After gaining bad reputation in the past recent years, chicken eggs are starting to make a comeback in the diet of our more health conscious population. There are good reasons for this.
Cholesterol found in chicken eggs is less than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in an egg are also significantly higher than the saturated fatty acids it contains2. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the PUFA that an egg provides. These omega-3s are said to reduce risk of coronary heart disease and maintain mental and visual function1.
Experts suggest very minimal consumption of saturated fats and not necessarily cholesterol3. A research even demonstrated that daily consumption of whole eggs may increase good cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk for heart disease5.
Chicken eggs are relatively a cheap source of essential nutrients for our body.
Consuming an egg gives 72 calories1. Fifty five of this comes from the egg yolk1. Aside from containing the higher amount of calories, the egg yolk contains all the lipids (fat) found in an egg1.
This is why many of those who are on a low-calorie diet eat only the egg whites, which contains 3.6 g of protein1. However, consuming only egg whites may not be a perfectly healthy option. The egg yolk also has 2.7 g of protein1, making a whole egg provide 15% of the recommended dietary allowance for protein in the United States1.
Also, most of the essential micronutrients found in an egg are contained in the egg yolk. These include Vitamins A, B, D and E and carotenoid pigments (such as lutein and zeaxanthin)1.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments that human bodies cannot produce on their own1. Thus, these should be taken from the food we eat. These carotenoids are essential for the eyes1. They protect the retina from macular degeneration by absorbing blue light which damages it1. It has been found that lutein in egg yolk is better absorbed and used by the body than lutein in supplements and green vegetables1.
A recent study also shows that consuming whole eggs improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin and therefore, lowers its risk to diabetes4. This is one of the reasons why it is better to eat whole eggs rather than just egg whites.
Chicken eggs are tasty and can be prepared in various, exciting ways.
Unlike vegetables, parents rarely have to coax their children into eating eggs. This gives away the fact that typically, human taste buds find eggs palatable.
Eggs are also very easy to prepare. They can be boiled, poached, fried and can even be made into sandwiches or soups. The ways are endless. Plus, it is possible to cook them for as quick as one minute.
So if you are not allergic to chicken eggs, and you do not have a problem with a high cholesterol level, give yourself a go on one egg a day. Limit yourself to seven eggs a week, so if you consume two eggs today, do not eat any tomorrow.
Take into account that there are products which contain eggs as an ingredient. Note that there is no magic food which contains all the nutrients that our body needs, so eat a variety of food every day. Remember to mind your calorie-intake and load up on fiber and water. Do so and you will be on your way to a healthier you minus the guilt over having your daily dose of egg.
- United States Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Library. Dietary Reference Intakes
- Watson, R.R. 2009. Complementary and Alternative Therapies and the Aging Population: An Evidence-based Approach. Elsevier Inc. USA.
- 1. Cherian, G. 2009. Eggs and Health: Nutrient Sources and Supplement Carriers. USA.
- 2. Geissler, C. & Powers, H. 2010. Human Nutrition 12th Ed. Elsevier Inc. USA
- 3. Küçükersan, K., Yeşilbağ, D. & S. Küçükersan. 2010. Influence of Different Dietary Oil Sources on Performance and Cholesterol Content of Egg Yolk in Laying Hens. J. Biol. Environ. Sci. 4, 117-122
- 4. Blesso, C., Andersen, C., J. Barona, J. Volek & ML. Fernandez. 2012. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism-Clinical and Experimental. Vol. 62. Issue 3. Pp 400-410.
- 5. Andersen, C., Blesso, C., J. Lee, J. Barona, D. Shah, M. Thomas, ML. Fernandez. 2013. Egg Consumption Modulates HDL Lipid Composition and Increases the Cholesterol-Accepting Capacity of Serum in Metabolic Syndrome.