Even if you’re not a fan of ultra-protein diets and intense training at the gym, chances are you were swayed at some point by diet news from bodybuilders like Gracyanne Barbosa and Fernando Torraca, which include 40 to 100 eggs. on their menu every day.
High consumption can be frightening, and the amount is not considered safe for heart health by medical bodies such as the American Heart Association. But, nutritionally, it makes sense that the egg is so dear to these athletes, says nutritionist Elis Machado, a graduate of UFBA (Federal University of Bahia).
“Those who practice physical exercise looking for a significant increase in muscle mass (hypertrophy) need a diet rich in high biological value proteins. Eggs, because they are cheaper, easier to prepare, can be combined with more recipes and are easily digestible, they end up being adopted into the diet of this audience, “he explains.
What does an egg contain?
An average egg (60 g) has about 84 kcal and provides:
- Protein (7 g): of high quality, present in the albumen and yolk.
- Lipids (5.5 g): such as saturated fat, cholesterol, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.
- Vitamins: including vitamins A, D, E and K, choline and B vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins and choline are present in the yolk. B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, cobalamin, etc.) are present in the yolk and albumen.
- Minerals: among these iron, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine, copper, calcium. Most are present in egg yolk.
- Phospholipids: essential for maintaining the structural and functional integrity of the nervous system.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: carotenoids associated with reduced age-related macular degeneration and the risk of developing cataracts.
How Much Protein Do You Need to Increase Muscle Mass?
According to the columnist of VivaBem Paola Machadoexercise physiologist, master of health sciences and PhD in nutrition from Unifesp (Federal University of Sao Paulo), in general, we should ingest 1.2g to 2g of protein per kilogram of weight, to depending on the daily level of physical activity.
So a person who weighs 70 kg and trains heavily would need about 140g of protein per day. This amount of nutrient can be achieved with 5 to 7 fillets of chicken, fish or beef, for example. Or about 20 eggs. Obviously you don’t have to choose a single protein source: you can have eggs and yogurt for breakfast and as a snack; and fish, meat and chicken for lunch and dinner, for example.
Thinking about bodybuilders, athletes in some categories weigh 100 kg or more. They therefore need about 200g of protein per day, 10 to 12 chicken fillets. They therefore end up preferring the egg, as they say, a cheaper protein, easy to chew, digest and prepare. However, the 100 eggs a day that we see so many eating around is an exaggeration. They would provide about 700g of protein, enough to “feed” the muscles of someone weighing 350kg.
When egg consumption is excessive
Excessive consumption of eggs, as well as any other food, can harm the body.
According to the Brazilian guidelines on dyslipidemia and the prevention of atherosclerosis, as well as the consensus of the American Heart Association, they suggest consumption of less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day for healthy people, which already contains less than 100 g of eggs.
Ideal amounts can vary depending on each person’s specific characteristics, including height, weight, and lifestyle habits. “Recommendations may differ for those with heart problems or those at increased risk of developing them, for example,” warns UFBA-trained nutritionist Elis Machado.
“It is worth mentioning that the more it increases the LDL, known to be the “bad” cholesterol, is saturated fat and not exactly the cholesterol found in food. And eggs are very low in this type of fat compared to red meat, for example, “explains Tatiana Pizzato Galdino, master clinical nutritionist for the PUC-RS (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul.
Hard-boiled egg is better than raw egg
Eating raw eggs increases the risk of contamination by bacteria, especially those of the genus Salmonella. “These are quite impertinent food poisoning, which cause fever, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite and very intense diarrhea”, explains Tatiana Pizzato Galdino.
The second reason is the fact that raw egg white contains a glycoprotein called avidin, which blocks the absorption of biotin, which is a B-complex vitamin.
“When the egg is consumed in its raw form, the body cannot absorb all the biotin that the food provides. This is due to the presence of a protein found in raw egg whites called avidin which binds to the biotin, preventing it from building a vitamin complex. B is absorbed by the human digestive tract, “explains Fernanda Mangabeira, nutritionist at Vera Cruz Hospital.
According to Galdino, biotin has an auxiliary function in regulating blood glucose levels, participating in the synthesis of fatty acids and amino acids. “In addition, it has the role of influencing the strengthening of nails and hair, as it is linked to the production of keratin,” he points out.
The boiled egg, in addition to being scrambled, also beats the fried version, as it will contain fewer calories and less fat in its composition, thus making it a healthier way of consumption.
“But it is always worth paying attention to the way of preparation. Making scrambled eggs with or milk in the preparation, for example, makes it more caloric. With a little water in a good non-stick pan, each scrambled egg will have about 100 calories, “says Vera Cruz Hospital nutritionist.
Install the VivaBem app on your mobile
With our app you receive notifications of the main reports published in Live well and access tips on food, health and wellness. The app is available for Android and iOS. Install it now on your mobile and you will have a lot of information in the palm of your hand to live longer and better!