You’re in the grocery and need to buy eggs but the labels are SO confusing…less cholesterol, more vitamin D, cage free, organic…which egg is right for you? Let me unscramble the confusion. Eggs did have a bad-boy reputation for raising cholesterol but not anymore. Fast forward to the current science today. It’s the saturated fat in a food such as fatty bacon or sausage, high fat cheese or fatty meats that increases your cholesterol number. Don’t miss this…generally, eating an egg a day doesn’t increase the risk for heart disease.
Joining me on the podcast this week is someone who might be a little egg-centric in that she knows all things eggs. Registered dietitian Neva Cochran is the consultant to the Egg Nutrition Center as well as writer and researcher for Woman’s World magazine. You can follow Neva on twitter @NevaRDLD.
As Neva shares, eggs are so much more than cholesterol. Eggs contain 13 essential nutrients including protein, vitamin B12 (which is only found in animal sources), vitamin E, riboflavin, choline, and lutein (the antioxidant that helps prevent age-related macular degeneration). Rethink throwing away the yolk as it contains the fatty acids such as omege-3s, the vitamins B12 and E along with antioxidants. A large egg is only about 70 calories.
Neva’s No Excuse Quick Tip to Eat Smart-Live Smart: Eggs are budget-friendly at around a dollar per dozen for white eggs.
Trying to eat more protein at breakfast or lunch? Good quality protein helps with muscle mass maintenance and weight management plus it helps you feel full. The protein quality of eggs is so high that historically it has been the reference protein against which other protein-containing foods are measured. One egg provides six grams of protein.
I shared on the podcast that my grandparents lived on a farm in Tennessee and raised chickens. I remember the eggs being brown or white. Now you can find brown, blue or green eggs at some farmers’ markets and specialty stores. Do you think the shell color matters when it comes to nutrition?
The breed of the hen affects the color of the eggshell. Hens with red feathers produce brown eggs and white hens lay white eggs. The White Leghorn hen rules in the American egg industry so that’s why most eggs are white. A breed of chicken from South America produces green and blue eggs. The nutrition content of an egg depends on the feed. For example you may notice labels indicating the eggs contain lutein or omega-3. Egg producers boost these nutrients in the egg by adding them to the hens’ feed. Added omega-3s are typically sourced from flaxseed and algae. The yellow pigment of corn used as feed contains lutein which is promising in eye health.
This week hard boil a few eggs and keep on hand for breakfast and after a workout.
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