Eggs have been a staple of our diets ever since the birth of man! Historians theorize that caveman learned to boil them, Greeks used them as an ingredient for baking breads, Egyptians used them as symbolic gesture to bring about fertility, and we know that modern day society uses them for just about everything from breakfast food to holiday decorations.
But in recent years eggs have earned as bad rep due to their high fat and cholesterol content, leaving everyone confused as to whether they are actually healthy to eat. Athletes have long used eggs as a source of quality protein. But are they good for you and should you be including them in your diet? Let’s take a closer look…
Eggs have been nicknamed the “Incredible Edible Egg” because they are nutrient dense, meaning they pack quite a punch. They contain 13 essential nutrients, are a great source of protein, and contain a healthy source of fat. Aldo Riboflavin, Choline, B12, Phosphorous, Selenium, Zinc, Iron and calcium can all be found in generous amounts in just one egg. The protein in eggs has a profile score of 136, meaning that it is a complete protein with a very good amino acid content.
Additionally, the fat found in eggs contains both Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids that support heart health, regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation and depression, and possibly lower your risk of stroke. They can be cooked many ways, combine with many foods, and used in more recipes than I can count. Plus eggs are widely available and relatively cheap making them a good go-to source for athletes and for some vegetarians, eggs are not just smart, but a vital source of nutrients and protein.
About 50% of the calories from eggs come from fat which leads many to avoid the dairy product. Also, eggs when not cooked or prepared properly can carry Salmonella, a potentially health threatening bacteria.
My problem with eggs is that most preparation methods leaves a lot to be desired as we fry eggs in butter, make breads, cakes, and other desserts with them, and top them with cheeses, sauces, and fried bacon, making eggs the perfect “guilty by association” food group.
While it was thought for years that eggs, and more specifically the fat they contain, were a terrible addition to a healthy diet, recent studies have proven quite the contrary. When eating 2 whole eggs per day there has been no evidence of increased cholesterol in study group patients, and in fact no correlation has ever been found between eggs and heart disease.
I personally feel eggs have received a bad rap as I’ve eaten eggs since my twenties. I generally mix 6 egg whites (the no fat part of the egg) with 2 yolks to receive the health benefits of both.
Eggs taste great and can be a good addition to anyone’s diet when prepared in the right way. Omelets, scrambled, over easy, sunny side up – it’s up to you. Cooking the eggs doesn’t change any of its nutritional profile, but how you prepare them and what they’re paired with can. So try using non-stick pans (for fried eggs) and don’t ruin the quality of the food by adding excessive cheese, bacon and other diet killers.