The Final Verdict on Eggs: Unhealthy or Underappreciated?
Throughout the last few decades, we have seen a number of trends and fads in relation to our eating habits, as well as discoveries about the benefits and dangers of certain foods and eating habits. One food in particular, eggs, has been a source of controversy and debate, often resulting in competing viewpoints and recommendations. Eggs have been blacklisted and touted as a superfood depending on whom you talk to and which decade you are in. Let's see if we can get to the bottom of this long-standing issue and finally make some sense of whether eggs are healthy and unhealthy.
The History of Eggs
Eggs have been a part of the human diet since as far back as the beginning of time. From ancient civilizations in Rome and China to modern-day times, eggs have been a staple in many households. Due to their ease of availability, eggs have been incorporated in diets from around the world, from being used as a standalone meal to its integration into various dishes and cooking methods such as baking.
What Makes Eggs Special?
Eggs are often easy to prepare and are a low-cost meal or addition to a meal. Eggs are composed of both the white and yolk, both of which offer different benefits and nutrients. They are also often touted as a low-calorie food source with high protein. Just one medium egg contains approximately 8.3g of protein and just 84 calories. One whole egg contains a vast number of nutrients including vitamin B2, B6, B12, D, A, E, K, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper. Eggs are regarded as a complete food in that it provides all the amino acids essential to our bodies that we must ingest through our diets.
The Benefits of Eating Eggs
There is no question as to why an egg is considered a superfood by many. It is loaded with nutrients and minerals that are needed by our bodies.
Some benefits of including eggs regularly as part of a healthy diet are:
- Promoting heart health
- Assists with maintaining a healthy weight
- Promotes growth and brain development of children
- Improve the absorption of vitamins and nutrients
When is Eating Eggs Harmful?
We have discussed all the positive benefits of eating eggs, so why do eggs sometimes get labelled as unhealthy? The answer to this question is cholesterol; the yolk of an egg contains high levels of cholesterol, up to 186 mg, in just one egg. For decades, high cholesterol has been linked to many negative health consequences such as heart disease. In the past, it was thought that eating eggs were unhealthy because it would be contributing to cholesterol issues. However, recent studies have found that eating up to 3 eggs a day is not harmful for most healthy people and actually raises the levels of "good" cholesterol. There are some people with pre-existing cholesterol conditions that should avoid eating whole eggs frequently. However, this does not mean they cannot eat eggs at all. Egg whites contain half of the protein in an egg, yet have 0 mg of cholesterol. These individuals can still reap many of the benefits of the egg by consuming only the egg white with none of the cholesterol that can harm them. While excessive consumption of eggs can be harmful, incorporating eggs as a part of a healthy diet provides many benefits to your health. At Quality Food, we offer the only local organic free-range egg in the UAE.
How To Eat Eggs
Eggs are as versatile as they are delicious. They are considered primarily as a breakfast or brunch food and can be prepared using a number of different techniques and incorporated into various recipes such as:
- Eggs Royale - a dish comprised of poaching an egg and serving it open-faced style on two slices of an English muffin with smoked salmon and covered in hollandaise sauce.
- French Toast - a dish that uses an egg-based mixture to coat different types of bread and then cooking it over pan/griddle and serving with fruits and/or syrup
- Pancakes - eggs are used to make a thick batter along with milk, flour, and butter, which is then cooked atop a frying pan to create flat cakes that can be topped with syrup and/or butter
- Scrambled eggs - one of the quickest ways to cook an egg and easiest recipe to adapt to your preferences. Add different vegetables, herbs, and spices to your scrambled eggs to make a unique and flavorful dish each time.
- Rice & Eggs - combining rice and eggs is a delicious side dish to many beef breakfast recipes.
Eggs can also be used in a number of baking recipes such as :
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