain, kidneys and a variety of other internal organs as well. All muscle tissue is very high in protein containing all the essential amino acids and abundant fat.

In Yarlpanam meat was in short supply so much so many people could not afford to buy them. The cheapest meat was beef and then mutton and chicken was the most expensive meat. It would be a feast if any one were to eat chicken. Now we understand the scenario is different as chicken is farmed for food purposes.

There are two types meat - red that of mutton and beef and white that of chicken and turkey. Red meat is supposed to contain more fat than the white meat. However the meat can be bought as lean meat which will have reduced fat content.

Nutritional values:

100 grams of chicken provides about 160 calories and 7 grams of fat whereas lamb gives 250 Cal and 14 grams of fat and beef gives 450 Cal and 35grams of fat. Fish only gives 130 Cal and 3 grams of fat. None of the meat has any carbohydrates. All muscle tissue contains very high content of protein containing as essential amino acids and abundant fat. The fat content will vary depending on the animal and the anatomical part of the body meat is from.



Fish is an important food item to people around the world. It is collected from the sea or ocean or farmed in much the same way as chicken. Fish and other seafood provide the world's prime source of high quality protein. Also fish is the most common food allergens. In Yarlpanam fresh fish was available daily and are consumed by many people. Fish was the most common non vegetarian food that was consumed there. The animal meat was expensive.

The salt water fish is rich in Omega3 fatty acids which are supposed to heart friendly and is a recommended regular diet.

Nutritional values:

Fish contains high protein content and Omega3 fatty acids.

Health risks:

Fish and shell fish have a tendency to concentrate mercury in their bodies which is a highly toxic substance. Some varieties of fish that are high on the fish chain contain high levels of mercury Examples are shark, sword fish, king mackerel etc.


 Salted dry fish

Fish will spoil quickly if handled improperly. Fresh iced fish stays longer. Salting and drying preserves fish for ever and is cheaper and easier to preserve.

In Yarlpanam salted dry fish was available in plenty. There were no freezer facility in those days and keeping fish fresh was a problem. Whatever fish that was in excess, they are salted and dried for local use and also they found their way to other parts of the country. Salted dry fish was a big business in Jaffna.

Locally salted dry fish was too in demand as this was used in Paththia curry for the invalids and nursing mothers. For the nursing mothers, salted dry fish provided them with extra salt which was in necessary to them. Also people used fried dry fish as an accompaniment to rice dishes.



In Yarlpanam chicken eggs are commonly used everywhere in many forms. It forms a main dish in the form curry, or a fried omelettes as an accompaniment or hard or half boiled for breakfast etc. It has many uses in Jaffna kitchen.

Nutritional values:

Egg adds protein to the diet as well as other nutrients. Chicken eggs provide all essential amino acids, vitamins like vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6 and B12, choline, iron, calcium, phosphorous and potassium.

The egg yolk has all of the vitamin A, D and E and all the fat in the egg and choline. It provides 300 mg of cholesterol which is about 2/3 of the daily recommended body intake. It also has less than half of protein in an egg.

A large egg yolk provides 60Calories and the white portion provides 15 Calories and the rest of the protein in the egg.

Health risks of eating eggs.

There is debate over whether egg yolk presents a health risk and it is not intended here to go into any details. We believe in eating in small amounts and stay healthy.

A serious health issue associated with eggs is contamination with pathogenic organisms. It is recommended that eggs should be washed well and kept in refrigerator and used within two weeks. They should be cooked thoroughly and raw eggs should not be consumed at all.

The other risk that is documented is egg is one of the most food allergies in infants and they normally grow out of this allergy if they are exposed to a minimum.