Eggs: Healthy or not?

Eggs: Healthy or not?
Everyone is shunning them and holding them guilty of being fattening and laden with heart unhealthy cholesterol.

This tiny pocket of energy, which was once hailed as a superfood has suddenly lost its sheen in the haze of misreporting and misconceptions. Dr Geeta Dharmatti, a nationally acclaimed nutritionist clears some of the most intriguing doubts around eggs.

Do you think eating eggs daily can increase cholesterol levels in older people?
One egg yolk has 221 mg of cholesterol against 300 mg of cholesterol needed daily. Research recommends 3 whole egg per week, as the whole egg has more vital nutrients and micronutrients for cell regeneration and anti-aging impact. There is a huge misconception about eggs that they are harmful, fattening and increase cholesterol levels. This is the reason why Poultry India has launched the nationwide Protein Awareness Campaign. The purpose is to raise awareness about the goodness of protein, both animal and plant, and let people know that everyone should have 1gm of protein for every kilogram of their bodyweight very day. Protein cannot be stored. Your body needs it daily in right quantities.

How many eggs can an average adult consume daily?
1 medium size egg gives about 6.6 gm of protein. The protein requirement of an adult is 0.8-1.0 gm /kg of body weight. Healthy diet with dals / legumes/ milk and milk products as per the calorie and protein requirement gives 35-40 gm of protein daily . 1 egg /day will give adequate vital nutrients to complement a healthy diet. Proteins with essential nutrients will contribute to good nutrition in healthy adult. Eggs should be calculated as per the other dietary intake. Egg whites can be had 3-4 but whole egg for healthy adult should be only 1 a day.

What are the health benefits of eggs?
Eggs are one of the best sources of high quality protein food. They are an excellent source of complete protein (protein with all essential amino acids) Yolk has vital fat soluble vitamins A, E D, K. Since eggs are filling and full of nutrition that boosts metabolism, they also aid in weight loss if consumed in moderation. They are rich in micronutrients like B- Complex Vitamin, Se, Zn that act as immune boosters. They are among the best sources of chlorine and vitamin D.

Is there a vegetarian equivalent of eggs?
Egg is considered as a reference protein. Albumin is the nature of protein present in egg. Any food which has complete amino acid profile is a complete protein. Vegetarian equivalent to eggs are: milk/milk products 150 ml of milk: 5 gm of protein (nature of protein is casein). Other proteins like dal / soy etc should be complemented with grains to get the complete protein. But we do not consider them as high biological proteins.

Which is the best way/time to eat eggs?
Any time is best time to eat eggs. 1 whole egg or 3 egg whites can be had with Breakfast or at Dinner to maximize the benefit of calorie and nutrition in complementing the diet.

Are farm eggs really healthy? Are they not loaded with harmful hormones and antibiotics?
There is nothing like farm eggs or desi eggs. As per norms all eggs have to be healthy, with no hormones and antibiotics given to it. Omega 3 rich eggs are those where the hens have been fed flaxseed.
How to distinguish between a healthy and an unhealthy egg?
In healthy eggs, the yolk is thicker and darker and egg whites are dense.
Are brown eggs better that white ones?
Different kinds of egg have different amounts of protein content. Also, different breeds of hens lay different coloured eggs. There is no difference in nutrition. There could be a taste difference but the nutrition remains same.

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