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The Humble Egg - Good for You or Not?

  • Publish Date : 2016/01/12
  • Author : Thomas C. Weiss
  • Contact : Disabled World

Synopsis:

AHA guidelines allow an egg per day for healthy adults but still advise total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg.

Main Document

Where would people be without the humble egg? It is a main part of many people's diet, not only for breakfast, but for feeding kids who are finicky, as a stand in for a quick meal, blended raw into holiday, 'nogs,' and as an ingredient in all kinds of dishes. Yet for decades, eggs had a fairly unwholesome reputation. Thanks to its high cholesterol content, the egg was perceived as being, 'bad for you.' The years have gone by and many people have turned their backs on eggs, ate only the whites, or chose to consume egg substitutes.

In the year 2000; however, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines and gave healthy adults the OK to enjoy eggs again. The AHA's guidelines now allow an egg per day for healthy adults while still advising a total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg. The confusion over eggs stems from the amount of cholesterol they possess. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, which accounts for two-thirds of a person's daily recommended limit.

When scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol plainly became suspicious. After 25 years of study, it has become evident that cholesterol in food is Not The Culprit. In fact - saturated fat has a far larger effect on a person's blood cholesterol. Full-fat dairy products and meats that are fatty are examples of foods that are filled with saturated fat and trigger a person's body to produce cholesterol.

Reasons To Eat Eggs

With updated scientific evidence in favor of the egg we can once again enjoy them; they are wonderfully nutritious. Along with milk, eggs have the highest biological value for protein. A single egg has:

  • Iron
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Carotenoids
  • 5 grams of fat
  • A mere 75 calories
  • 1.6 grams of saturated fat
  • 7 grams of high-quality protein

The egg is a strong holder of disease-fighting nutrients such as zeaxanthin and lutein. These carotenoids might reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in seniors. A person's brain development and memory may be enhanced through the choline content of eggs. Yet the complete health benefits of eggs can only be achieved if the eggs are stored appropriately, in a refrigerator, and cooked thoroughly in order to kill any potential bacteria.

What is a, 'Designer Egg?'

Not all eggs are equal. Manufacturers and chicken farmers have taken steps to enhance the nutritional properties of eggs, creating an entire industry devoted to the improvement of dietary quality eggs. 'Designer,' eggs might come from chickens that are permitted to roam freely or, 'free range,' chickens whose feed is supplemented with Omega 3 fatty acids. Hens given feed that is free of animal products produce eggs considered to be vegetarian, while those given all-organic feed produce organic eggs. Some chicken feed is enriched with:

  • Kelp
  • Bran
  • Fish oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Vitamin E
  • Canola oil
  • Marine algae

With the goal of increasing the eggs' healthy omega-3 fatty acid content. Certain tpes of feed are designed to reduce the saturated or total fat content of the egg yolk. Marigold extract has been used to increase the amount of lutein in eggs.

Beyond nutrition, other designer eggs use a pasteurization process that heats the egg just enough to kill bacteria without affecting the texture of the egg. Bear in mind that with designer eggs you usually get an associated designer price. If you prefer vegetarian, organic or nutrient-enriched eggs; however, they are widely available. When choosing eggs, be sure to check the label and contrast the nutritional content of designer eggs to the profile of a common egg.

Eggs, a Good Source of Protein

Another good reason to eat eggs is they help to keep you feeling full. An egg, along with a few slices of whole-grain toast and half of a grapefruit is a low-calorie breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunchtime. For those who face the challenge of losing weight, it is important to consume foods that are naturally nutrient-rich and hold off hunger between meals. The egg is an excellent example.

Eggs are easy to eat. They are well-tolerated by young and old, can be adapted to any meal and guess what? Eggs are inexpensive. Whether you prefer designer or generic eggs, manage your egg intake over a period of a week. On days when you enjoy eggs for breakfast, it is wise to limit foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol for the remainder of the day.

It is a good idea to be aware of your blood cholesterol level and communicate with a doctor about the cholesterol and saturated fat content of your eating plan. People with high cholesterol levels should follow the advice of their doctor where consuming eggs is concerned.

Learn More

  • Why eggs are healthy
    www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/why-eggs-are-healthy/
  • Eggs and Heart Disease
    www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/eggs/
  • 10 Proven Health Benefits of Eggs
    authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-health-benefits-of-eggs/

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