Thursday , June 24 2021

Egg – its nutritional value and role in health

Eggs are the perfect product with low calories and enough protein. If you’ve avoided eating eggs because it seems like your blood cholesterol levels and risk of coronary heart disease may increase, then it’s time to stop this idea. Recent studies show that adults who do not have health problems can eat eggs every day and are not afraid of the risk of heart disease. And remember, eggs are part of healthy eating habits!

Harvard Medical School states that dietary cholesterol does not affect the risk of cardiovascular disease. It increases mainly by consuming saturated fatty acids and trans fats.

In Latvia, too, the nutrition recommendations of the Ministry of Health state that it is not advisable to limit the consumption of eggs in the diet because they are valuable. In addition, recent studies suggest that frequent and excessive consumption of foods high in fructose (including fructose-glucose syrup) can increase blood cholesterol levels.

Really no risk?

It should be noted that there are no significant risks associated with eating eggs (unless they are eaten too much!) Other than salmonella. Salmonella enteritidis is a common bacterium. It cannot be detected in the eye because it is found in a perfectly normal egg. If infected eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, unpleasant symptoms, including abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting, can occur within 12 to 72 hours. Most recover without treatment, but babies, retirees, and people with weakened immune systems are even at risk for serious illness.

The largest egg producers are subject to strict control of salmonella production. In addition, these bacteria are reported and eggs are removed from production and distribution – this has also been experienced in Latvia. Therefore, guidelines have been developed for manufacturers to ensure that what they offer becomes a safe product quality for consumers.

Do you know which eggs you bought?

Often heard – “organic”, “freely grown”, “without a cage”. What do these terms really mean?

Eggs without cages
These are eggs obtained from birds that are free of cages and cages. Typically, chickens live in an open barn where they can move freely and spread their wings. Chickens have waste on the ground, such as pine shavings, and can move freely and use flower beds and nesting boxes. However, cageless chickens can still be kept close together, making the likelihood of infection higher.

Free-range chicken eggs
Eggs are laid by hens with open access. They have a free opportunity to be inside or outside the barn. Smaller farms can allow birds to roam outside enclosed sheds and stables.

Organic eggs
Organic eggs do not indicate the living conditions of chickens, but most often such eggs are obtained from birds that are not reared in cages. These chickens eat organic / organic food and do not receive vaccines or antibiotics.

In order to be eligible for organic certification, cereals used in the diet of chickens must be grown for at least three years in an area free of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Genetically modified crops are not allowed, and chickens must be free of hormones, antibiotics and other medications.

Eggs for vegetarians
“Vegetarian” eggs are not available in Latvia, but it is worth knowing that they carry chickens that are fed only on a vegetarian diet – no meat or fish by-products. Chickens are in cages or indoors, so they do not pick up insects or larvae.

Pasteurized eggs
Heat pasteurized eggs for three and a half minutes at 60 degrees Celsius. Pasteurization completely destroys bacteria without boiling the egg. This process can also be performed on packaged egg whites used in cooking.

Eating pasteurized eggs is recommended for young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems to reduce the risk of salmonella infection.

Which eggs are safer to eat?

Organic, free-range and cage-free – these terms have nothing to do with pollution. They do not guarantee that eggs will never contain salmonella. It ensures, however, that the egg came from a chicken that lived in better conditions and is in line with the principles of humanism and animal welfare.

To protect yourself, it is recommended that:

– Before buying, check the eggs for cracks, which could mean that these bacteria are transmitted;
– chill eggs to 7 degrees Celsius (45 Fahrenheit) or less; if bacteria are present, this will prevent them from multiplying;
– Prepare the eggs thoroughly so that the egg whites and yolks harden – this will kill the salmonella;
– when handling eggs and cooking, wash your hands, utensils and surfaces thoroughly with soap and warm water, remembering to do the same after cooking eggs;
– if the eggs are collected from a backyard herd, wash them with soap and hot water before cooling;
– use pasteurized eggs for recipes that require a raw egg, for example in various salad dressings;
– Young children, the elderly and anyone with a weakened immune system should eat pasteurized or boiled eggs;
– when buying fresh eggs at the market or from a local farmer, ask if they have been washed and chilled within 36 hours of collection; this reduces the risk of salmonella.

Eggs contain the necessary substances necessary for the proper functioning of the body. But before you eat them, make sure they are fresh and not damaged – it will help prevent disease.

Nutritional value of eggs:

– Eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the body.
– One egg contains about 6 g of protein and 72 calories.
– One egg contains little saturated or low fat – about 1.5 grams.
– Most fats are unsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
– Chicken yolk contains from 141 to 234 mg of cholesterol, depending on its size.
– vitamins (A, D, K, B)12; B4. or choline).
– Minerals (selenium, iron, zinc).
– antioxidants (lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin).

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