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267 Eggs-101

Eggs 101

Eggs 101

Our society’s bias against saturated fat and cholesterol has become so strong that we often forget that in nature those are the exact foods where the most nutrients are found. Eggs are no different. They contain 100% of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as all the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They also contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, and vitamin B6 and B12.

Compared to the yolk, the white doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of nutrients. An egg white contains more protein than the yolk, but it’s only because the yolk is smaller. Furthermore, we know that protein really should only constitute only about 15 to 30% of our caloric intake, with the rest coming from healthy animal fats. It doesn’t make much sense to seek out sources of proteins without fat, and protein alone depletes stores of vitamin A. Mother nature is wise though and put fat around most sources of animal protein!

The reason why we find a high amount of cholesterol in the egg yolk is not an evil trick played by Mother nature to damage our health with the exact foods that are full of nutrients, but because cholesterol is an extremely important nutrient that is needed by the future animal that should come out of the egg if no one interferes with it. Cholesterol is not only important for the future bird, but for us too. It’s the precursor to all sex hormones and is used by every cell of the body. It has also been proven that dietary cholesterol raises the “good” HDL, while it’s the sugar, especially fructose, grains and omega-3/omega-6 imbalances that raise the “bad” LDL and the triglycerides in the blood.

Nutritional Highlights

Eggs are very good sources of inexpensive, high-quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2. Eggs also contain lower amounts of fat and cholesterol. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and lecithin- the compound that enables emulsification in sauces/spreads such as hollandaise or mayonnaise.

Some brands of egg now contain omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what the chickens have been fed- always check the box. Eggs are regarded as 'complete' sources of protein as they contain all 8 essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) & Arachidonic acid (AA)

DHA is the form of omega-3 that’s usable by the body, and arachidonic acid is the usable form of omega-6. Egg yolks bring both DHA and AA, the two truly essential fatty acids. Consuming omega-3 rich eggs is also a good idea to keep the n-3/n-6 in a good ratio in your diet.

 

One large egg contains:
 

78 calories

6.3g protein

5.3g fat

1.6g saturated fat

212mg cholesterol

 

Heart Healthy

Eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart health such as betaine and choline. During pregnancy and breast feeding, an adequate supply of choline is particularly important, since choline is essential for normal brain development. If you are eating eggs during pregnancy however, ensure you cook them until the whites and yolks are solid. In traditional Chinese medicine, eggs are recommended to increase energy by enhancing digestive and kidney function.

Eggs also contain more Vitamin D than they did 10 years ago, which help to protect bones, preventing osteoporosis and rickets. And they are filling too. Eggs for breakfast could help with weight loss as their high protein content makes us feel fuller for longer. Eggs should be included as part of a varied and balanced diet.

Conclusion

Most people today are very deficient in most of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K2) and would benefit greatly from the healthy dose that a couple of egg yolks a day can bring. In fact, egg yolks will keep the doctor away much more than the fructose-rich apples would. The cholesterol in them is also needed, especially for children, menopausal women, elders, or anybody with adrenal problems.