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Learning the Egg Nutritional Facts of Life

Food & Recipes

Learning the Egg Nutritional Facts of Life image egg nutrition facts image

(Photo: brianna.lehman. via flickr/CC Attribution)

Eggs have received a bad rap over the years in the media and have been condemned for all sorts of unhealthy things.

The truth is that eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can find.

They’re full of valuable vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Eggs are part of a healthy lifestyle and provide us with an affordable source of protein and fat.

Eggs have been found to benefit people with diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and even those with weight problems.

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Many say that eggs are nature’s most perfect food; nature’s most perfect creation and I 100% agree.

Egg Nutrition Facts and Myths

Fact: Eggs are a good source of nutrients. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and some healthful unsaturated fats. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss.

Fact: Eggs have a lot of cholesterol. The average large egg contains 212 milligrams of cholesterol. As foods go, that’s quite a bit, rivaled only by single servings of liver, shrimp, and duck meat.

Myth: All that cholesterol goes straight to your bloodstream and then into your arteries. Not so. For most people, only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes into the blood. Saturated and trans fats have much bigger effects on blood cholesterol levels.

Myth: Eating eggs is bad for your heart. The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease—not on cholesterol levels or other intermediaries—found no connection between the two. In people with diabetes, though, egg-a-day eaters were a bit more likely to have developed heart disease than those who rarely ate eggs.

If you like eggs, eating one a day should be okay, especially if you cut back on saturated and trans fats. Other ways to enjoy eggs without worrying about cholesterol include not eating the yolk, which contains all the cholesterol, or using pourable egg whites or yolk-free egg substitutes. More at Egg Nutrition and Heart Disease : Eggs aren’t the dietary demons they’re cracked up to be.

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. More at 5 Reasons to Eat More Eggs.

Vitamins in Eggs

Inside eggs, you will find Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which helps break down food in your body.

There is also Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), which your body needs in order to produce red blood cells.

Vitamin A (retinol) is beneficial for your eyesight.

Eggs also contain Vitamin E (tocopherol), which will help fight free radicals that cause tissue and cell damage.

Vitamins A and B2 are essential for children as they promote growth, so make sure your kids are eating eggs as a healthy part of their diet.

Minerals in Eggs

You’ll also be getting a lot of minerals when you have an egg for breakfast or snack.

Iron, phosphorus, and zinc are all contained in one little egg.

Women need more iron than men as a healthy part of their diet, and eggs are a great way to get it.

Not getting enough iron can make you feel run down and effect your mood.

Zinc will boost your immune system and also helps convert your food into energy.

Phosphorus will provide healthy bones and teeth.

Calories in Eggs

Again, if you’re dieting, then eggs are a wonderful addition to your menu.

One medium egg contains roughly 70 to 85 calories. You also get 6 grams of protein. So if you have three eggs a day, that means you’re taking in 18 grams of protein.

Most women need about 50 grams of protein a day, so with three eggs you’re well on your way to satisfying your daily intake.

So tomorrow morning, consider making a three egg omelet or a nice portion of scrambled eggs.

Protein in Eggs

Eggs are famous for containing protein. We’ve all seen Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke downing the raw eggs.

Protein helps your body build and repair body tissue. Eggs are considered to be a “complete protein” as they contain amino acids, which proteins are made up of, that are essential and your body cannot make on its own.

Don’t worry about choosing between brown and white eggs—there are no nutritional differences between the two types.

Eggs are also one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, which has been proven to be essential for many of our body’s daily functioning.

Don’t forget the egg yolk. It’s one of the major sources of the egg’s vitamins and minerals. Develop a taste for it if you haven’t already; your body will be glad you did.

With only two eggs you are getting the same nutritional value as a serving of meat.

Eggs are also part of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check program, which was designed in order to help consumers make the right food choices.

Egg Recipes

If you’re stuck trying to think of ways to prepare your eggs you’ll find many recipes and ideas on the Internet ranging from Eggs Benedict to Green Eggs and Ham Sandwiches.

Eggs Florentine and a Frittata are excellent choices and you can find many recipes for them, too.

*Note: Maybe these recipes are best left for that cheat day because the sauces in these meals pack quite a high calorie punch.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, one needs to know how to recognize a good egg when they see it.

The very best eggs, those of the highest quality, have hard shells and a deep yellow-orangish yolk.

Bad eggs will almost always have flat, pale yellow yolks and very thin shells, along with a bland taste.

Most major cities have egg wholesalers that receive their product from local producers and as such cannot test every product.

That leaves it to you, the consumer, to make sure you’re purchasing a healthy egg. Always test the shell hardness in the store, and once at home, crack your eggs into separate bowls to inspect the color and shape of the yolk.

Happy cooking and eating, and remember that eggs are much more than they’re cracked up to be: they’re truly an essential part of your diet.

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