People have eaten eggs for thousands of years. There are many types of egg, but the most common choice is that of the chicken.
Eggs contain several vitamins and minerals that are essential parts of a healthful diet. In many parts of the world, eggs are a readily available, inexpensive food.
In the past, there was some controversy about whether eggs are healthful or not, especially concerning cholesterol. The current thinking, however, is that, in moderation, eggs are healthful, as they can be a good source of protein and other essential nutrients.
This article describes the nutritional contents of eggs and possible health benefits and risks. It also gives tips on incorporating more eggs into the diet and looks at egg alternatives
Eggs can provide a number of health benefits.
Egg white and yolk are both rich sources of protein. Around 12.6% of the edible part of an egg is protein.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults aged 19 and over should consume 46–56 gTrusted Source of protein each day, depending on their age and sex. This should represent 10–35% of their daily calories.
In 2018, one researcherTrusted Source concluded that eggs contain high quality protein and that eating eggs is unlikely to lead to heart disease.
While meat can also be a good source of protein, it may contain high levels of less healthful elements, such as saturated fat.
One medium egg typically contains 162 mg of cholesterol. In the past, experts recommended limiting the intake of eggs for this reason.
However, researchers have not foundTrusted Source a link between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). “Good” HDL cholesterol appears to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.Consuming eggs appears to increaseTrusted Source levels of HDL cholesterol and reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
In addition, eggs are low in saturated fat. As a result, their effect on blood cholesterol levels is likely to be clinically insignificant.
Buying eggs, Eating organic eggs may provide more nutrients.
There are different types of eggs on the market, including: Non-cage-free, Cage-free, Free-range, organic
One 2017 study found that organic eggs from hens with the freedom to choose their own food had higher levels of certain nutrients than eggs from caged hens. The organic eggs had significantly higher levels of protein, potassium, and copper.
Another studyTrusted Source, published in 2014, found that hens that could roam outside in the sunlight produced eggs that contained 3–4 times as much vitamin D-3 as eggs from hens kept indoors. The researchers suggest that allowing hens to roam may be an alternative to fortifying eggs with vitamin D.
Eggs are a versatile food, and many people enjoy them fried, boiled, scrambled, or baked. They are easy to incorporate into a diet. Boiled or poached eggs, for example, are simple to make and contain no added fat. Sprinkle pepper, chili powder, or sumac on the eggs for added flavor.
Plain boiled eggs can be a good snack or a meal for a person with digestive problems or someone who is recovering from an illness.
Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient picnic food, and they go well in a salad.
For a healthful omelet or scrambled eggs, use vegetable oil and add onion, herbs, garlic, peas, and sweetcorn for extra nutrition.
Consuming eggs comes with some health risks. Raw or undercooked eggs can contain bacteria, which can enter through pores in the shells. In the U.S., all eggs graded by the USDA undergo a sanitizing rinse before sale.
Some people have an egg allergy or sensitivity. A person with an allergy may experience a life threatening reaction from coming into contact with eggs or egg products.
It is important for people with allergies to remember that baked goods often contain some egg, possibly as a powder. Check ingredients lists carefully.
A person with an allergy may also need to note whether a product is made in a facility that uses eggs, as trace amounts can trigger severe reactions in some people.
Food safety is a top priority when handling raw eggs. A contaminated hen can transmit Salmonella inside the egg if the shell has not completely formed. Salmonella can also penetrate egg shells, which have tiny open pores. Look for a sell-by date on egg cartons; eggs will generally last for four to six weeks after this date. Avoid packages with cracked eggs, which can increase risk of bacterial contamination. Discard a cracked egg if you discover one after purchase. Promptly refrigerate eggs in their carton at 40°F or below, in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Avoid storing inside doors where the temperature varies. Cook eggs until the whites and yolks have solidified, to prevent food-borne illness. Egg dishes should reach an internal temperature of 160°F. If using recipes for raw or undercooked eggs, use pasteurized eggs that are heat-treated to destroy bacteria. Don’t allow cooked eggs or egg dishes to sit at room temperature for longer than two hours. Wash your hands and any surfaces with soap and water that have come in contact with raw eggs.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.