We have all seen the breakfast commercials boasting of the best breakfast servings with pancakes, sausage, roast potatoes, bacon and eggs. We all also know that such a meal is high in cholesterol and a heart attack waiting to happen. The tendency is to group all the foods in this type of meal together, meaning that we should never eat any of these foods and if we do, only very seldom. However, most people know that roast potatoes are not extremely unhealthy. Yet, most would not guess that eggs, when consumed properly, are in fact quite healthy.
Little known to most, eggs are loaded with nutrients, one whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a whole chicken. In fact, eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. A single large boiled egg contains, pasture raised, contains 78 calories, 34.5 percent of daily choline, 28 percent of selenium, 26 percent of biotin, 22.9 percent of vitamin B12, 20 percent of vitamin B12, 18.8 percent Molybdenum, 18 percent of iodine, 14 percent of pantothenic acid, 12.5 percent of protein, 12.2 percent of phosphorous, 10.8 percent of Vitamin D, and 8.2 percent Vitamin A. Moreover, eggs score high on a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures the ability of foods to induce feelings of fullness and reduce subsequent calorie intake. Thus, this also helps promote weight loss. Studies show that replacing a morning bagel with an egg causes significant weight loss. In fact, eating three whole eggs per day could be perfectly safe, depending upon the individual. On the contrary, if a person has type 2 diabetes, eggs could increase the risk of heart problems. On the other hand, if your diet is high in fiber, eggs could be beneficial as you may need more protein. In addition to being high in protein (one egg contains 6 grams), eggs also contain all B Vitamins.
Other benefits provided by eggs include Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants needed for eye health. The nutrients Lutein and Zeaxanthin both tend to build up in the retina of the eye. Consumption of eggs in adequate amounts can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are two very common eye disorders. Furthermore, eggs also contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of blindness in the world.
Most people who are health conscious are weary of eggs as being bad for the heart and causing high cholesterol. A little-known fact is that in 70 percent of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol at all. In the other 30 percent of individuals, eggs can mildly raise total and LDL cholesterol. Why is this you may ask? One reason is that the liver produces large amounts of cholesterol every single day, and when we eat more eggs, the liver produces less cholesterol instead, so it evens out naturally. Also, eggs raise HDL, which is otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol. HDL is short for High Density Lipoprotein. People who have high HDL levels usually have lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and various health problems. LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol, does not increase from eating eggs hard-boiled alone.
Lastly, another factor worth considering is what kind of eggs you buy and consume. Pasteurized or Omega-3 eggs can lower triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides are a well-known risk factor for Heart Disease. One study conducted showed that just five Omega-3 enriched eggs per week for three weeks reduced triglycerides by 16-18 percent. Therefore, when buying eggs, the health conscious consumer should consider what kind of eggs to buy. Pasteurized/Omega 3 eggs come from hens that are fed a more nutritious diet. Eggs, particularly Omega-3 eggs, are proven to be high in quality protein with all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.
Blog by Ville Iso-Ahola