Are Eggs really so Eggcelent?
What’s in an egg?
Sounds pretty simple, right? An egg is an egg. Unfortunately, all eggs are not created equal. Furthermore, it’s what’s IN the egg that is of importance, especially when looking at eggs while on a weight loss program.
Eggs are considered to be a highly nutritious food, and an excellent source of protein. If you are already a client at Ideal Weight Management, you know that egg whites are considered to be a “free food” due to their high protein content. But you may wonder why whole eggs are not allowed to be consumed on an desired basis. While a single egg has as much as 6 grams of protein, it also has about 5 grams of fat. And although it is a VERY healthy fat, it is still fat which may slow down your weight loss process. That aside, let’s look at what an egg does offer, and why it should be an essential part of your dietary program.
The Hen House
“It’s not just what we eat that matters, it’s also what our food eats.” 1
When selecting an egg at the grocery store, there are a few things to consider, namely, where did the egg come from. Studies show that eggs produced by pasture raised chickens have up to 5times more Omega3 rich fatty acids, which are highly beneficial to our health.2 Even more abundant in these Omega3’s, are eggs that come from chickens that are raised with feed that has been supplemented with Omega 3 sources such as flax seed.
Also important when choosing your “incredible, edible, egg,”3 is the environment that the chickens were raised in. There are essentially 3 groups of chicken sourced eggs: Pasture/Freerange, Organic, and Conventional.
● Pasture raised chickens=are allowed to roam free in their natural environment, and rely on plants, insects, and occasionally commercial feed.
● Organic chickens=receive organic food which is both hormone and antibiotic free. May or may not be given access to the outdoors or raised in a cagefree environment.
● Conventional chickens=mass produced, raised in hen houses with little to no access to sunlight or the outdoors. (Your standard supermarket egg)
(Within these 3 groups is also the distinction of whether they are given the Omega 3 enriched feed.)
1 Kris Gunnars, Authority Nutrition.
2 http://authoritynutrition.com/pasturedvsomega3vsconventionaleggs/ 3 http://www.incredibleegg.org/healthandnutrition/eggnutrients
Recently, the American Heart Association made news when it announced less stringent guidelines on cholesterol, specifically consumption of eggs. Prior to that, those with a history of highcholesterol or heart disease were educated to not consume whole eggs due to their cholesterol content. Recent USDA guidelines lowered the amount of cholesterol that was thought to be in an egg from 215 mg to 185 mg, a 14% drop!4 Good news for egg lovers everywhere. Also mentioned was that the type of cholesterol that is found in eggs is that which is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. These fats are essential to health, and actually help to raise highdensity lipoproteins (HDL), the type of cholesterol that is important to cell membrane health and other body mechanisms. The USDA also reported that eggs have far more Vitamin D than previously thought, as much as 64% more.5 In addition, they contain high amounts of Choline, which is a B vitamin that helps build cell membranes and assist with brain molecules, and generous amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin which help prevent Macular Degeneration and assist with eye health.
Now that you know how amazing eggs are, make sure they are at the top of your grocery list this week!
4http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/PolicyDoc.pdf 5 http://authoritynutrition.com/10provenhealthbenefitsofeggs/