Health and Eggs

Hello Healthy Friends!

Eggs have been called the “best source of complete protein” and are certainly a nutritious, inexpensive and popular food.  For decades, nutrition experts hypothesized that the high cholesterol content of eggs raised blood cholesterol levels, which may increase the risk of heart disease.

Not only was this proven to be false, studies have actually shown that the consumption of eggs is associated with higher nutrient intake.  Results of a study done in 2000 were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition:  Eggs make important nutritional contributions to the American diet and their consumption is not associated with high cholesterol levels.  The study specifically showed that egg consumers had a higher intake of important nutrients like vitamins A, B12, E and C than non-egg eaters.

Four ways eggs can contribute to good health:

1)     Eggs are an excellent source of low-cost, high-quality protein.  One large egg provides 6 grams of protein, and only 75 calories.  This is “complete” protein, providing all nine of the body’s essential amino acids.

2)     Eggs are one of the best sources of choline.  Found primarily in the egg yolk, one large egg provides 30% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this essential nutrient, which plays an important role in brain health and the reduction of inflammation.

3)     Eggs are a great food for those trying to lose weight.  Due to its high quality protein, eggs are a very satisfying breakfast, or any meal.

4)     Eggs protect eyesight.  Egg yolks contain a highly absorbable form of vision-protective carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

How many eggs should you eat?  For healthy adults, it’s reasonable to eat one egg per day as part of a well-balanced diet.  If you have a heart condition or diabetes, it is suggested to consult with your physician regarding egg consumption and dietary restrictions.

Certified Organic:  these are from chickens that are cage free and eat 100% organic and vegetarian diet,  free of antibiotics and pesticides.

Grade AA, A and B:  The USDA sets standards for quality and freshness.  AA is most superior in quality, followed by A and B.

No matter what kind of eggs you choose to eat, be sure to follow proper handling and preparation guidelines to ensure that your eggs are safe to eat.  Always store eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator and use within three to five weeks, or by the expiration date on the carton.

Room temperature eggs may cause illness.  Hardboiled eggs may be kept in the fridge for up to one week.  Cook eggs until yolks are firm and cook egg-containing dishes to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy any bacteria safely.

Hit your local Farmers’ Market for some fresh eggs and, as always, be well!

Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Wellness Coach

(adapted from Sparkpeople.com)