Eggs are one of the most popular and available foods in the world. It’s not only tasty but also it has an abundance of nutrients that are important to people of all ages and health conditions. Eggs are also one of the most diverse foods you can have as they can be cooked in many different ways, incorporated into dishes, meals, and other processed foods.
Eggs are extremely popular as a protein source for breakfast, a snack for in between meals, a side dish or an extra to main courses and also as a cooking ingredient for other foods such as bread, cakes, and pastry.
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According to the UAE publication’ Gulf News’ in 2015, an estimated nine million residents consume around 2 billion eggs a year. That means, on average, each resident consumes about 222 eggs a year.
A standard egg contains 75 calories, 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat. It also contains iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, which all essential for the body. However, just like most things in life, eggs need to be moderated into your diet as eating them in excess can actually be counter-effective in improving your health and can even cause health complications if you eat them in excess.
Let’s go through some of the health benefits of eggs as well as things to keep in mind when adding eggs for diet.
Health Benefits of Eating Eggs
1. Affordable and easy to prepare
Eggs are one of the most affordable and available foods around the world. Eggs can be cooked in multiple ways, some being healthier than the other. It doesn’t take long to cook and is easy to consume. Keep in mind that you still need to prepare them for children as they may run the risk of food contamination or food poisoning if the eggs are mishandled or poorly cooked.
2. High protein and calcium
The high protein and calcium content in eggs makes it the ideal food for growing children and ageing people. Egg whites are one of the purest forms of protein in the world and will help the development of muscle growth. Its calcium content will also help with the strength and integrity of bones. Eggs are not a dairy product, and so it is friendly for people who have lactose intolerance.
3. Healthy Fats
Eggs are notorious for being high in fat. But what most people don’t recognize is that eggs are consist of healthy fats. Eggs contain omega 3 fatty acids that are known to improve cholesterol levels, improve brain health and help with weight management. A standard egg also contains 1.6 grams of saturated fat, which is not a lot considering the standard egg has 5 grams of total fat.
The Side Effects of Eggs
1. Cholesterol concerns
Even though eggs may be made up of good cholesterol, that doesn’t mean you can have an abundance of them. Because of the saturated fat in eggs, this actually can spike your LDL (bad cholesterol). The best way to avoid this is to control your egg intake and try to stay away from the yolk that contains cholesterol.
2. Saturated fat builds up
Even though eggs are made up of healthy fat and carry very few saturated fats, this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a concern. By eating too many eggs and not being able to control your portions, this fat will build up and stored in your body.
3. Sodium spike
Sodium is an essential electrolyte for the human body. But when too much sodium is consumed in the body, this can lead to difficulty maintaining or losing weight, managing blood sugar levels and can lead to further health complications. The recommended sodium intake per day is 420-920 mg depending on your age, weight and health condition. A standard egg will have around 400 mg of sodium. The sodium in eggs is usually found in its whites.
Should You Eat Eggs?
If you are looking to get extra calories in, or want to increase your protein intake, eggs are perfectly fine. Eggs are suitable for the young, the old, the healthy, the unhealthy and everyone else in between. However, for those who have high blood pressure or have difficulty maintaining cholesterol levels, it’s best to find your protein source elsewhere as eggs are notorious for spiking cholesterol levels.
As eggs are also high in fat, for those looking to lose or manage weight. It’s not a good idea to overeat them and to find other natural sources of protein. The number of eggs you can eat in a day all depends on your personal circumstances such as age, weight and health conditions. But you shouldn’t eat more than 3 per day.
How to Incorporate Eggs in Your Diet?
1. Omelette for breakfast
What’s awesome about omelette is that you can add other nutritious and healthy foods to it such as tomatoes, mushrooms, onions or cheese. Not only does this make it tastier, but they can also provide you with the extra nutrients you can’t get from eggs alone.
2. Hard-boiled egg as a snack
If you find that you’re getting hungry before your next mealtime, aren’t reaching your protein requirements and don’t want to eat processed or pre-packaged snacks, a boiled egg is perfect. You can eat it fresh or chilled. A hard-boiled egg is easy to digest, convenient to carry and doesn’t require you to add anything to it. It is also probably the cleanest and purest way of eating an egg apart from having it raw.
3. Buy egg white mixture from the supermarket
Not all supermarkets may stock this product, but you can actually get pure egg whites in the form of a carton just like milk. It means that if you’re specifically staying away from egg yolk, it is your most convenient option. This egg white mixture can be fried, scrambled or even boiled. This product also saves you from having to separate the yolk from when preparing your eggs.
4. Eggs on sandwich, wrap or burger
By adding eggs to your standard bread-based lunch, you’ll be getting that extra protein and healthy fat boost into your meal. Eggs go perfect with sandwiches as they can be boiled, steamed, fried or even poached depending on your personal preference. It is also a good way to get extra calories in for children looking to gain weight. On top of this, eggs are very flavorful and can make your sandwich evermore satisfying.
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