Eggs have dominated food menus since time immemorial. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, eggs are an integral part of cuisines around the world. In fact, baking is not complete without the addition of eggs, as they are the building block in cakes, cookies or mousse.
There is a reason why eggs are so important to us: they are a nutritional powerhouse. Whether you eat them daily or occasionally, eggs provide you with healthy nutrition at much lower calories compared to other foods.
However, many diet conscious people are now of the opinion that the health profile of eggs may not be as sparkly as they once imagined. There are many questions which have come up: Will the regular consumption raise the cholesterol level? Is it safe to consume egg whites only or should we eat egg yolks as well? Are organic eggs healthier than farm eggs? Let’s explore the answers to these pertinent questions in more detail.
The Nutritional Value of Eggs
Experts believe that eggs are healthy as they contain a powerful punch of vitamins and proteins. There are almost 13 essential proteins and vitamins in eggs. Eggs are a source of complete protein i.e. they contain essential amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. This makes eggs a source of complete protein which is required by our body for maintaining healthy and strong muscles. There are around 70 calories in one large sized egg and protein is about 6 gram.
Other essential elements present in eggs are biotin, which helps in the conversion of food into usable form of energy. Choline is in there as well, which is one of the most essential micronutrient that helps in maintaining a healthy metabolism and also contributes in the performance of other functions.
Eggs also contain vitamin A in an abundant amount which helps in maintenance a healthy immune system. Antioxidants such as Zeaxanthin and Lutein are in there as well which help the body eliminate free radicals in the blood.
Eggs And Cholesterol Levels
According to Dietary Guidelines, cholesterol, which is derived from food sources, is not considered a risk factor when blood cholesterol level of person is required to be maintained. Heart diseases are now linked to risk factors associated with reduced physical activity, smoking, or consumption of alcohol.
According to recent research works, people who consume one egg daily have a lower risk of developing strokes or heart diseases because eggs contain high level of the good cholesterol called HDL. Good cholesterol in the body helps in cleaning up blood vessels by preventing fat build-up in them. In another study, it was found that people who had higher levels of cholesterol and were suffering from heart diseases did not increase their blood cholesterol levels even by consuming one egg on a daily basis.
Egg Whites or Egg Yolks
There had been confusion in the past regarding the consumption of egg yolks. Egg yolks, as per experts, was not considered a very healthy source of nutrition because of higher amounts of dietary cholesterol in it. One egg yolk contains 186mg of cholesterol, while the daily recommended intake of cholesterol is not greater than 300 mg per day.
In the past, experts believed that egg yolks are not good for heart health because it contains high content of dietary cholesterol. However, recent research suggests that dietary cholesterol does not significantly impact the blood cholesterol levels. Other than cholesterol, egg yolks contain folate, iron, fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins which are great for your health.
Egg whites contain more protein than egg yolks but the nutritional profile of egg whites is relatively low than egg yolks. Egg whites contain protein and some B vitamins and do not contain any antioxidants or other essential vitamins like in egg yolk. This is the reason that nutritionists recommend the intake of an egg as whole rather than only egg whites.
Organic Eggs vs. Farm Eggs
You will probably find many legitimate reasons to buy organic eggs. Organic food sources are good for the environment, as the breeding and farming is done cage-free and is considered good for the welfare of animals and birds. Animals whose breeding is done through organic methods are free from antibiotics in their system and their produce is considered chemical-free.
However, organic eggs cannot be considered as entirely disease-free. Like farm eggs, organic eggs can get affected by a bacterial outbreak. But, having said that, the overall risks of bacterial contamination is low for eggs, whether they are organic or not.