Memories of hostel days are still alive and afresh, even today. It feels like yesterday, we were queuing outside hostel mess and hustling for food. Days when food menu was too monotonous, I would right away ask for an egg omelet, or bhujia (scrambled egg). But it never occurred to me then, that ” Is egg good for the health or not? ” and “How much is too much?”
Debate around egg intake
Back then everyone presumed that we could take as much as egg as we want. But some half century back, questions started popping up regarding role of egg in health and illness. Out of all its constituents, especially cholesterol level in egg came under scanner.
But before we are skeptical about having egg, let us dig out some basic facts about pros and cons of egg. Also let us analyze which part of egg is good for health. And why egg is still one of the best choices of food.
BASIC STRUCTURE OF EGG
On an average one standard medium size chicken egg is 60 gm in weight and 30 ml in volume. It has 3 layers – outermost eggshell (10%), inner to it is egg white (60%) and innermost egg yolk (30%)
PROS OF EGG ( IS EGG GOOD FOR THE HEALTH? )
Egg is designed in such a way that; it carries all possible nutrients required for growth and development of an embryo. Hence, it’s not a rocket science as to why egg is super rich in nutrients and why is egg diet good for the health.
1. Complete protein:
Before trying to understand what a ‘complete protein’ is, one must know what is an ‘essential amino acid’. Typically, essential amino acids are those amino acids which cannot be synthesized inside our body. So, we are fully dependent on our diet for them.
Egg is a source of protein which has all 9 essential amino acids. Thereby, It’s a complete protein. This is primary reason why are eggs good for you.
2. Vitamin A, D
Egg has B complex vitamins like B2, B5, and folate. Besides egg yolk is loaded with fats as well as fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, K. Vitamin A prevents night blindness and Vitamin D promotes bone growth.
3. Other nutients
Egg also has miscellaneous other nutrients like selenium, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc etc. For that reason, also is egg good for the health.
In general antioxidants slow down ageing process. Egg is well-stocked in two antioxidants namely lutein and zeaxanthin. These components keep our skin healthy, youthful and glowing.
5. Anti-infective property
Owing to its lysozyme content egg has anti-infective and anti-bacterial property. Thus, egg is one such food that boosts our immune system.
6. Easy to digest
Usually, it is painstaking to digest animal proteins. But egg is comparatively easier to break down.
Choline is an interesting chemical much needed for growth and development of human brain and spinal cord. Egg has choline in abundance. That’s why is egg good for the health of pregnant women with growing fetus and also for lactating mother.
In my previous blog I had referred egg to be one of the healthiest comfort foods. It’s comfortable not only on tummy, but also on pocket. That makes it the cheapest and most convenient animal protein ever. So if you are wishing to manage money properly as well as nutrition, then certainly are egg good for you.
CONS OF EGG
Though egg has a number of benefits, yet it has its own pitfalls as well. Below I have mentioned few.
A wide range of proteins in egg, increase probability of allergy by manifold. Though protein is distributed equally in both egg white and egg yolk, proteins notorious for allergy are mostly egg white proteins.
2. Fat or Cholesterol (Is yolk of egg good for the health ?)
Egg, especially egg yolk is jam-packed with cholesterol. One egg yolk has roughly 200 mg cholesterol which is two third of our RDA (Recommended dietary allowance) of cholesterol (i.e., 300 mg per day).
But “Fat” doesn’t represent simply cholesterol. Rather “Fat” is a broad term. Spectrum of fat includes healthy fats (like omega-3 fatty acid), as well as a variety of unhealthy fats. In-fact these days focus of scientists has shifted from dietary cholesterol to other unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats. These fats content is marginal in egg.
Further though egg yolk has surplus cholesterol, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol is poorly associated with blood cholesterol level. If diet cholesterol is more, our body will produce less cholesterol and balance it out.
A bacteria named salmonella can gain access inside egg through pores in eggshell. If someone consumes this infected egg, that person would suffer from food poisoning.
How do you counter salmonella food poisoning due to egg?
– Egg with broken shells should be discarded.
– Egg should always be shelved inside refrigerator after purchasing.
– it should be cooked through and through before eating
– Egg should be consumed not beyond 3-4 weeks of production (when date of production mentioned)
– Cooked egg can be kept outside at ambient temperature for maximum of 2 hours.
– Furthermore, cooked egg can be kept inside refrigerator undamaged, for up to 3-4 days.
– An un-spoilt egg should sink in water. An egg that floats is not safe to eat.
Egg is low on fiber. Diet poor in fiber can lead to constipation. That’s one major pitfall of egg.
5. vitamin C
Birds can synthesize their own vitamin C (ascorbic acid) out of glucose. That’s the reason they don’t need vitamin C. That’s why egg is short of vitamin C.
6. Protease inhibitors
Raw egg has protease inhibitors that hinder protein digesting enzymes like pepsin and trypsin. Raw egg proteins cannot be digested adequately. That’s why egg should better be consumed only after cooking.
Avidin is a substance in raw egg that binds biotin (vitamin B 7). Hence having raw egg will impair biotin absorption.
Is eating egg daily good for health? How much egg is too much?
If you are egg lover and prefer to take egg daily then take one egg a day, in case you are healthy. Suppose you are diabetic or have some other metabolic syndrome, take egg white as you wish. Nevertheless, maximum egg yolks you can have is 3 per week.
Fun facts about egg
- Brown eggs are not more nutritious. Nutritive value of egg depends on what chicken is fed with.
- Cook egg in olive oil, and not in butter or other animal-based oil.
- Ovomucin is the substance responsible for jelly like consistency of raw egg
- An interior quality egg floats due to air cells present inside it.
Whatever the pros and cons of egg may be, when it comes to animals-based proteins in diet, eggs are still first choice of food. It can be taken by the poorest as well as the richest. Also, egg is well liked throughout all age groups in non-vegetarians. Hence mostly is egg good for the health, if taken in moderation.
Share your thoughts on this post in comment box. Also share what’s your favorite egg dish.