The Nutritional Value of Eggs: It’s Hard to Beat!
Easter is on its way. And that means it’s the time of year when eggs crack into our consciousness one way or another. Now that you have eggs on the brain, why not consider how they can help your body stay healthy from head to toe?
Here are some little-known facts about eggs from WebMD.com. Some may surprise you, so be prepared to be inspired to add eggs to your diet. Eggs have fallen in and out of favor among nutritionists over the years…mostly due to their high cholesterol content. To be on the safe side, you can just consume the whites, which contain the majority of the protein anyway. Before you make a move on eggs, consider all the facts:
- The American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines to allow an egg a day for healthy adults while still advising a total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, accounting for two-thirds of the recommended daily limit.
- High blood cholesterol is associated with heart disease, but science has proven that cholesterol is not the culprit. Saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol.
- Along with milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories, but packs 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat. Eggs also provide iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids.
- Eggs are powerhouses of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
- You may have noticed that manufacturers and chicken farmers are marketing products that enhance eggs’ nutritional properties. These “designer” eggs may come from chickens that are allowed to roam freely (free range) or whose feed is supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Some chicken feed is now being enriched with canola oil, bran, kelp, flaxseed, marine algae, fish oil or vitamin E to increase healthy omega-3 fatty acid content. Special chicken feed mixes also reduce the saturated and total fat content of the egg yolk. These “good” eggs do come with a hefty price tag, however.
Want to keep satisfied? Eat eggs!
In addition to their nutritional benefits, the protein and fat in eggs help to keep your appetite in check. An egg, whole-grain toast and fruit offers a low-calorie breakfast that will keep hunger at bay. If you aren’t a big breakfast eater, hard boiling a couple of eggs to eat as snacks throughout the day can help keep your healthy eating goals on track. You could also whip up an omelet for dinner.
Spring is a great time of year to give yourself an eggstra nutritional boost by eating a few eggs per week. Their satisfying taste may also help you avoid devouring eggs of the chocolate variety as well!