Eggs are an almost perfect food! An egg’s shell color doesn’t indicate the quality or nutritional value of an egg, but rather the breed of the hen that laid it. Hens with white feathers tend to lay white eggs and hens with red feathers tend to lay brown eggs.
Why it’s Healthy:
Whole eggs are a nearly perfect food – among the most nutritious foods you can eat.
One large boiled egg provides:
6 grams of protein
5 grams of healthy fats
187 mg. cholesterol
62 mg of sodium
63 mg potassium
100 mg. choline
6% of the RDA of vitamin A
5% of the RDA of folate 7% of the RDA of vitamin B5
9% of the RDA of vitamin B12
15% of the RDA of vitamin B2
9% of the RDA of phosphorus
22% of the RDA of selenium
They also provide a good amount of vitamins D, E, K, B6, calcium and zinc as well as omega 3 fats. In fact egg yolks are one of the few foods that are a naturally good vitamin D source. They are high in quality animal protein and contain all the essential amino acids that humans need.
Note that eggs do not contain fiber. So while they are an excellent, nutritious food – be sure that the rest of your diet provides adequate fiber, which is very important to overall health.
Benefits & Specific Conditions:
Heart Healthy: People who have higher levels of HDL cholesterol (aka “good” cholesterol) usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems. In one study, 2 eggs per day for 6 weeks increased HDL levels by 10%. Egg consumption appears to change the pattern of LDL particles from small, dense LDL (bad) to large, fluffy LDL, which is linked to a reduced heart disease risk. Its high choline content has also been associated with decreased heart disease risk.
Protects vision: The large amounts of both Lutein and Zeaxanthin as well as vitamin A in egg yolks is very protective of vision and effective in reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Reducing Triglycerides: Omega 3 fats reduce dangerous triglyceride levels and eggs from free range hens or omega 3 enriched eggs have been shown to be a very effective way to reduce triglycerides in the blood.
Weight Loss: The high protein content in eggs makes them very satisfying and help reduce overall caloric intake. Protein boosts metabolism so this is a perfect weight loss food. They are very versatile and can be eaten at any meal in a variety of ways and a hardboiled egg or two make a nutritious, portable weight loss snack or meal on the go.
Breast cancer preventive: Research from the University of North Carolina found that choline from egg yolks can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24%.
Brain health and pregnancy: The choline content is important in the brain development of the fetus and newborn as well as in memory function even into old age.
Secrets and Tips:
Because we have been told for years to limit or avoid eggs, particularly the yolks, because they’ll raise cholesterol, here is what a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences has to say about the subject (and I wholeheartedly agree):
“Since we cannot possibly eat enough cholesterol to use for our bodies’ daily functions, our bodies make their own. When we eat more foods rich in this compound, our bodies make less.
If we deprive ourselves of foods high in cholesterol — such as eggs, butter, and liver — our body revs up its cholesterol synthesis. The end result is that, for most of us, eating foods high in cholesterol has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels.
In seventy percent of the population, foods rich in cholesterol such as eggs cause only a subtle increase in cholesterol levels or none at all. In the other thirty percent, these foods do cause a rise in blood cholesterol levels.
Despite this, research has never established any clear relationship between the consumption of dietary cholesterol and the risk for heart disease … Raising cholesterol levels is not necessarily a bad thing either.”
In fact, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, proves that even in carriers of the ApoE4 gene, making them highly susceptible to heart disease, egg and cholesterol intake was not associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
It’s important to choose eggs from a high-quality source.
If you’re purchasing your eggs from a supermarket, be aware that labels can be very deceptive. You can find the terms cage-free, free-range, pastured, pasture-raised, organic, omega-3 and omega-3 enriched on egg cartons.
Free-range, cage free or “pastured” organic eggs are far superior when it comes to nutrient content, while conventionally raised eggs are far more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella.
An egg is considered organic if the chicken was only fed organic food, which means it will not have accumulated high levels of pesticides from the grains (mostly GMO corn) fed to typical chickens.
Ideally, the chicken should have access to the outdoors where it can consume its natural diet. Organic standards for eggs do require outdoor access for hens, but the exact standards for outdoor access are not well defined. For example, no minimal amount of days spent outdoors or time per day spent outdoors is specified. Organic standards require strict feeding with certified organic feed, but legal use of the organic label does not require any fixed amount of feed to be obtained from a pasture setting.
You can tell your eggs are free range or pastured by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks.
You can generally use the cloudiness of the egg white to help confirm freshness, with cloudy whites indicating fresh eggs.
Always store eggs in the refrigerator. When refrigerating eggs, do not wash them as this can remove their protective coating. Keep them in their original carton or in a covered container so that they do not absorb odors or lose any moisture. Make sure to store them with their pointed end facing downward to help to prevent the air chamber and the yolk from being displaced.
Recipes and Products:
This originally appeared in my weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report! To finish reading click this link and scroll to “ Egg-cellent Eggs” and sign up to be the first to get this exclusive content delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning – Free!
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