Author : Ayesha Syed

Eggs are a treasure trove of nutrients. A fully natural package of healthy fats, complete proteins, and several vitamins and minerals. They are known as the best source of complete proteins because they contain all the nine amino acids that are required by our body.

Eggs are a treasure trove of nutrients. A fully natural package of healthy fats, complete proteins, and several vitamins and minerals. They are known as the best source of complete proteins because they contain all the nine amino acids that are required by our body.
For centuries, eggs have played an important role in not only enriching the human body but also symbolising life and fertility. Their versatility has earned them a cherished spot in every kitchen. Whether someone is an expert cook or a novice, eggs provide the freedom to explore the world of cooking with ease and creativity.

The Nutritional Powerhouse

Eggs are often considered nature’s most perfect food. Encapsulated in a white shell, eggs are a nutritionally dense powerhouse that provides a myriad of nutrients to the human body.

High Protein Content: Eggs are high in protein, providing a great start to the day in the form of a high-protein breakfast. One single large egg is estimated to contain approximately 6 grams of protein. They are beneficial for people seeking to maintain a balanced diet.

Protein is responsible for muscle maintenance and repair, addressing the normal wear and tear our muscles undergo daily. Individuals aiming for a high-protein diet will need to incorporate other protein sources throughout the day to meet their desired protein goals, but eggs can be an excellent starting point.

Essential Amino Acids: Eggs are considered a complete source of protein because they contain all nine amino acids that our body needs. These amino acids are essential because our body cannot produce them on its own; they must be obtained from an external source. There are only a few natural food options that provide all the nine amino acids, and eggs are one of them.

Source of Various Vitamins: Eggs are a great source of various essential vitamins, including:
Vitamin B12: vital for nerve function and the formation of red blood cells.
Vitamin D: Promotes Calcium absorption in the body. Low Vitamin D levels can hinder Calcium absorption and affect bone health.
Vitamin A: Essential for vision, immune function, and skin health. One large egg contains approximately 260 IU of Vitamin A, which is 8% of the recommended daily amount.
Choline: An important nutrient that plays a critical role in brain development and function. One egg contains around 164 mg of Choline, which is 30-38% of the intake recommended for adults.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These antioxidants are found in eggs and are responsible for the health of the human eyes, and are essential for eye health. They also protect against age-related muscular degeneration and cataracts.

Low in calories: Eggs are relatively low in calories. While providing a nutritional surplus, one egg contains approximately only 72 calories. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals who are conscious of calorie consumption.
In addition to being low in calories, eggs also have a high satiety index, helping consumers feel full and satisfied for an extended period.

Debunking Myths and Addressing Concerns

Despite being a nutritionally rich and versatile product, eggs have raised concerns for many over the years.

1. The Bad Cholesterol Conundrum: One of the most common myths surrounding eggs is that they contain bad fat, which, in turn, raises cholesterol levels in the body, leading to numerous health issues.
Recent studies and meta-analyses have found that consuming eggs may not increase the risk of heart disease or its risk factors. Several randomised controlled trials were conducted, and they showcased the same finding: eating a couple of eggs a day did not raise disease-causing cholesterol levels in the body. Instead, it was discovered that the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) increased.
Trials comparing egg-based breakfasts to non-egg-based breakfasts demonstrated an overall increase in cholesterol levels among those consuming eggs, but the LDL-HDL ratio remained unchanged. LDL levels are crucial in assessing heart diseases in the human body.
The consensus is that eggs, despite being high in cholesterol, do not play a significant role in increasing cholesterol levels that cause heart disease. However, ongoing research continues to investigate the potential link between eggs and heart disease. Nevertheless, for healthy individuals, consuming two eggs in a day is not considered a cause of concern.

Salmonella Risk: the risk of Salmonella contamination is a widely known concern with raw and undercooked chicken and eggs, which can lead to severe food poisoning. To address this concern, it is of utmost importance that the eggs are handled safely. This includes storing eggs in the refrigerator, cooking them thoroughly, and avoiding consumption when they are lightly cooked or raw to prevent contracting Salmonella poisoning.

3. Eggs Lead to Weight Gain: No food has the inherent capability to increase or decrease weight. The quantity of consumption is the sole factor responsible for weight gain or loss. There is a common concern that eggs lead to weight gain due to their high-fat content, leading some people to opt for consuming only egg whites for this reason.
While egg whites are low in calories, they are about 10 percent protein and 90 percent water. Most of the protein in an egg comes from the egg whites. However, despite being a source of complete protein, it does not provide other nutritional benefits that consuming a whole egg would provide.

National Egg Coordination Committee and Mid-Day Meals

The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) in India has been promoting egg consumption for decades. They have launched various catchy slogans and campaigns to emphasise the importance of eggs in day-to-day life. The nutritional value and affordability of eggs make them an excellent option for economically disadvantaged individuals. Some of their slogans include:

Sunday ho ya Monday, Roz Khao Ande: An extremely popular slogan promoting daily egg consumption instead of occasional consumption.

2. Ande mein hai dum, khao roz kum kum: Another catchy slogan emphasizing the strength and energy provided by eating eggs regularly.
The importance of eggs and egg consumption was further promoted by incorporating them into Mid-Day Meals. Currently, only fourteen states and union territories in India provide eggs to school students as part of this initiative. This step was taken to combat malnutrition among underprivileged students.
However, in recent times, this initiative has faced opposition from religious leaders who are concerned that introducing eggs could influence food culture negatively. The scheme also specifies that alternative options will be provided for students who are vegetarian or unable to consume eggs due to health issues.
Most Indian states do not include eggs in their mid-day meals. However, states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry, Bihar, Andaman and Nicobar Island, and Andhra Pradesh, to name a few, have chosen to incorporate eggs into their mid-day meal programmes. They made this decision because eggs provide essential nutrients that are often lacking in the diets of many children.
In contrast, some states, particularly parts of northern India, have decided not to include eggs in mid-day meals due to religious considerations and local cultural beliefs.
The inclusion of eggs in mid-day meals represents a positive change, addressing the serious issue of malnutrition in the country. Malnutrition in children is a major concern as it can lead to lethargy and loss of focus. By adding eggs, we may be taking a significant step toward a more health-conscious future.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *