The egg is a staple in our diet that has a high nutritional value and is rich in vitamins and minerals essential for our body. However, its consumption is full of myths and diverse beliefs: It increases cholesterol, cannot be consumed daily, it is harmful to consume it raw, colored eggs are more nutritious, etc.
What is True About Egg Consumption?
Let’s know what you always asked yourself about eggs. Egg has long been an important food in our diets. In addition to economic and simple cooking, it provides a high feeling of satiety with only 75 kcal , little more than an apple and almost half the calories of a cola.
It is an easy and practical food to consume and very nutritious, as it contains proteins of excellent quality and high biological value, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega 9, such as oleic, which help increase HDL (or good) cholesterol in correct figures, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and no preservatives, or additives. Even so, there are many myths, beliefs and ideas that revolve around its consumption. This requires knowing in greater depth the content of an egg.
The egg is a food that contains absolutely all the essential amino acids for the human being, being the protein of greater biological value. This is so that even egg protein (ovoalbumine) is used as a reference model to nutritionally compare proteins that have other foods, such as meats or some legumes. In addition, it is made up of a multitude of vitamins, especially vitamins B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, D, A, B2 and niacin. Also, multiple minerals, such as phosphorus, zinc, or selenium, and is relatively low in calories (only 155 calories per 100 grams of egg (fresh, raw and whole).
It represents practically 10% of the weight of the egg. It is a calcareous and porous coating that allows the passage of volatile substances and microorganisms that could contaminate the inside of the egg.
“For this reason they are sold dry, if they were refrigerated, when taken home the humidity that would occur could penetrate inside”.
The color of the shell varies in hue between white and brown, depending on aspects related to the breed and the genetic inheritance of the hen. However, the color of the egg will never be related to the quality or nutritional value of the egg.
With a viscous and transparent texture, it is formed in 90% water, the rest is protein. It represents 60% of the total weight, therefore being most of the egg. Highlights the proteins of high biological value, among which ovoálbumina, which is 54%. Keep in mind that raw is digested badly. Thus, ingesting it raw we would hardly be absorbing 50% of the proteins because of the ovomucoids that act as antinutrients. Vitamins are also inactivated and interferes at the digestive and mineral absorption levels. These substances cease to perform their function, or are denatured, by the heat of cooking. Therefore, it will be important not to consume it raw.
Yellowish part that accounts for 30% of the total weight of the egg. Like the white, the yolk also contains proteins of the highest biological value, especially ovovitellin. Its main contribution is that of fat in the form of lecithin, cholesterol (215 milligrams on average) and that of vitamins. However, despite the high amount of cholesterol per yolk, the scientific literature has certified that only 15% of the ingested cholesterol would be absorbed. Therefore, the egg must be considered as a functional and fundamental food in the diet as it provides additional health benefits, beyond basic food needs.
Breaking Myths About Eating Eggs:
1. Eating Eggs Increases Cholesterol:
Although it is true that egg yolk contains a high cholesterol value (215 milligrams on average) the latest scientific research has certified that its consumption does not raise the blood cholesterol values of consumers. In the decade of the 70s, the idea that those foods containing cholesterol should be limited in people to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases was sustained. However, over the years and the increase in scientific research and evidence resulting from its results, it has been shown that the consumption of eggs does not increase the value of blood cholesterol. Thus, research such as the one published in The British Medical Journal explains that ” higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease or stroke (CVA).” In the same sense, the conclusions of another recent study (July 2013) published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition appear: “This goal – analysis suggests that egg consumption is not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality for cardiac causes ”.
2. It is Not Good to Take an Egg Every Day:
This myth is closely related to the previous one. And, those people who like to take eggs can be in luck, if they are healthy and do not suffer from any basic pathology there is no problem to take an egg every day. And is that the egg, despite containing cholesterol, has low levels of saturated fat and higher levels of unsaturated fats. And that is precisely the proportion (lower levels of saturated fats versus unsaturated fats) that encourages an improvement in the lipid profile, increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol). However, we must not demonize saturated fats, since the problem lies when high saturated fat and a much lower level of unsaturated fats are consumed. Similarly, the Spanish Heart Foundation, after analyzing the latest scientific research, explains that “egg intake has historically been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC) aims to modify this belief.” And he continues adding that “it does not consider necessary to restrict the consumption of eggs in the diet of healthy people “. And, in the same sense, we found an investigation of the publication Hospital Nutrition, which analyzed whether there was an association between taking eggs and different risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. The conclusions were clear: “There is no association between egg intake and lipid profile, adiposity, insulin resistance, blood pressure, aerobic capacity or cardiovascular risk index.”
3. Eat Fattening Eggs:
In the same way as in the previous two myths, in this case we find a false belief. And, both those who want to reduce their body weight and those who wish to maintain their ideal weight can be calm and include the egg in their daily diet. Keep in mind that an egg contains about 75 kcal, or 155 calories per 100 grams of egg (fresh, raw and whole). That is, two eggs would provide you with 7% of the calories recommended in a 2000 kcal diet. Adding to all this the enormous capacity of satiety, the multiple combinations that allow its consumption, the availability of food in our kitchens and its high nutritional value with a protein like no other, becomes an essential food of our dishes. However, we must pay special attention to the way it will be cooked. Ideally, do it in a way that does not increase its caloric value, as we would get by frying it. You can, however, boil it, bake it or cook it with a small amount of olive oil, to name a few cooking modes that do not especially raise its caloric value.
4. Avoid Eating Raw Eggs:
In this case, cooking the egg is an essential aspect for various reasons. On the one hand, we have to keep in mind that possible microorganisms, such as salmonella bacteria, could be present in the egg. As explained by the World Health Organization (WHO), a cooking temperature above 60 degrees Celsius would ensure its destruction. This is one of the 5 keys to prevent food poisoning pointed out by WHO and you can see in the following graph. On the other hand, taking raw eggs will not make it easy for you to have a good digestion. We would only absorb half of the proteins due to the presence of ovomucoids and ovoinhibitors that block our body’s enzymes responsible for digesting the proteins we consume. To reverse this situation, we must denature the protein, a process by which the internal composition of the protein is changed but its amino acid composition is not affected, without losing properties.
5. Before Introducing the Eggs in The Refrigerator, They Should Be Washed Under Tap Water For A Few Minutes/
Here we find a totally wrong idea that luckily is not widespread. However, it is very convenient to clarify. The eggshell is porous and, although it may not seem like it to the naked eye, by washing it we would be facilitating that various microorganisms could cross the shell and reach the egg inside, contaminating the food. If they reached the interior, being a moist environment with abundant nutrients, their proliferation would be abnormally rapid and we would put our health at risk by consuming them. Similarly, finding a broken egg should be discarded before putting our health at risk.
6. Colored Eggs are More Nutritious Than White Eggs
Again, a misconception. The color of the eggs does not influence the nutritional value of them at all. The color would only indicate differences in the breed of the animal or its own genetic variability. We have seen how the consumption of eggs does not especially increase blood cholesterol, nor do they make you fat, you can even eat an egg a day if you are healthy and that in its composition highlights the presence of a protein of higher quality than that present in any other food. Undoubtedly, this means a rediscovery of a staple of our food that, from now on, can become essential. Do you have any other myth or belief regarding the consumption of eggs? How many eggs do you take each week? Do not hesitate to leave your comments.