The Humpty in your plate


Dr. Asantha De Alwis

MBBS (Sri Lanka) MSc. Human Nutrition (Colombo)


Lets explore the wonderful nutritious facts about eggs


How the Eggs became part of our diet

Eggs of various birds have been a part of human diet since the hunting period of human evolution. Throughout the history, the fowl egg has been the predominant egg consumed by humans, which later was domesticated as farm hens. At present, Duck, Quail, Goose & several wild bird eggs are also consumed, but the fowl eggs contribute over 98%. Our ancestors identified the vast nutrition qualities of it, and also gradually learnt how it can be prepared in different methods to please our appetite.


What is an Egg ?

Egg is the product of bird ova. A hen produce an Egg between 24-26 hours independent of whether it mated with a Rooster (cock) or not. Therefore, Eggs of farm hens who are bred without association of roosters are infertile and doesn’t carry any life. A good layer produces about 250 Eggs per year. Hens bred together with roosters may produce fertile Eggs, which can be hatched or incubated to produce chicks.


Nutrition of an Egg

It contains mainly of the ‘white’ & ‘yolk’. An average hen egg weighs about 50-55g. It is a great protein source with almost zero carbohydrates. Its Protein is also highly bio-available and provides all essential amino acids at required proportions for humans.


Cooked Eggs are better than Raw Eggs !

During the process of heating, minor changes of protein structure and destruction of avidin (which inhibits protein digestion) occurs, allowing more than 90% of the protein in an Egg available to the body. A raw Egg allows only about 50% of protein available to body. Heating process also destroys any possible Salmonella (bacteria) contamination of Egg. The only minor disadvantages in cooking is, that heating process may reduce about 20 % of its carotenes and anti-oxidants, which anyway are hardly the nutrients concerned when consuming Eggs. So basically, Sportsmen, children and the sick are no longer recommended to drink ‘Egg whites’, but rather advised to eat ‘Egg whites’. However, patients who need to be fed through a tube, may find raw Eggs easier to make liquid preparations, as heating makes the contents of Egg harder.


Chase the cholesterol scare, once and forever!

A healthy adult maintains a cholesterol equilibrium with 300 mg of dietary cholesterol and the rest by liver synthesis to meet a daily requirement of about 1000 mg. the Dietary component acts as an inhibitor to liver synthesis. Research evidence confirms, that lesser dietary cholesterol intake may result in liver synthesis beyond daily requirement. So, eating an Egg will help you to control your blood cholesterol levels.


So what are the other cholesterol sources in a usual Sri Lankan diet ?

Many people, even doctors forget that only Animal sources contain cholesterol. According to a survey in 2013, majority of Sri Lankans do not consume the ‘minimal requirement of proteins’ per day, rest aside the consumption of animal products. Do a simple calculation to see how many days you can achieve target of consuming 300 mg of cholesterol.


Egg Recipes: such a diversity: you can eat everyday

In simplest preparations, you can consume Hard boiled or tempered as ‘scrambled eggs’ or ‘bulls-eye’. Eggs are also commonly consumed as ‘cake’, ‘pudding’, ‘watalappan’ … etc like popular deserts. But there are many more recipes you should try to make sure you eat an egg each day without losing the pleasure of eating it.




There are many more recipes you should try

Cholesterol sources in a usual Sri Lankan diet




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