Thursday, May 5, 2011

A little Eggs-tra!

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Hello Wellness on Apr 20 2011 12:05PM

Should you have the whites and throw away the yellows or do away with eggs altogether? Whether these nutrient-dense, energy-dense foods should be eaten at all or not has generated more debate in the recent years than the old chicken-and-egg story.

Rich and healthy
A medium-sized egg is rich in essential minerals and has about 75-76 kcal. The albumen or the white is made up of mostly water and proteins while the yolk contains all fats along with vitamin A, D, E and K and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. Eggs also contain choline, which is necessary for structural integrity and manufacture of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the antioxidant selenium and lutein and zeaxanthin that help increase pigmentation of the eye's retina and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

The high-cholesterol factor
For all the benefits it offers, the yolk, unfortunately, also contains about 212 mg of cholesterol. Since the dietary recommendation for cholesterol is about 300 mg per day, the large amount of cholesterol eggs contain may prevent you from eating them. But don't avoid eggs altogether. Eating a whole egg every day or every alternate day will not harm your cholesterol and other blood-fat levels. Have them boiled, poached, scrambled using skimmed milk or fried in just one teaspoon of oil. Season them with pepper, spices and herbs that help lower cholesterol. You may also choose to have egg whites more often (you may use the yolks for a shampoo) and whole eggs say once or twice a week to reduce your cholesterol intake.

Keep those germs away
While eating cooked eggs may increase the risk of atherosclerosis due to oxidisation of the cholesterol in the yolk, eating them raw is often associated with the threat of Salmonella (typhoid bacteria) contamination. Normally the shells provide foolproof protection against any kind of bacterial infection. Avoid purchasing eggs that are already broken (even if the vendor persuades you to take one) or those covered with mud and faecal matter.

Eggs contain a lot of nutrition and a lot of fat. Have them in little quantities regularly, and they will do you a whole lot of good.

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