10 myths about children's consumption of eggs

The egg is a food of high protein value, essential in the feeding of children because of its importance in growth. However, for decades a restrictive consumption of eggs because it is associated with a high cholesterol content and this increase was a cardiovascular risk.

Thanks to recent research on the egg, today we know that to control the cholesterol level and keep cardiovascular risk at bay, special attention should be paid to dietary intake of saturated fats, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

What does the egg contribute to the children's diet?

The egg contributes less saturated fat than other foods of animal and vegetable origin, and also, together, its fat can be valued as of good quality for health. In addition, it contains other components such as choline and antioxidant nutrients, which are beneficial because they are involved in the metabolism of fats.

The most recent epidemiological studies have not found an increased cardiovascular risk for increasing the egg consumption and the latest recommendations suggest that healthy adults can consume up to 6 eggs a week, with an average of one egg a day. This intake does not increase the risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease.

Studies conducted in children aged 8 to 12 indicate that the consumption of 2 eggs a day does not negatively modify the relationship between good and bad cholesterol. Therefore, in the healthy child population unnecessary egg restrictions should be avoided.

10 false myths about the consumption of eggs

1. Does the egg get fat?
The egg does not get fat and helps in weight control, because it provides few calories and a high number of nutrients. In addition, it has satiating effect, it makes the egg a very useful food in slimming diets.

In children, the high satiating power of the egg makes them feel full after the meal. Therefore, this food prevents overeating or excessive caloric intake, which helps prevent overweight and obesity.

2. Is it advisable to take eggs at breakfast?
Including eggs in children's breakfast is very beneficial because it helps them to take longer to feel hungry. Therefore, avoid taking other foods mid-morning or at lunch and promotes school performance. Eggs at breakfast are especially recommended in children who make an insufficient breakfast or suppress this meal.

3. Is egg consumption convenient in sick children?
Because it has a high nutritional value and is easy to digest, in the case of sick children helps maintain good nutrition throughout the disease.

4. Can you overcome egg allergy? 
When a case of egg allergy is detected, it is necessary to suppress its consumption. Published studies on the natural evolution of egg allergy indicate that after the egg has been removed from the child's diet, the disappearance of sensitization is observed in 24% of patients at 2 years, reaching 55% at 4 years old and at 70 percent at 8 years old.

5. Is the egg useful in the feeding of inappetent children?
The egg is a food well tolerated in general by most children, and palatable even in those with low appetite. In addition, it provides many nutrients, helps maintain and improve the nutritional status of children with a lack of appetite or who resist taking various foods.

6. How should the egg be cooked?
The cooked egg is digested better than the fried one, since it has no fat in its preparation. In general, any type of cooking or preparation, in addition to avoiding microbiological risks, increases its nutritional value, facilitating the digestion of proteins and the inactivation of antinutritive substances such as avidin, which blocks the use of biotin. Remember that the egg is a very versatile food, which can be part of many sweet and salty preparations.

7. Is the brown egg better than white?
The color of the egg is determined by the breed of the hen that has put it and has nothing to do with its quality, nutritional value or flavor.

8. Does the type of production influence the nutritional value of the egg?
The differences in the way of life and feeding of the hens suppose small changes in the nutritional value of the egg that are not significant (depending on the environment and feeding in each case), reason why it can not be considered that it is better or worse a type of egg with respect to another in terms of its nutritional composition. Conventional eggs are equally valuable in the diet of the child as are the campers or those from organic hens.

9. Does the egg affect the child's cardiovascular health?
The latest research has shown that the egg has been wrongly linked to increases in cholesterol, but its composition in fat and other nutrients, demystify this error.There is no danger of taking one or more eggs a day, although it is not advisable to consume too much to avoid moving from the diet to other products that are also necessary and almost always accepted by children, such as vegetables, legumes ...

10. Is it advisable to consume eggs when exercising?
Its high protein content helps muscle growth and slow muscle loss when intense exercise or hypocaloric diet.

Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: Institute of Egg Studies

Video: 10 Myths about Healthy Eating You Need to Know

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