While duck, chicken and quail eggs are available in the market, this article dwells on chicken eggs that had been distributed or hunted on Easter Sunday. Chicken eggs may be available, accessible and at an average price of P10 per piece depending on your location, it is somehow economical. For years, daily consumption of egg had been advocated due to its richness in nutrients and other health claims but at the same time, a point of debate among some health professionals.
Egg is rich in protein, the building blocks of life being a main function. One serving which is a medium piece of about 55g, provides 8 grams protein which is 11% of the recommendation for an adult male. This is the same amount provided by one serving or a matchbox-size of red meat, a regular piece or slice of fish or chicken. Just like meat, fish, chicken meat, egg is considered a complete protein because it provides all nine essential amino acids and one of high biological value (HBV) as much is retained in the body for growth and maintenance. It is also highly digestible. In cases when the protein in the diet needs to be limited as in kidney failure, it is strongly advised that the protein source be one that is complete and of high HBV.
Protein also contains fat, a serving containing 6 grams of fat. Combined with protein content, whole eggs can provide 86 calories, again same with one serving of medium-fat meat such as 35-gram pork or chicken leg, chicken thigh, wing, bangus or karpa. In addition, eggs provide vitamins A, B, folate and D as well as minerals like iron, selenium, iodine and phosphorus. The egg yolk is rich in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which is good for the eyes. It is also a source of choline which supports cell integrity and function, brain and spinal cord and cognitive development. Its richness in nutrients that support the health of many body parts. There are claims of its ability to increase good cholesterol levels even lowering the bad cholesterol levels and unlikely increase in blood lipids. This points to good heart health but the main point of debates between those supporting daily intake of egg and those who don’t.
One can read – “eggs may support eye health, weight management,” “seem to bring down triglycerides,” “unlikely to have a substantial increase in blood lipid.” These point to uncertainties in possible potential as well as to the need for further studies to be conclusive. While many reliable sources enumerate all benefits derived from egg, few mention of cholesterol. The yolk of one piece (55g) chicken egg provides 607 mg cholesterol, much higher than the recommended intake of less than 200 mg cholesterol daily. Note that all other foods of animal origin contain cholesterol but eggs is next highest to the animal brain in cholesterol content. Cholesterol remains implicated in heart health. Yes, the body makes its own cholesterol but limiting dietary intake can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
So, even with all the advantages, let eggs be part of a healthy diet. Guided by the dietary principles of moderation and variety, let eggs be consumed in moderation at 2-3 pcs a week. One piece of medium-size chicken egg can be substituted with the same size duck egg or 7 pieces quail eggs.