A Kwara-based nutritionist, Mrs Margaret Makinde, on Thursday described eggs as a crucial source of protein, urging caregivers to strive to include it in their diets.
Makinde, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, however, cautioned Nigerians against adding eggs to each of their meals.
She said that eggs contained all essential amino acids the body required, and in the right amount.
The nutritionist described eggs as a natural source of key nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E and B12, antioxidants and choline.
According to Makinde, one large egg offers about six grammes of protein for just about 70 calories.
“Eggs remain the most easily absorbed food items that help to keep the body satiated.
“They are especially satisfying and help to keep the body fuller than refined grains like white bagels, white bread, waffles and pancakes.
“Eggs help you sustain focus and energy and also manage your weight better.
“Eggs offer 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including bone-health-helping vitamin D; they also contain eye-helping lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as the nutrient choline.
“They are also involved in memory and brain development in growing fetuses; choline plays a role in moderating the inflammatory process, which is thought to be at the root of many diseases.
“Whole egg is one of the top sources of this nutrient,” she said.
The nutritionist noted that the quantity of eggs Nigerians could consume in a day would depend on their health status.
According to her, healthy people can safely eat six whole eggs each week.
“Your weekly egg allowance dips slightly if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease or risk of heart disease.
“If you do, you should stick with about three whole eggs per week.
“The healthfulness of your diet involves looking at your overall eating pattern, and that includes what you are eating your eggs with, as well as what you are not eating when choosing eggs,” she said.
Makinde said that there was a big difference between serving eggs with processed meats when compared with having scrambled eggs with veggie hash and whole-grain toast mashed with avocado.
According to her, it is necessary that people, who have high cholesterol or are at risk for heart disease, need to monitor their egg intake, to know how much-saturated fat and dietary cholesterol they were getting.
“Eggs do have saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, but dietary cholesterol has not been shown to raise blood cholesterol as much; if at all, as we thought in the past,” she said.
The nutritionist noted that it was the saturated fat in the egg yolk that people worry about the most.
“But, as long as saturated fat intake is monitored from other places like butter, high-fat dairy and fatty meats, it is less harmful.,” he said.