The egg is a basic ingredient in food. It has a high content of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids, which are those that our body does not manufacture by itself and therefore must be provided in the diet.
The nutritional value of eggs is numerous and its benefits should never be underestimated
Two medium eggs (about 100 grams of edible part) is considered a ration. They provide 7% of the daily calories required and proteins of great biological value, that is, necessary and easily assimilated by the body.
It does not contain carbohydrates, the energy that comes from the lipids, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (which is beneficial for cardiovascular health).
The egg also contains antioxidants (Selenium, vitamin E, carotenoids) folic acid and choline, necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
It is the food with the highest density of nutrients among those that we usually consume. These nutrients, in addition, are available for use by our body.
The egg is especially rich in essential amino acids, fatty acids and some minerals and vitamins needed in the diet. It is also a source of other components that today are known to play an important role in health and in the prevention of some of the chronic diseases common in developed societies.
Its high concentration of nutrients and its low caloric intake highlight its role not only in the diet of the general population, but also (and especially) in some groups with specific nutritional needs such as the elderly, adolescents, pregnant women, people who they perform hypocaloric and vegetarian diets.
In the egg, about 30% of its weight is constituted by the yolk , 60% by the clear and 10% by the shell . It is considered that one ration is two medium eggs, with a total weight of about 100 g of edible part, that is, excluding the shell.
The nutritional components are heterogeneously distributed, there being important differences between the white and the yolk. Fat, cholesterol and some micronutrients are found in the yolk. The clear, however, is mainly made up of water (88%) and proteins (11%) , with ovalbumin being the most important. The content of some minerals and that of water-soluble vitamins is also comparatively higher in the yolk.
Eggs provide an appreciable amount of easily digested protein and an essential amino acid profile similar to that considered ideal for man. For this reason, it is said to be of high biological value (94 on a scale of 100).
Two eggs provide about 141 kcal, which is 7% of the recommended daily energy for an adult, who needs 2000 kcal. The egg does not contain carbohydrates, so the energy comes mainly from its fat.
The quality of the fat present in the egg is good because the content of monounsaturated fatty acids (3.6%) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (1.6%) far exceeds that of saturated fat (2.8%). It also contains Omega-3, such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid that have shown beneficial effects on health.
The egg is an appreciable source of vitamin A (100 g of edible part contribute 28.4% of the Recommended Daily Quantity -CDR-), vitamin D (36%), vitamin E (15.8%), riboflavin (26 , 4%), niacin (20.6%), folic acid (25.6%), vitamin B12 (84%), biotin (40%), pantothenic acid (30%), phosphorus (30.9%), iron (15.7%), zinc (20%) and selenium (18.2%). This makes the egg a nutritionally dense food, rich in nutritional components and with very few calories.
Many of the egg’s nutrients are present in a way that makes them readily available, usable for the human organism. In order to benefit from all its nutritional advantages, the egg must be cooked until the egg white is coagulated. The heating facilitates the complete digestion of the proteins of the albumen and the liberation of some vitamins and minerals.
What Is The Recommended Consumption Of Eggs?
Eggs are an important source of nutrients for people of all ages and their inclusion in a varied diet provides undoubted nutritional and health benefits. In addition, their interest may be even greater in certain stages of life or in physiological states with special needs.
The Spanish Society of Community Nutrition -SENC- in its Dietary Guidelines for the Spanish Population indicates that “for a child, person of small size, or medium, or inactive, it might be convenient to consume three to four eggs per week, while a corpulent person, or physically active, could consume up to 7 eggs per week “in the context of a varied and balanced diet.
The Healthy Eating Guide also recommends, for the general population, a consumption of three to four egg rations per week (an egg ration is equivalent to 100-125 g in shell and in net weight – edible part), it would be two eggs of medium size, 53-63 g).
Children And Adolescents
In this period of rapid growth and development, eggs can contribute to a large extent to meet the high nutritional needs of the body.
The restrictions in these ages sometimes lead to the diet of some children being deficient in essential nutrients, which can harm their growth, development and health. With guidance, can recommend a daily consumption of two servings of protein foods (meat, fish or eggs) and in adolescents, as in adults, there are no problems to consume an egg a day.
Pregnancy And Lactation
The needs of nutrients, and specifically those of choline, increase during pregnancy and lactation, so an adequate contribution is vital to achieve an optimal situation for the mother and the child.
In the early stages of life, choline needs for the construction of structures of the nervous system are high. Breast milk has a concentration 60 times greater than that of blood. Hence the importance of a sufficient intake of choline (in addition to other nutrients that can also be found in the egg) during pregnancy and lactation.
Elderly And Relevant
The egg is a valuable food for the elderly, not only for its nutritional value, but also for its easy preparation, chewing and digestion.
On the other hand, in the elderly, in light of the experience acquired, moderate hypercholesterolemia does not seem to be a factor of clinical concern, so there is no reason to think about restricting the consumption of eggs because of their cholesterol content.
In addition, since eggs are foods rich in lecithin, which contributes to raising choline levels in the blood, they are of interest in improving the mental function of people with acetylcholine deficiency such as Alzheimer’s sufferers and the elderly with Presence dementia.
In general, because of its nutritious richness and for being palatable, easy to chew and digest and to admit very different preparations, eggs are very useful in the planning of feeding for patients, being especially valuable in the diets of people with gout since do not provide purines (substances that are transformed into uric acid in the body and contribute to increase the problems and painful crises of these patients).
The myth of the cholesterol
The egg has cholesterol among its components, because it is necessary for the life and development of the future embryo.
In the past, the belief that dietary cholesterol was the cause of increased blood cholesterol led to widespread recommendations for reducing egg consumption, which are no longer justified by scientific arguments.
Multiple studies published in recent years confirm that despite its cholesterol content (about 200 mg / unit) egg consumption does not raise cardiovascular risk in healthy people, since it provides phospholipids and unsaturated fats in its composition, along with some vitamins and antioxidants that favor the prevention of arteriosclerosis.
According to the most recent recommendations, the consumption of up to one egg per day does not suppose a risk factor in healthy people with a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.
What Are The Benefits Of The Egg?
For many years the egg was cataloged as one of the foods that could harm the health of those who consumed it with some frequency, this food was said to be responsible to a large extent for the increase in blood cholesterol. The question that has been plaguing the world for are while now is that are eggs healthy?
These assertions were distorted a short time ago thanks to scientific investigations; it has been demonstrated that the egg undoubtedly does not alter the cholesterol, these new investigations affirm that the moderate consumption of egg contributes to the organism a good amount of nutrients that are necessary to have a healthy life.
What really increases the cholesterol in the blood is the consumption of saturated fats , and this type of fats are present in whole dairy products, fats in foods such as cheeses, yogurts, milk, meats with fats, so-called trans fats , which are found in the great majority of sweets such as empanadas, cakes, cookies and in general in the pastry doughs; you have to pay attention because in the containers they are presented as margarines or hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Within the large number of studies that have been conducted on the egg, it has been shown that eating one or two a day does not represent any risk of increasing cardiovascular disease and also has an essential nutrient for cardiovascular and cerebral functioning called choline, This helps to metabolize and decrease homocysteine, which is a great benefit since its high levels are associated with the increase in cardiovascular diseases.
Despite all these claims fully supported and scientifically proven, there are still people who refuse to believe in the benefits they can get to consume the egg , still think it is harmful to health and firmly reject the idea of including it in their diet .
Here are some tips to keep or buy eggs
1.- Wait twenty-four hours before consuming a freshly laid egg.
2.- When you store the eggs in the refrigerator, do not wash them
3.- If you keep it in the fridge, do not place it near fruits that can give it flavor
4.- Keep the eggs in their plastic wrap or cardboard and place them in a special compartment in the fridge
5.-Wash your hands after handling them
6.-When using some eggs that are in the refrigerator, wait at least an hour for the cold to be removed. In this way, the egg whites will rise better and the mayonnaise will come out
7.-Remember that a broken egg can be stored in the fridge for two days.
8.-It is acceptable to freeze them, except when they are beaten.