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The Incredible Egg in Pakistan

Wednesday, December 30, 20150 comments

The Incredible Egg

1. Dr. Mohammad Tufail Banday
Associate Professor, Skuast (K)
2. Dr. Sheikh Adil Hamid
M.v.sc. Scholarh

 

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Human beings require a well balanced diet containing proper amount of proximate principles which include proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water to enable them to live and thrive. Nutritionists know that all foods contain at least one of these six nutrient groups. Eggs have been regarded as one of nature’s perfect foods.

The table egg is the most nutritious, yet relatively cheaper natural food having one of the highest digestibility coefficients.
Eggs contain all six of these nutrient groups. Eggs are one of the best protected foods available to man in a form originally packed by nature. They cannot be adulterated because of their outer covering or the shell.
Their judicious use in the diets can effectively combat nutritional imbalances against the vulnerable groups particularly nursing mothers, infants, children and convalescent persons.
Both eggs and milk are considered to be the two best protective foods because they are concentrated sources of nutrients viz proteins, energy, vitamins and minerals. When the dietary value of egg is compared with that of milk, we find egg is richer in proteins, fats, vitamin A, B12 , riboflavin and folic acid than milk on per unit basis. Similarly eggs are rich sources of iron which is deficient in milk and other foods except leafy vegetables .Again egg is rich source of vitamin D as compared to milk which is important for bone development for children. Eggs are given in persons suffering from conditions such as Kwashiorkor, anemia, typhoid, tuberculosis; post operative stages, pregnancy etc.

Eggs contain all the dietary essential amino acids needed by the human being which are needed for the maintenance, growth, repair and production of antibodies that protect us from the diseases .The protein of egg is of such a high quality that the nutritionists use it as a standard for measuring the quality of other food proteins. Thus egg protein is the best available in nature for human consumption with well balanced amino acid profile, having the highest biological value, protein efficiency ratio, net protein utilization, net protein value and chemical score (Table.1)
Table.1 Protein quality of egg protein in comparison with other foodstuffs.

Food stuff
Biological value
Protein efficiency ratio
Net Protein utilization
Chemical score
Egg
96
4.5
91
100
Cow’s milk
84
3.0
75
65
Meat
80
2.8
76
70
Fish
85
3.0
72
60
Liver
77
2.9
65
66
Pulses
56
1.6
45
44

About 60% of the fat in an egg is in the form of unsaturated fatty acids. These unsaturated fatty acids are often considered better for our health than the saturated fatty acids. Eggs contain very little carbohydrates and no fiber.

One egg contains approximately 85 calories, which is only 3-4% of the total calorie needs of an adult human being. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are found in eggs along with the B-complex vitamins. Egg contains no vitamin C. Eggs are also an excellent source of iron, phosphorus, selenium and other minerals. Its nutritional value, chemical composition and % contribution towards daily nutrient requirements are presented in Table 2

Table2.  Nutrient composition of 100g of egg content and the percentage of daily recommended nutrients contributed by two eggs.

Nutrient
Content in 100g of egg contents
Requirements/day/man
%contribution by two eggs
Protein (g)
 13.3
         67
   22.2
Lipids(g)
 11.4
         50
   76.0
Ash(g)
  0.8
          0.2
     1.6
Linoleic acid (g)
  1.8
         12.5                              
    14.4
Cholesterol(mg)
  400
1500-2000
     852
Energy(Kcal)
   162
         2700
     5400
Total saturated fatty acids(g)
3.34
        14.97
     6.68 
Total un- saturated fatty acids(g)
6.4
         20.45
     13.04
Calcium(g)
   50
         0.8
       1.6
Phosphorus(g)
  178
         0.9
       1.8
Iron(mg)
   1.44
         12
        24
Vitamin A (I.U)
   634
         5000
     1268
Vitamin D (I.U)
    49
         400
       98
Vitamin B1(mg)
   0.062
          1.5
   0.124
Vitamin B2(mg)
   0.508
          2.0
     1.016
Vitamin C(mg)
   ----
          75
    ------
Despite having nutritional supremacy, abundant availability and within the reach of common man, the per capita consumption of eggs in many countries, including India, is far below the minimum recommended level is half an egg per head per day.

However, the egg has been under intense attack by anti-cholesterol advocates. The egg has been blamed and defamed as one of the major culprits in causing heart problems.
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