Ask those around you and everyone will have an opinion on the health benefits of eggs. The number of eggs you can eat per week is also a concern for many people. The topic that comes up the most: the link between eggs and cholesterol. But is there really a connection?
The health benefits of eggs an overview
Eggs are definitely part of a balanced and varied diet. The egg contains important vitamins (A, D, B2, B12) as well as minerals (iron, zinc, selenium), and this is for barely 90 kcal. On top of that, eggs provide quality protein that helps keep muscles in shape. Is it possible to eat healthy with eggs? The answer is yes.
The egg fits perfectly into a healthy and varied diet. Eggs offer an interesting combination of essential nutrients.
Hard, fried, scrambled, or poached: the egg is delicious and nutritious. In addition, the egg is quick and easy to prepare and can be stored for a relatively long time. It is therefore convenient to always have them at home.
Is there cholesterol in eggs?
Yes. Do you absolutely need to lower your cholesterol levels? The one in the eggs is certainly not the only big culprit. Our body produces cholesterol on its own. It is an essential building block for somatic cells and hormones. 75% of the cholesterol present in our body is produced by our body (especially in the liver), while only 25% is absorbed by our food.
Foods that can raise our cholesterol levels are especially those that are high in saturated fat or trans fatty acids. For these reasons, therefore limit your consumption of fatty meats, fatty meats, and fatty cheeses (prefer lean cheeses). Also limit your intake of butter, cream, hard margarine, coconut fat, palm oil, and cocoa butter, as well as ready-made meals, fast food products, all kinds of rich snacks. in fats and sweets.
Too much cholesterol can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. The other risk factors are smoking, too much blood pressure, lack of exercise, being overweight, and type 2 diabetes.
How many eggs can you eat per week?
It is better not to eat more than 6 eggs per week. The most recent studies do not show a significant link between the consumption of 1 egg per day and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people. However, nothing is certain yet for people with diabetes or with a familial predisposition to high cholesterol. If in doubt, consult your doctor or dietitian.
How can I lower my cholesterol level?
In general, it is not necessary to eliminate all eggs from your diet. To limit your risk of cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, it is best to eat a balanced and varied diet.
In order to get the health benefits of eggs, you need to mix your dish. In fact, The preferred ingredients are fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, skim or semi-skimmed dairy products, fish, legumes, nuts, and oil. From time to time replacing a piece of meat or fish with an egg is perfectly acceptable as part of a healthy diet. It is your overall lifestyle that has an impact on your health. The preparation method does play a role, however: pairing eggs with lots of vegs and wholemeal bread is a healthier choice than a fried egg with bacon, sausage, lots of salt, and served on buttered toast.
White or brown eggs?
The choice is yours, both there are health benefits of eggs, you need to mix your dish. The color of the shell and the environment of the hens have little or no influence on the nutritional value of the egg. The color is determined by the breed of the hen. The composition of the eggs can vary only slightly depending on the food given to the hens.
Quality A: Eggs packaged in boxes of 4, 6, or 12 are always class A eggs or “fresh eggs” of impeccable quality. This quality category is the only one sold directly to the consumer. To be admitted to class A, an egg must meet several quality criteria:
- It must have a good appearance: a clean hull in good condition. Currently, hull cleaning is still permitted in European legislation. But Belgian companies do not wash the eggs as this removes the natural protective layer of the egg and significantly reduces the shelf life.
- Egg white and yolk must be of impeccable quality.
- Freshness must be guaranteed. The size of the air chamber is used as a criterion. As soon as the egg is laid, once the egg has cooled, the egg white contracts, and an air chamber is formed. The size of this air chamber increases as the egg ages, due to the evaporation of water through the porous shell. The height of the air chamber of the Class A egg can never exceed 6mm. Quality The plus: eggs marked EXTRA (affixed on a red-orange band) have an air chamber less than 4 mm. Usually, this applies for 9 days after laying. After this time, this tape must be removed.
- If the packaging indicates “extra” or “extra fresh”, it must be eggs that were laid no more than 9 days before and which were packed no earlier than 7 days. Once these periods have elapsed, the merchant must withdraw these mentions.
Quality B: Class B eggs or “second-grade eggs” are processed in the food industry. Eggs are broken into three products: only the yolks, only the whites, or both together. These pasteurized products in liquid or dried form are then used by bakers, butchers, collective kitchens, biscuit makers, for the preparation of mayonnaise, pasta, or animal feed. Eggs that are no longer intended for food are used in particular in the manufacture of shampoos.
Egg size: Most countries use the same weight categories. They are four:
XL (extra large eggs -> 73 g)
L (large eggs – 63 g – 73 g)
M (medium eggs – 53 g – 63 g)
S (small eggs 43 – 53 g)
The majority of eggs weigh around 63g and are graded M or L. Older hens lay fewer eggs, but these are generally larger. The size of the yolk is usually slightly larger in a larger egg (but the difference is negligible in practice).
Types of eggs
Chicken eggs raised ‘on the ground’: These eggs come from hens raised on the ground, in a building in which each animal has at least one nest for seven hens, perches, and an area per hen of at least 250 cm² covered with litter. The occupancy cannot exceed nine hens per m².
Free-range eggs: The eggs come from laying hens kept in a building comparable to that of hens kept on the ground. However, the hens also have access to the open air for 8 hours a day. This course must be largely covered with vegetation (eg grass) and cover an area of at least 4 m² per hen.
Organic eggs: An egg is organic if the hen that laid it is organically raised. The feeding of the laying hen must contain organic fodder, fresh or dried fodder plants, or organic silo fodder. At least 20% of the food must come from the farm or other organic farms located in the same region. Each building can contain a maximum of 3000 animals and a maximum of 6 hens per m². In these buildings, each animal must have at least one nest for six hens, perches and at least 1/3 of the surface of the building must be covered with litter. The outdoor course must cover at least 4 m² per laying hen.
Enriched caged eggs: These eggs are produced by laying hens reared in enriched cages. In this rearing system, the hens have an area of at least 750 cm² per hen. These cages are equipped with perches, nests, and a scratching area.
Most of the eggs sold today are chopped chicken eggs. In the second position are the eggs of hens raised in the open air.