The Nutrition In Eggs

Eggs in a carton on a table next to a whisk.
Photo by Steve Buissine. C/o Pixabay.

Eggs have long been thought of as unhealthy but in recent findings they have benefits that outweigh these historical findings. For a start they are a good source of protein as well being high in fat. It makes an egg one of the most nutritionally dense of all the foods. Admittedly, cholesterol has always been a talking point with health and the yolks are high in both fat and cholesterol.

From a nutritional perspective, one egg contains 71% of the recommended daily intake of cholesterol and that amounts to 212 mg. We also know that the fat content in a whole egg makes up 62% of the total calorie content (nutritiondata.self 2020).

Nowadays, we have greater understanding of cholesterol because there are different forms (Fernandez, 2006). Back then, given the level of interest there was little evidence that could actually link egg consumption with a risk for coronary heart disease. From this article’s perspective one of the reasons for the poor connection was the fact that intake of cholesterol increases the concentration of both circulating low density lipoproteins cholesterol (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) in their plasma when they have eaten eggs. These are called hyperresponders and make up 305 of the population. On that basis, 70% of the public only show a mild if not negligible increase in plasma cholesterol concentrations.

Eggs are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which is a benefit for eye health. Consuming eggs will help those with macular degeneration and eye cataracts. It is thought about 90% of the population are short of these powerful antioxidants so an egg for breakfast for example might well be extremely valuable (Handelman et al., 1999).

Eggs are good sources of protein and would be useful in a muscle building diet. they are full of egg albumin. Apparently if you replace your grain-based cereal some eggs you can lose weight because of eating fewer calories. One factor is that they help people feel full (Vander Wal et al., 2005). That study was conducted with 30 women aged from 25 to 60 years of age and they compared what is called an isocaloric (same energy content) breakfast of eggs with bagels.

Eggs And Inflammation

A meta-analysis (Sajadi Hezaveh et al., 2019) has examined egg consumption and the impact on inflammation. A series of biomarkers associated with inflammation were examined. Based on 9 acceptable trials, eating eggs did not have a significant effect on a variety of serum biomarkers for inflammation.

References

Fernandez, M. L. (2006). Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care9(1), pp. 8-12 (Article).

Handelman, G. J., Nightingale, Z. D., Lichtenstein, A. H., Schaefer, E. J., & Blumberg, J. B. (1999). Lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations in plasma after dietary supplementation with egg yolk. The American journal of clinical nutrition70(2), pp. 247-251. (Article)

Sajadi Hezaveh, Z., Sikaroudi, M.K., Vafa, M., Clayton, Z.S., Soltani, S. (2019) Effect of egg consumption on inflammatory markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. J Sci Food Agric. 2019;99(15) pp. 6663‐6670. (Article) PMID: 31259415 PMCID: PMC7189602 DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.9903

Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, Jen KL, Dhurandhar NV. (2005) Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 24(6) pp. 510‐515. (Article) doi:10.1080/07315724.2005.10719497

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