If you haven’t been eating eggs because of concerns about cholesterol, listen to what Jim White, R.D., health fitness specialist and Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics spokesperson, has to say: “Multiple recent studies found that the cholesterol in eggs does not contribute to blood cholesterol levels or put an individual at risk for heart disease.”
One large egg contains 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and approximately 70 calories. Eggs also include choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to cell structure and mental function; lutein and zeaxanthin, anti-inflammatory antioxidants that promote eye health; lecithin, which supports cardiovascular health and may reduce cholesterol levels; and most important, leucine, an essential branched-chained amino acid (BCAA) that can produce an anabolic muscle response and decrease muscle breakdown.
“Eggs also contain 18 vital nutrients and vitamins, such as B vitamins,” says White. And a recent study in Nutrition and Food Science found that eggs are tops in all foods for aminos since they contain a superior blend of a wide range of amino acids. They also support the rebuilding of rested muscles with vital minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron.
When eggs were demonized, the yolk was singled out. But yolks contain 4.5 grams of fat, with only 1.6 grams of that being saturated fat.
KNOW YOUR LABELS
Farm Fresh/All-Natural: Avoid, as this means nothing.
Cage-Free: Free to walk around industrial barns but not outside.
No Hormones, No Antibiotics: It’s illegal to give poultry hormones, so this means nothing.
Free-Range or Free-Roaming: Cage-free with access to the outdoors, which may be limited.
Omega-3: Given flaxseed to boost omega-3s.
Certified Organic: Free-range, cage-free, fed organic feed, and receiving no hormones or antibiotics.
Pasture-Raised: These are the eggs to get, as the chickens are raised in actual pastures with access to insects and grass, though they aren’t required to eat organic grain.
3 EASY EGG DISHES
- Hard-boil 2 eggs and eat on the go with a banana.
- Sauté red bell peppers and yellow onions, then scramble in 2 whole eggs and 2 whites. Add your choice of cheese.
- Cut a hole in whole-wheat bread, throw some butter in a pan, and add the bread. Flip after 2 minutes, and then crack an egg into it. Fry up and serve with Neufchâtel cheese and smoked salmon slices.