How healthy is the egg? So far, science has classified the real Easter egg as a pure cholesterol bomb. And the media quickly stamped the protein package “harmful to health”. Apart from the fact that chicken eggs are a valuable source of folic acid. A comparison with their sweet relatives makes it safe: While a chocolate nougat egg weighing 20 grams has 115 calories. Chickens egg weighing around 60 grams has just 87 kilocalories.
The previously bad image of eggs came from the comparatively high cholesterol content. With an average cholesterol content of 250 milligrams per egg. The cholesterol almost covers the entire daily requirement of an adult. And an increased level of cholesterol (in particular the so-called LDL cholesterol) is directly related to cardiovascular diseases. Especially coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol is an essential fat building block (lipid) for humans and animals. In humans, cholesterol is largely produced (synthesized) in the body and only a small part (around 10%) is taken in with food.
It is important, for example, to build cells, to protect against infections and to produce sex hormones. It is also involved in the formation of vitamin D, which in turn promotes the absorption of calcium in the small intestine.
If too much cholesterol is ingested through food, the excess is deposited in the blood vessels: the arteries calcify, become inelastic and constricted. It becomes dangerous when more than 50 percent of a blood vessel is narrowed by deposits. One then speaks of arteriosclerosis , also popularly referred to as “hardening of the arteries”.
During exertion, these vessels can no longer expand.The blood can flow increasingly poorly through the narrowed vessels.The blood pressure rises, vital organs are no longer supplied with sufficient blood. The result is a lack of oxygen. And it is not uncommon for a heart attack or stroke to occur due to the insufficient blood supply to the vessels .
Food alone does not determine the level of cholesterol. This is also influenced by age, physical activity, nicotine, medication and sometimes heredity.
Eggs are better than their reputation
One chicken egg (60 g) contains an average of 355 kJ (85 kcal). The edible portion is made up of around 74% water, 13% protein, 11% fat and 0.7% carbohydrates. Apart from the folic acid already mentioned , they contain plenty of vitamins A, E, K and biotin as well as iron and zinc. By the way, vitamins and minerals are mainly contained in the egg yolk and are largely retained during cooking.
The nutritional value is characterized by the favorable ratio of essential to non-essential amino acids (protein utilization 97%). The combination of potatoes with egg in a ratio of 2: 1 results in the most biologically valuable protein; From 100 g of this mixture, 136 g of endogenous protein can be built up.
Long-term studies have shown that the hen’s egg’s cholesterol does not lead to an increase in the cholesterol level since the cholesterol it contains actually reduces the body’s own cholesterol production. The lecithin present in the chicken egg prevents the complete absorption of the cholesterol from the chicken egg.
In a nutshell, although the chicken egg contains a lot of cholesterol, it does not raise the cholesterol level because it prevents absorption. Another interesting aspect of the studies: if cholesterol is taken in with food, the body’s own production decreases.
From a nutritional point of view, consuming 2 to 4 eggs per week (including processed egg) is considered optimal.
With high cholesterol levels
People with high cholesterol should give preference to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids overall. Replacing bad fats with good fats is the most effective way of effectively lowering cholesterol. Instead of ready-made meals, confectionery and high-fat sausages or high-fat cheeses, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds should be on the table.
It is therefore more beneficial for people with high cholesterol levels to use chicken eggs. (have a favorable fatty acid profile) if they are not consumed in addition but in exchange. Trans fatty acids are also harmful, which is why you should make sure that the list of ingredients for margarine is free of hydrogenated fats. Physical exercise and giving up smoking also help to reduce high cholesterol levels.
In the case of small children up to the age of 1. Extreme caution is advised due to the risk of allergic reactions to egg white. Eggs should always be eaten well-cooked to avoid salmonella infection.
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