For years eggs have been portrayed as a food that you should not eat for fear of raising your blood cholesterol levels. Recent studies have proven that this is not the case and in fact eggs have been found to be a nutritional goldmine. One large egg has 210 mgs. of cholesterol which seems like a lot, but a recent study from the University of Connecticut suggests that even after eating three eggs a day for 30 days, the ratio between HDL( good cholesterol) and LDL( bad cholesterol) did not change. The result is no increase or change in one’s risk of heart disease.
In another study very significant study of 120,000 men and women conducted in 1999 at Harvard University, they found no correlation between the consumption of eggs and heart disease. Nor did the study find an association between egg consumption and strokes.
There’s also evidence that eggs help to create a feeling of fullness due to the high protein content. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2005, conducted a study of overweight women. In the study, those who had two eggs for breakfast felt fuller afterwards and ate fewer calories at lunch than women who had a bagel based breakfast with the same amount of calories resulting in more long term weight loss for the egg eaters.
The unsaturated fats and other nutrients including B vitamins may even be beneficial to heart health. It is the saturated fat-rich foods that are commonly consumed with eggs (bacon, sausage, cheese and biscuits) that can raise blood cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. A large egg has only 1.5 grams of saturated fat and about 70 calories, so it is the perfect diet food…..just be sure to watch the side of bacon.
For those of you who commonly toss the vitamin rich egg yolks, take note that they are a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, relatives of beta carotene that keep eyes healthy and have been linked to a reduced risk of age related eye disease. A 2006 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that women eating six eggs a week for 12 weeks had increased macular pigment which is thought to protect the retina of the eye from the damaging effects of the light.
Other Eggs facts:
- Brown eggs are not more nutritious than white….they just come from brown chickens.
- Yolk color depends on what the chicken eats: wheat and barley produce light colored yolks, while corn produces a darker colored yolk.
- Organic eggs from chickens fed an organic diet do not have more nutrients than regular eggs; however some people may prefer them as a way to support organic farming.
- One large egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein (in the yolk and white) and only 70 calories. The yolk is also a source of zinc, B vitamins( including riboflavin and folate), vitamin A, Iron and other nutrients
- Egg yolks provide choline an essential nutrient which is especially important for fetal brain development. There are also other elements recently identified in eggs that may have anti-cancer, anti hypertensive, immune boosting and antioxidant properties.
- Low Cholesterol eggs from chickens fed special diets rarely provide enough extra nutrients to be worth their higher cost.
So ladies and gents, the bottom-line is that eggs are good for you! Most people can eat one or two a day. Just remember to skip the side of sausage and biscuits. Try poached eggs, hard boiled eggs or scrambled eggs with chopped vegetables for a big nutritional boost to your diet.