Eggs are a complete, very digestible and assimilable food. But are eggs good or bad for your health? Let's try to clarify some ideas on this topic.
Are eggs good for you?
Eggs are a popular food in today's food science, but that wasn't always the case! Not so much for the food itself, but rather for the fat vs carbohydrate feud that until a few years ago saw fats as the number one enemies for our health and fitness. And here "0% fat" products began to populate the supermarket shelves and several books on Low Fat diets were published.
Today, on the contrary, many nutritionists and doctors around the world have sided in favor of fats, to the most extreme ones that support diets that are very high in fat and free of carbohydrates such as the ketogenic diet.
No wonder these changes of course, in the history of food science we have witnessed some very important evolutions. Since the war the food market has changed drastically. Technological evolution has led to mass breeding and the possibility of creating packaged foods. This has massively reduced the cost of food and increased the percentage of obese people in the population. Also for this reason, in a short time the first diets began to be published and interest developed in what is good or bad.
Let's see specifically the composition of chicken eggs.
Composition of eggs
Eggs are made up of 76% water, 13% protein, 10% lipids, traces of carbohydrates, no fiber. Specifically, the shell is essentially calcium carbonate. The egg white is made up of 85% water, and the rest of proteins. The yolk is made up half of water, the proteins are 1/3 and the lipids 2/3.
Eggs have many qualities, but the quality of their proteins stands out among them. In fact, egg proteins are of the highest quality, their protein quality is better than that of meat, fish and milk. This is because it contains all the essential amino acids in near perfect proportion.
They are not found in the egg white but all in the yolk It has some saturated fats but they are among the most harmless for cardiovascular health. The presence of these saturated fats is balanced by monounsaturated fats. In fact, the most abundant fats in the yolk are the monounsaturated ones, excellent from a nutritional point of view. In fact, the yolk also contains linoleic acid, of the omega 6 family.
Moreover, the egg is not such a fat food. It only has 10% lipids. And these fats are not of bad quality. Indeed, they are better than those contained in red meat and cheeses ...
An average egg of about 60 g and more or less 73 kcal contains approximately:
- 5-6 g of fat,
- 0.4g of carbohydrates,
- 7g of protein.
Do eggs raise cholesterol?
Often it happens to hear statements similar to this: "You cannot eat eggs every day because they increase cholesterol". Unfortunately, the most uninformed, even among professionals in the sector, still strongly advise against the daily introduction of eggs in the diet.
Why is this claim false? First of all, because when I introduce cholesterol in one go, I largely fail to absorb it because it exceeds the intestinal absorption capacity
But does the egg contain cholesterol? Yes, the egg contains cholesterol in the yolk but this does not have a direct effect on raising the cholesterol levels in our blood. For several reasons, including the presence of a phospholipid, lecithin, which lowers cholesterol because it has cholesterol-lowering effects, as well as increasing HDL metabolism, and inducing emptying of the gallbladder.
So the egg contains cholesterol but it doesn't raise cholesterol, even if we eat eggs every day. It is not cholesterol that raises cholesterol but some saturated fats, the sugars in our diet (due to the action of insulin) as well as metabolic causes.
Properties of eggs
Eggs contain valuable substances that are good for our health. They are very rich in:
- vitamin A,
- beta carotene, which we convert into additional vitamin A,
- B vitamins, including B12.
Iron and calcium are present even if not in very high quantities, however they are particularly bioavailable and therefore highly absorbable. The color of the yolk depends on what the hens eat and their breed. If it is dark orange, it means it is rich in carotenoids and beta carotene. The lighter yolks, on the other hand, are rich in Omega 3.
Is it better raw or cooked eggs?
Exposure to heat, starting from 70 degrees, makes many egg proteins digestible so for this reason it is preferable to eat them cooked.
Raw egg is an edible food, and not risky if only the eggs of the A EXTRA category or with the words "to drink". However, it is better to avoid any risk for pregnant women, newborns, and those suffering from serious diseases and are immunocompromised.
The risk of salmonella is now extremely rare. The hens are vaccinated and the A EXTRA eggs up to seven days after packaging guarantee a certain level of biological safety.
Egg is a highly digestible food but cooking affects its digestibility. The maximum digestibility is obtained with eggs cooked for 2 minutes until the hard-boiled eggs are cooked.
I leave you a reminder on cooking eggs:
- 45 '' to 3 ': soft-boiled egg
- From 4 'to 7': boiled egg
- 8 'to 10': hard-boiled egg
When to eat eggs?
They are a perfect food for breakfast, since they have a high satiating power, but also as a light snack, containing barely 73kcal. Better to avoid them post workout and prefer carbohydrate sources and a good dose of essential amino acids.
It is advisable to alternate them and in some cases, preferisle, to other animal sources (such as meat and fish, cured meats and cheeses) in the main meals.
Egg is an extraordinary food that is good for our health and can be consumed every day. There is absolutely no point in worrying about their impact on our cholesterol because as we have seen, the cholesterol contained in eggs does not affect the raising of cholesterol levels in the blood. Eggs are good for you because they are an excellent, complete food with very high biological value proteins, a source of numerous vitamins and minerals.