The egg is a food plentiful in protein, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. We should learn more about the dietary benefits of eggs and how to perceive their newness. Eggs are a valuable food: they address a decent protein source, likewise crucial on account of a lacto-ovo-veggie lover diet, that is to say, for individuals who have rejected meat and fish from their eating regimen.
Eggs, What Are They
Eggs are a food widely used in the kitchen, both individually and as an ingredient in many dishes. The most used are chicken eggs, which we generally refer to unless otherwise specified. Regardless of its origin, the egg of a bird typically has three structures :
- Shell: external network;
- albumen: intermediate structure;
- yolk: internal structure.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods. They are rich in proteins and micronutrients; in particular, in eggs, we find:
- vitamin B12 ;
- vitamin B5;
- vitamin D ;
- vitamin A ;
- selenium ;
The Egg Yolk
Egg yolk (also called “egg yolk”), yellow in color, represents the internal structure of the egg and is mainly a source of :
Egg albumen (also called egg “white”) represents the intermediate structure of the egg and is mainly a source of water and protein.
Freshness And Storage Of Eggs
Concerning freshness, eggs are divided into four categories if we also consider the “Extra” category :
- Category A extra: these are very fresh, untreated, and unrefrigerated eggs, which can be marketed up to the ninth day after laying (or the seventh day after packaging);
- Category A: these are fresh, untreated, and unrefrigerated eggs; the minimum shelf life indicated on the label is calculated as 28 days from the date of deposition;
- Category B: these are second-quality eggs, which cannot be transferred directly to the consumer but only to industrial companies in the food sector to be transformed into egg products or to the non-food industry.
Once purchased, to maintain the freshness of the eggs, it is recommended to keep them in their packaging in the refrigerator at a temperature between 0° and 4°.
Eggs: Nutritional Values And Calories
100 g of whole eggs provide:
- Protein 12.4g;
- Lipids 8.7 g;
- Cholesterol 371 mg;
- Carbohydrates 0g.
Eggs And Health
Eggs are a food rich in beneficial properties for health; let’s see which are the main ones:
- Thanks to the presence of choline, they promote good functioning of the central nervous system and liver ;
- Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, they promote eye health;
- Have antioxidant properties;
- Contain all essential amino acids;
Eggs And Cholesterol: What Is The Truth
Eggs are rich in Cholesterol. In fact, for 100 g of eggs (about one and a half eggs), we find about 370 mg of Cholesterol. According to the LARN (Reference Intake Levels of Nutrients and Energy for the Italian population), a maximum of 300 mg of Cholesterol per day should be taken (equal to less than one and a half eggs). However, the good news is that Cholesterol is handled with a diet that permanently influences the Cholesterol in the blood!
The liver, which produces Cholesterol, can regulate its production (reducing it, if necessary) based on how much we take in through food. Therefore, although eggs are rich in Cholesterol, they do not significantly affect cholesterol levels unless there is a genetic predisposition to hypercholesterolemia. The limitation in the consumption of eggs is mainly indicated to favor a diet as varied as possible, which can include a sound frequency of different protein sources in addition to eggs.
How to recognize if the eggs are fresh? Meanwhile, you must always pay attention to the expiry date indicated on the package; if, on the other hand, the eggs have been purchased from farmers or come from your small chicken farm, you can use a little trick to check their freshness. It will be sufficient to place the egg in a glass of water with a handful of salt:
- If it remains halfway through the glass, it is not very fresh and, to be safe, it will be better to cook it well;
- If, on the other hand, it floats, it is better to avoid consuming the egg, as it could be too old and no longer safe for health.
How Many Times A Week To Consume Eggs
A standard portion of eggs corresponds to 50 g, i.e., one whole egg, which can be eaten on average from one to four times a week. These can be distributed according to one’s needs, for example, taking two portions of two eggs per week or four pieces of one egg per week. The recommended frequency is mainly indicated to allow correct variability of all protein sources, including fish, legumes, or cheese.
How To Cook Eggs
Eggs can be cooked in many variations, including:
- Hard-boiled eggs (boiled in their shells);
- scrambled eggs ;
- poached eggs ;
- sunny side up egg (in a pan);
- fried eggs ;
- soft-boiled eggs ;
- omelets ;
- omelet with egg whites;
- marinated eggs ;
- fried eggs ;
- Egg omelet.
On the other hand, it is better to avoid eating raw eggs, as they expose you to the risk of salmonellosis, although the eggs on the market are subjected to a dense control network that guarantees their safety.
There are many recipes with eggs; they are used both as a leading food and for the preparation of numerous dishes and mixtures, such as desserts, savory pies, breaded products, soufflé, mayonnaise, eggnog, sauces, or creams.
Read Also: Vegan Diet: How It Works, Benefits, Contraindications