Saturday , July 31 2021

Egg – nutritional value and role in health

Egg is a complete product with low calories and sufficient protein. If you’ve avoided eating eggs as blood cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary heart disease may increase, then it’s time to break the idea. Recent research shows that adults without health problems can eat eggs daily and are not afraid of the risk of heart disease. And don’t forget that eggs are part of healthy eating habits!

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

He also states that the dietary recommendations developed by the Ministry of Health in Latvia are valuable, and it is not recommended to limit egg consumption in the diet. Additionally, recent research shows 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 is no significant risk associated with eating eggs (as long as they don’t overeat!) Other than Salmonella. Salmonella enteritidis is a common bacterium. It cannot be detected in the eye because it is contained in a completely normal looking egg. If infected eggs are eaten raw or not cooked enough, unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and vomiting can occur within 12 to 72 hours. Most recover without treatment, but babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are even at risk of serious illness.

The largest egg producers are subject to stringent production controls for salmonella. In addition, these bacteria are reported if found and eggs are removed from production and distribution – we have experienced this in Latvia as well. For this reason, guidelines have been developed for manufacturers to ensure that what they offer is a quality product that is safe for consumers.

Do you know which eggs you bought?

Often heard – “organic”, “freely grown”, “cageless”. What do these terms really mean?

Uncaged egg
They are eggs obtained from caged and caged-free birds. Generally, chickens live in an open barn where they can move freely and spread their wings. Chickens have litter materials such as pine shavings on the ground and are allowed to move freely and use perches and nest boxes to lay eggs. However, uncaged chickens can still be close to each other, increasing the chances of infection occurring.

Free-run chicken egg
Eggs are laid by chickens that have access to open air. They have free opportunities to be inside or outside the barn. Smaller farms may allow birds to walk outside of covered sheds and barns.

Organic eggs
Organic eggs do not show the housing conditions of chickens, but most of the time, such eggs are obtained from birds that are not kept in cages. These chickens eat organic / organic food and do not receive vaccinations or antibiotics.

In order to qualify for an organic certificate, the grains used in the chicken diet must have been grown in an area free of toxic and permanent chemical pesticides and fertilizers for at least three years.

Genetically modified crops are not allowed and chickens should not have hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.

Eggs for vegetarians
There are no “vegetarian” eggs in Latvia, but it is important to know that they only lay hens on a vegetarian diet without meat or fish by-products. Chickens are kept in cages or enclosed spaces and therefore do not collect insects or larvae.

Pasteurized eggs
Pasteurized eggs are heated to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for three and a half minutes. Pasteurization completely destroys bacteria without boiling the egg. This process can also be done on packaged egg whites used in cooking.

Pasteurized eggs are 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-floating and cage-free – these terms have nothing to do with pollution. They do not guarantee that the eggs will never contain salmonella. However, it ensures that the egg will come from a chicken that has lived in better conditions, and it complies with the principles of humanism and animal welfare.

To protect yourself, it is recommended that you:

– check to make sure the eggs are not cracked before purchasing; this may indicate that these bacteria have been transported;
– chill the eggs to 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) or below; if bacteria are present, it will prevent them from multiplying;
– prepare the eggs well so that the whites and yolks are intact – this will kill the salmonella;
– wash your hands, containers and surfaces thoroughly with soap and warm water when handling and cooking eggs, remember to do the same after cooking the eggs;
– if eggs are collected from a backyard flock, wash it with soap and hot water before it cools down;
– Use pasteurized eggs for recipes that require raw eggs, such as with a variety of salad dressings;
– young children, the elderly and anyone with a weakened immune system should eat pasteurized or cooked eggs;
– When purchasing fresh eggs from the market or from a local farmer, ask if they have been washed within 36 hours of receipt; this reduces the risk of salmonella.

Eggs contain essential substances for the proper functioning of the body. But before eating them, make sure they are fresh and not damaged – this will help prevent disease.

Egg nutritional value:

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

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