CHICKEN WHOLE EGGS
In 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines and gave healthy adults the green light to enjoy eggs once again. The AHA’s guidelines now allow an egg a day for healthy adults while still advising a total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg.
The confusion over eggs stems from their cholesterol content. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, accounting for two-thirds of the recommended daily limit.
When scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol logically became suspect. But after 25 years of study, it has become evident that cholesterol in food is not the culprit — saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol. Full-fat dairy products and fatty meats are examples of foods that are loaded with saturated fat and which trigger the body to produce cholesterol.
Eggs aren’t just delicious. They’re also extremely nutritious, an excellent source of protein and provide essential nutrients. Find out why you should include eggs as part of your diet and learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle from our nutrition experts.
EGGS ARE INCREDIBLY NUTRITIOUS
A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken.
A single large boiled egg contains:
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
- Folate: 5% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
- Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
One large (53 grams) Grade A egg contains 6 g of protein and only 70 calories.
Nutritional Information per 53 g serving:
- Calories 70 Cal / 292.88.kJ
- Fat 5 g
- Cholesterol 195 mg
- Sodium 65 mg
- Carbohydrate 1 g
- Protein 6 g
QUALITY PROTEIN SOURCE
Another good reason to eat eggs is that they help keep you feeling full. An egg, a few slices of whole-grain toast, and half a grapefruit is a low-calorie breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunch. As you face the challenge of losing weight, it’s important to eat foods that are naturally nutrient-rich and stave off hunger between meals. The egg is an “eggcellent” example.
Eggs are easy to eat, well-tolerated by young and old, adaptable to any meal, and inexpensive. Whether you prefer designer or generic eggs, manage your egg intake over the course of a week. On days when you enjoy eggs for breakfast, it’s wise to limit foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat for the rest of the day.
Of course, it’s a good idea to know your blood cholesterol level and talk with your physician about the cholesterol and saturated fat content of your eating plan. People with high cholesterol levels should follow their doctor’s advice about eating eggs.
With 6 grams of the highest quality protein and 14 key nutrients, eggs provide the energy needed to keep you going. They are a natural choice for a healthy, active lifestyle.
Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein, because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Amino acids are considered the “building blocks for the body” because they help form protein.
In addition to giving you energy, your body uses the protein found in eggs to:
- build and repair body tissue and cells
- grow strong hair and nails
- build and maintain healthy muscles
- help fight infections
- help keep your body fluids in balance
Eating whole eggs is vital:
The goodness of eggs is found in the yolk (containing over 90 percent of an egg’s calcium and iron) and the white (containing almost half the egg’s protein). If you’re not eating eggs regularly, here are five reasons why you should.
1.GET YOUR VITAMINS
One little egg is packed with several vitamins essential to your health:
• Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which helps your body to break down food into energy
• Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vital for producing red blood cells
• Vitamin A (retinol), which is great for your eyesight
• Vitamin E (tocopherol), which fights off the free radicals that can cause tissue and cellular damage, which may lead to cancer
Vitamins A and B2 are also important for growth—so make sure your kids are eating eggs regularly, too.
2.BOOST YOUR WEIGHT LOSS
Did you know that eating eggs can help you lose weight? This might come as a surprise to those who think of eggs as “fattening” or “unhealthy”—but a study carried out by the Rochester Center for Obesity Research found that eating eggs for breakfast helps limit your calorie intake all day, by more than 400 calories. That means you could lose three pounds or more per month.
This is probably because eggs keep you full for longer—meaning you’re less likely to succumb to a mid-morning snack or stuff yourself at lunchtime. And although eggs contain cholesterol, this is “dietary cholesterol”—different from the “blood cholesterol” in your body. Despite the health recommendations of the past, there’s no evidence that eating eggs will increase your blood cholesterol levels.
3.TAKE IN ESSENTIAL MINERALS
Eggs are packed with iron, zinc and phosphorus—minerals that are vital for your body. Women need plenty of iron due to menstruation, and not getting enough could leave you feeling tired, run down and grumpy. Zinc keeps your immune system in top form and helps your body turn food into energy. Phosphorus is important for healthy bones and teeth.
And, as a bonus, there are some trace elements (minerals you need in small amounts) in eggs: iodine, required to make thyroid hormones, and selenium, an antioxidant that can help cut your risk of cancer.
4.INDULGE IN LOW-CALORIE PROTEIN
One medium egg contains just 70 to 85 calories—and about 6.5 grams of protein. That means three eggs (210 to 255 calories) provide 19.5 grams of protein: the average woman needs about 50 grams a day, so that’s almost half of your daily intake. (Actual protein needs depend on your weight and level of activity; talk to your doctor to get specific requirements for you.)
Eating a three-egg Spanish omelet, or three scrambled or poached eggs on toast, will keep you full for hours.
5.PREVENT BREAST CANCER
Research by Harvard University in 2003 found that eating eggs as an adolescent could help prevent breast cancer as an adult. In 2005, another study showed that women eating at least six eggs per week had a 44 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who ate two or fewer eggs each week.
In April 2008, researchers from the University of North Carolina found that choline (present in egg yolks) can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent. An egg yolk contains 125.5 milligrams of choline, about a quarter of the recommended daily intake, so just two poached eggs for breakfast provides half your choline for the day.
HEALTHY EGG YOLKS: Are egg yolks healthy?
This is a confusing one. Egg yolks are known primarily for their high cholesterol content. But the medical research community has learned that dietary cholesterol is a different measure than blood level of cholesterol, which is associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
One recent study echoes the growing research, showing that egg consumption had no effect on the overall blood cholesterol levels of 115 healthy adults. What’s more, another recent study found some evidence that eating whole eggs increases HDL — the heart-protective, “good” cholesterol.
“There are much bigger problems in the American diet than cholesterol,” says Drew Ramsey, M.D. an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, who studies the connection between lifestyle behaviors like diet and psychological health. “There’s not data to suggest that it should be at the top of people’s worries about food choices. Everyone’s in agreement about that: The real problem with diabetes and obesity is eating too much processed food.”
And there are several nutrients specific to the egg yolk that help promote overall health. Egg yolks are one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. There’s also evidence that dietary choline helps with fetal brain development when pregnant women eat it. Another side benefit of a diet rich in choline is, well, happiness.
Choline breaks down into bethane, which is used during the methylation cycle, which in turn helps produce ‘happiness’ hormones like serotonin, dopamine, norephinephrine, explains Ramsey.
Egg yolks also contain two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against vision loss. And, as we’ve reported earlier, they have a big dose of sulfur:
Eggs are also high in sulfur, an essential nutrient that helps with everything from vitamin B absorption to liver function. But sulfur is also necessary for the production of collagen and keratin, which help create and maintain shiny hair, strong nails and glowing skin.
The yolk’s health benefits should not overshadow egg whites, however, which are a low-calorie, low-fat source of perfect protein.
In fact, eggs are considered the “gold standard” for protein quality because their amino acids are the most digestible to humans.