Is there such a thing as eating too much eggs?
On Feb. 5, the Department of Agriculture (DA) urged the public to consume more eggs due to the oversupply in local production and because they are the "cheapest source of protein for Filipinos."
Head of the Philippine Egg Board Association (Peba) Gregorio San Diego said that small eggs are currently priced at P4 to P5 each due to surplus. Meanwhile, DA's latest price monitoring in the Metro Manila markets saw the cost of a medium-sized egg range from P6.80 to P8.50 per piece.
San Diego added that the Filipinos' consumption of eggs was low, resulting in the oversupply.
With government agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Nutrition Council, now encouraging Pinoys to put more eggs on their plates, is there such a thing as having too much of it?
How many eggs should an individual consume in a day?
In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Mikaella Jeleene S. Asoy, a registered dietitian nutritionist and the chairperson of non-profit organization Sulong Nutrisyon said that healthy individuals should eat at most two eggs per day and get all the other nutrients that the body needs from other food items.
"Remember that there is no single food that contains all the macro and micronutrients that our body needs so it is important to have different food items on our plate," she told L!fe, adding that "eggs are not really a requirement in our diet" but became a staple food in many people's diet because of its accessibility and price.
"They are actually one of the cheapest sources of protein (8g per 1 medium piece or 55g), which we can include in our diet, and they are also one of the good sources of fats (6g per 1 medium pc or 55g), particularly unsaturated fats or the healthy fats that we call when cooked properly."
Paulo Villanueva, an adult interventional cardiologist at De Los Santos Medical Center, also said that one can eat a maximum of two whole eggs per day. Those who have high cholesterol and those who have a history of heart disease in the family, however, should limit it to just one per day.
According to him, eggs per se are not bad for the heart, especially when someone consumes egg whites, which are composed more of protein. At the same time, most of the cholesterol is contained within the egg yolk.
"Patients who are more in need of protein can have three to four egg whites a day," Villanueva said to L!fe.
Aside from protein, Asoy said that vitamin A, vitamin B, and calcium are some vitamins and minerals an individual can get from eating eggs.
'What's more important is how people cook and eat their eggs'
Eggs can be cooked in many ways—fried, baked, scrambled, etc. But for Asoy, the best way to eat an egg is to have it poached or boiled, as this can help people who are controlling their fat or caloric intake.
"Poaching or boiling an egg only makes use of water with no additional calories from the fat/oil that we use from frying eggs," the nutritionist said, adding that eggs should be cooked at stable temperatures so as not to oxidize the high amount of cholesterol in the egg yolk, as this is not beneficial to those people who have medical conditions such as hypertension or heart disease.
This also rings true for Villanueva, "Deep frying the egg causes denaturation of the protein content of egg whites and making the cholesterol the egg yolk contains more unhealthy."
"If possible then, one wants to eat more eggs and want to avoid excess cholesterol in the diet, then maybe just eat the egg whites or at least limit the amount of egg yolk in the diet," he added.
As Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray once said, "Everything is good but in moderation," the food we intake should also be observed the same.
"Eggs or any food item can still be eaten fried as long as it is in moderation, paired with various food to get different vitamins and minerals, and in the right proportions," Asoy said,
"At the end of the day, what matters is having a diet that follows the principles of moderation, variety, and balance."