Are you feeling confused about what to eat these days? You’re not alone. Nutrition guidance seems to be constantly changing. Why? The short answer is nutrition is always evolving as new research helps improve our understanding of what to eat and why. That’s why I’m here: to stay on top of the latest research and to help make sense of it all for you.
For years, many people were told to avoid eggs due to their cholesterol content because eating dietary cholesterol (i.e. eggs) made blood cholesterol go up. That advice has changed thanks to evolving research. In 2016, the long-standing recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day was lifted. Can we let go of our fear that eating eggs will increase our cholesterol levels and heart attack risk? That does appear to be the case which is good news because eggs have so many benefits.
Summary of the health benefits of eggs:
- a recent meta-analysis suggests eating one whole egg a day reduces risk of stroke by 12% and does not affect risk for coronary heart disease. Another study found…
- adding a whole egg to a salad made from a variety of raw vegetables improves vitamin E absorption, another nutrient important for proper heart function, as well as the absorption of carotenoids, which are fat-soluble nutrients that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Eggs may also benefit brain health – daily egg intake was associated with better cognitive performance.
Another reason I’m a fan of eggs…
Eggs – an all-natural, high quality protein POWERHOUSE!
Here is the nutrition breakdown:
- a source of 13 essential vitamins and minerals (most which are lost if you toss the yolk), including vitamin D which is necessary for immune function, strong bones and overall health (have you had your vitamin D level checked? You may be deficient. I was. Ask to have your vitamin D hydroxy level checked the next time you see your doctor) – all for 70 calories around 20 cents.
- 6 grams of protein in whole large egg. The high-quality protein of eggs can help active individuals build and preserve muscle as well as help prevent muscle loss in older adults. Eggs continue to be one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein providing the most grams of protein per dollar spent (55 grams/$1).
- antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease which develops with age.
- an excellent source of choline. Two eggs – including the yolks – contain about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half the recommended daily amount. The National Academy of Sciences recommends pregnant women consume 450 milligrams of choline per day and that breastfeeding women consume 550 milligrams per day. Choline is a little-known but essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. It’s also key in the development of an infant’s memory functions, so get cracking, mom!
Eggs belong in a weight loss diet
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: Diets don’t work and one of the main reasons is HUNGER. SIDEBAR: Can I just say the word ‘diet’ is like nails on a chalkboard for me due to all its negative connotations of being a temporary fad and of deprivation. I prefer ‘dietary pattern’ or ‘lifestyle.’
Eating eggs for breakfast reduces hunger, increases satisfaction and decreases calorie consumption at lunch and throughout the day compared to eating the more traditional American, carbohydrate based breakfast. The protein in eggs give you steady and sustained energy because it doesn’t cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels, which can then lead to an energy “crash” as blood sugar levels drop. Sustained mental and physical energy throughout the day? Who doesn’t want that? Sign me up!
Eggs are versatile.
They’re not just for breakfast and baking. Try an egg on: Fresh green salads • Avocado Toast • Whole Grain Bowls • Grits • Salmon •Veggie Pizzas or Flatbreads • Sweet Potato Hash • Whole Grain Pasta • Baked Potato •Whole Grain Sandwiches or Paninis • Grilled Veggies or Vegetable Medleys
What do you think of those suggestions for eating an egg? Please, comment below and share with me how you like to eat your eggs.