Eggs are a food with a great nutritional value, whose contents in protein, vitamins and mineral, saturated and non-saturated acid fats, together with other substances have made The Nutrition and Health Organizations consider eggs as a recommendable food in a varied and balanced diet.
Eggs have high contents in proteins, with excellent nutritional qualities and they are easy to digest. In the lipids (9,7%) its richness in phospholipids is of special importance. Eggs can be considered the main source of phospholipids in our diet and moreover, they contribute in satisfying our needs for linoleic acid, which is essential and cannot be synthesized by our body.
Eggs contain considerable quantities of vitamins and mineral, amongst which A, D, E and group B stand out. Amongst the minerals iron, zinc, iodine and selenium stand out. Eggs can satisfy between 10-15% of a person's daily needs of vitamin A, D, E, B2 and B12, 10% of phosphorus and zinc, and over 25% of iodine.
The calorie input of an egg is not very high, which is important in avoiding obesity.
In the right column is a table where the nutritional contents of an egg per 100 gr fraction of food is quantified. This data has been taken from the "Guide to the labelling of eggs" Institute for the study of eggs, Environmental rural, sea and Improvo Ministry Nov. 2008.
The high nutritional value of eggs, together with the fact that they are appetizing and easy to digest, makes them recommendable in the diet for children, teenagers, the elderly, the ill, lactancy, etc and for everybody in general.
During their growth, both in children and teenagers, eggs are recommendable for their correct nutrition as they make very important contributions of the most diverse nutrients that the body needs. Their lack can lead to a deficient diet in essential nutrients, affecting both the growth and the health of children and teenagers.
Children are recommended to consume from two or three daily servings of a proteinic food (meat, fish and eggs), which would make the consumption of three to four eggs a week advisable. A corpulent person and/or physically active person should consume up to 7 eggs a week. For a healthy population, the direct consumption should be of 4 to 5 eggs a week (fried eggs, hard boiled egg, …) or indirect (sauces, desserts…) which can contribute to making a more varied diet, as eggs are an excellent nutritional alternative to meat and fish.
Eggs are a very valuable food for the elderly as they are easy to chew and digest, and also for their high nutritional value, as they can improve their nutritional condition and health. Furthermore they provide lecithin which contributes to raising the levels of choline in blood, favouring the mental function of the elderly.
A lot has been said about the relation between eggs and levels of cholesterol. A person's level of cholesterol is a consequence of the entire diet and not only the intake of one food in particular. The restrictive measures in a diet due to the prejudice surrounding cholesterol and eggs can lead to a lack of other nutrients.
In measuring cholesterol, not only do the contents of cholesterol in food have an influence, but also other factors such as the contribution of vitamins and minerals, as well as their contents in saturated and non-saturated fats and the proportion between both. In the case of eggs, this relation is favourable in its influence on the level of blood lipids and despite the contents in cholesterol in the eggs, the proportion between saturated and non-saturated fad acid (in favour of the latter) favours the absorption of cholesterol which penetrates the cells and does not stay in the blood, thus avoiding a rise in the levels of cholesterol in blood.