LAST two Saturdays was WORLD EGG DAY. News of it reminded me of my egg-eating hey days and those of my best man, Mr Dotun Akintoye. I ate no fever than three eggs at a sitting, If l had a meal such as rice or boiled yam, which went with egg. One was boiled. Another was fried in palm oil, the last in another vegetable oil for varieties. Years before then as a young man just preparing to enroll in the university, i wish to look and act like a he man before the order gender. I was thin and wanted to add weight.
Back in Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo (1964-1968), I was so thin my class-mates nick named me PAPER WEIGHT. Along with a food supplement of those days named WATE-ON, one of my weight upgrading recipes was one quarter glass of EGGOVIN, an egg and alcohol drink, one or two raw eggs and one tin of milk. My poop smelled awfully, Gas troubled me. I guess that was the making of Hydrogen sulfate, which comes off rotten egg. My abdomen bloomed. My face filled up with fat. My liver must have been having a hell of a job combating the fat overload. I did not realise I was killing myself. My best man Mr Dotun Akintoye had a different idea about how to eat egg. It had to be fried, alright. Standing by in the kitchen,he would signal a reminder to the cook of how thick he wanted it by placing his right palm over the left. Like me, he, too, is a wiser man now. If my memory serves me right, egg is now forbidden in his diet, as it is in mine.
So, like people like me, I am unlikely to be in the good books of the Nigeria poultry Association which has asked Federal government to add one egg a day to the lunch of primary school children. If high school boarding houses, hospitals and the households accept the nutritional arguments of the association, as many as 200 million Nigerians may be caught in the egg net. This would translate to a conservative count of 200 million eggs a day which, at N50 for an average egg would amount to N 1,000,000,000 or N1 billion every day. This is a huge Vault South Africa is already tapping into with egg and chicken and turkey export to Nigeria. So, the Nigerian poultry Association is well justified to thank the government for closing the borders to protect Nigeria’s egg providers.
I feel offended, if not insulted, when the Association tells us all the health benefits we can derive from eating one egg a day but fails to address the other side of the coin. Its arguments about the nutritional benefits are unassailable, in my view, only if we do not know about their flip sides. First, has anything intervened in our understanding of health and the egg since the 1960s to warrant a major shift in the advice of doctors world wide that we eat an egg every other day or about three eggs a week? Would we not overload on egg if we eat one egg a day in a new world where there is egg in bread, cake, chin chin, beverages, pan cake, egg rolls etc? This is not to mention sandwiches and some protein shakes.
Before I address the possible detrimental effects of egg on health, i would like to play, first, the Devil’s Advocate for the cause of the Nigerian poultry Association. My arguments here are based on research studies which some cynics take with a a pinch of salt because of their tendency to have been sponsored by an industry. Afterall, the fluoride industry sponsored acceptance of chlorination and flouridation of water, and the addition of flouride to toothpaste, where as it is well known that flouride is dangerous to health.
The egg is a good source of protein for building our bodies and repairing damaged in them. An egg is so filling that it reduces cravings for foods, thereby helping to balance blood sugar and weight. Providing all essential amino acids, building blocks of proteins, the yolk offers as well antioxidants which may prevent eye cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration ( ARMD), a perforation of or blindness in central vision. It has been reported, as well, to protect against heart disease and strokes. Selenium is present in the ware house of the yolk. This cousin of Vitamin E fights cellular damage caused by free radicals. Selenium will also help out in thyroid problems and immune system defficiencies, such as in HIV. Add to it Riboflavin, a B-Vitamin complex family member, indespensable for nerve health and conversion of cerbohydrate to energy. What about Vitamin D, without which bones and teeth would be free of troubles?
Egg pusher always cite the findings of some research studies. One of these was a 2016 publication in the American Journal of clinical Nutrition. It found that people who ate one egg a day were unlikely to have heart problems. It was a follow up of sorts to a 203 study published in the British medical Journal. The study followed 115,000 adults over 14 years. They ate one egg every day. The researchers found them free of increased risk of coronary artery diseases and stroke. Then, they appeared in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2013 the report of a study in which “30 healthy men were randomly assigned to eat one of three breakfast… eggs on toast, cornflakes with milk and toast or a croissant and orange juice…on two separate occasions, each separated by one week. Subjects felt more full and less hungry and had less desire to eat after the egg breakfast than the other breakfasts. They also ate less in lunch and dinner after having the egg breakfast as opposed to the other breakfasts.
” Breakfast just got easier: four brilliant egg hacks that would speed up your morning”. Another study, was published in 2011 in the international Journal of food science Nutrition. Adults were given three lunches. One was omelet. Another was a skinless potato. Yet another was a chicken sandwich. They were of similar calories. The egg lunch was found to be more satisfying than the potato lunch. Their conclusion was that an egg meal was superior to a carbohydrate meal in respect of satiety provided.
The Order Side
There are more of these arguments which fail to talk about the order side of the coin. I will not deceive you, I still eat egg, but not poultry egg. My egg is the seasonal guinea fowl egg, from free ranging birds not embalmed with antibiotic residues. These birds are not given estrogen in their feed to force them to lay egg almost every day or fed with dyes to make their egg yolks deep yellow.
I found in my battle with my tongue over egg that I could obtain far more protein from plants such as KALE and SPIRULINA than I could ever from beef or egg and without the side effects of egg in the diet. We known there is a link between saturated fat and total cholesterol and even the bad fraction in total cholesterol called Low Density Lipoprotein ( LDL). We know also that too much saturated fat may raise the total cholesterol and LDL counts. This may cause blood vessel and heart diseases. The cholesterol count of one Large egg is about 180mg against a suggested 300mg for total cholesterol.
In the united States, diabetes challenged persons, heart patients and people with high LDL counts are constantly advised by the American Heart Association and National cholesterol Education Management ( NCEP) to keep daily cholesterol intake to no more than 200mg. Thus, if a single egg taken every day provides 180mg of cholesterol where the daily intake is set at 200mg, what guarantees has any -one that another 180mg of cholesterol would not infiltrate the diet from sources such as beef , fish, palm oil, bread, milk, beverages e.t.c? It was not surprising, therefore, that a 2012 study would raised this alarm as well. It investigated 1,231 adults for Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and carotid artery blockage and, from self – admissions, found plaque buildup occurred steadily from Age 40 and that those who ate the most egg yolk (three or five a week), presented scenarios almost as bad as those of cigarette smokers. Yet another study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that boiled eggs eaten daily increased the possibility of a rise in the level of Triamethlamime N oxide (NAO). This chemical is linked to higher risks of heart attack and stroke.
There are more reasons i do not eat poultry egg and poultry meat. The birds are caged and unhealthy. Their eggs cannot be difference from them. They are doused with antibiotics to keep them alive. These get into the flesh and into the egg. To make them lay egg almost every day, compounds to stimulate their ovaries are pumped into their feed. These get into the flesh and egg. Many women who have excess estrogen and suffer from estrogen driven diseases such as breast cancer and uterine fibroids do not know they should give up poultry egg and cow’s milk, which suffers the same fate. The same goes for men who may be shocked to find out their blood levels of estrogen, a female hormone , may be higher than those of their Wifes. Excess estrogen in men may cause fertility questions.
And when it come to the yellow yolk, the yellow may come from two sources. One is from the birds which range freely and eat beta carotene rich plants such as grass, other leaves and algae such as Spirulina, one of the richest plant sources of beta carotene. Another source of egg yolk is a yellow dye which some poultry farmers add to the feed. Some dyes cause cancer. The yolk may be yellow alright, but it may very well have been coloured by a dye. It is of no avail to throw the yolk away and eat the white of the egg which some parents gives their babies. The white contains avidin which destroys vitamin B complex in the absent of the yolk. This may cause nerve, digestive and energy problems.
When i see young people in canteens load as many as two eggs in a plate of food if beef, fish or cow skin is unavailable, i wonder if they have heard about LECITHIN. It is supplied by Nature in good measure in the egg yolk and in soya bean. Its job is to make cholesterol dissolve for the nutritional need of the baby chicken that will evolve from the egg contents. When egg is boiled or fried, Lecithin is destroyed and cholesterol thickens and hardens. Frying is worse because the damaged to the frying ( trans) oil adds its own quota of cholesterol hazards. With little or no Lecithin in the blood stream to emulsify or dissolve cholesterol, this greasy substance begins to deposit in arteries and blocks normal blood flow. Cell do not get nutrients in good time, and evacuation of their poisonous wastes is delayed. Irritations by their environment sets in, and irritation is followed by inflammation. The stage is being set for cancer in weak tissues! So, when I eat guinea fowl egg, I make sure I take blood thinners along with them. These may include Garlic, onion, beta carotene from greens such as liquid chlorophyll,Spirulina, wheatgrass, Chlorella e.t.c, Lecithin, Wheat germ oil (Vitamin B- complex, Vitamin E, Octasonol e.t.c), Shark Liver oil, Buckthorn berry oil ( Vitamin E, Carotenoid) for immunity boosts and protection of the liver against chemicals induced damage, such as dye from egg yolk and antibiotic residues in poultry foods. For anyone who knows how to , and has the resources to remove from his or her diet, cholesterol deposits, dyes, antibiotic residues, and other toxins, the regular poultry egg may not be a bad idea. I’d rather not stuff my bedroom with dung hill wastes only to evacuate them, had up again and evacuate them again in vicious cycles.