What Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?

           Why are you so afraid or disgusted of something so nutritious? Some people are against eggs.  Some people can't bare the taste of the yolk.  Some are ev

 

en just allergic to eggs. Then there are a few questions that arise concerning eggs.  How should you eat your eggs if you consume eggs?  Are raw eggs ideal?  How many should you have a week? The question then comes down to, are eggs actually beneficial for us?  The answer is simple... Yes!

            Of course when we talk about eggs, or any other type of protein or food category, organic is the best way to go. So grass-fed, free-range hens are what you need to look for on the packaging labels when you go to the supermarkets, or go directly to the farm and see how they are raised.  Another option, which many of you may not have the time for, is take care of your own chickens in your backyard. Yes, they may require a lot of work, but at least you know what you are feeding the chickens and know how they are raised.

            Many people consume eggs without any notion of why they are so healthy for you.  Most people avoid eggs or are told to avoid eggs because they elevate cholesterol. This is the furthest from the truth! The following points will discuss the nutrients that eggs contain and the health benefits.

            #1: Nutrients:

            Eggs contain selenium, iodine, phosphorus, molybdenum, choline, lutein, vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, E, D, K, Omega-3 fatty acid and 10 grams of protein (amino acids included). These are essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need. We get these vitamins and minerals from eggs whether they are cooked or raw. (1)

            Choline is needed for keeping the brain alert and healthy.

            Lutein is needed for the eyes.

            Vitamins A, E, D are essential for the skin, immune system, a healthy gut, proper hormone production, and many other important benefits.  As we do not get enough sun exposure, we need Vitamin D from every source we can get it from, and in higher doses. 

            All of the B-vitamin categories are important for stress, amino acid production, hormone production, energy production and much more.

            Vitamin K is critical for the bones.

            Omega-3 are essential for a healthy heart, healthy brain, and proper joint functions. 

            Iodine is imperative for the thyroid.

            Every other nutrient has their importance in the body in their own specific way.

 

#2 Cholesterol myth:

            No, quality eggs do not elevate your cholesterol. They actual regulate your cholesterol levels.  Cholesterol is the mother hormone that produces sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, as well as our stress hormone, cortisol.  Eggs actually raise total cholesterol, increase HDL (high density lipoprotein) and decrease our LDL (low density lipoprotein), or our "bad" cholesterol.  Take note that there is no bad or good cholesterol. We need every sort of cholesterol as they have their own properties in the body that help the body.  For the scope of the article we will not go in detail, just understand that you need more HDL than LDL but a little bit of LDL will not kill you. 

            In 1991, a study demonstrated that an 88 year old man who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, was eating 25 eggs per day.  The study compared cholesterol levels of the 88 year old man, and that of a group of 11 healthy individuals (10 women and 1 man).  The study demonstrated that the old man had the same, if not better, cholesterol plasma levels as those of the 11 individuals.  Also, the 88 year old man had no issues or arthritis or arthrosclerosis(2).

#3 Raw Eggs:           

            Raw eggs in moderation, are actually very healthy for us. The only con eggs set out to have is the risk of salmonella. Salmonella is present in the egg's yolk which is due to an infection in the hen's reproductive tissues. Although, this risk is not so drastic as people claim it to be. The chance of getting salmonella is 1 in 10 000 as presented in one journal, and 1 in 30 000 as presented in another(1).

            One other concern may arise where someone can develop an intolerance or allergen to eggs.  If this is the case, then of course avoid eggs all together.

            In short, yes there is a slight chance of catching salmonella poisoning, but that goes the same chance for milk or meat. Raw eggs are a good protein source to help bulk up or lean out, so why stop yourself from eating healthy? I am not saying have raw eggs every morning now, I'm just saying don't be afraid to have raw eggs. There is always a moderation when it comes to food and many other things in life. 

#4 Want to lose weight?:

            Eggs are actually filling, as they are high in protein and have the essential amino acids the body needs.  Starting your day off with eggs, will make you eat fewer calories throughout the day.  Allowing yourself to have eggs in the morning versus a bagel or toast, also curbs your cravings for sweets throughout the rest of the day.  If you eat something high in sugar the minute you wake up, you kick start your insulin hormone, which is the hormone that regulates your sugar, which makes it harder for the body to convert the sugar into energy as there is a surplus of sugar afterwards.  Having a breakfast high in protein, stabilizes your blood sugar and makes you feel full for longer periods. 

#5 Is there a limit on eggs?

            If that man at 88 years old can have 25 eggs per day, and have no side effects while keeping his cholesterol down, then I guess there really is no limit.  It all depends on your tolerance levels to eggs, if there are any allergens, and what your goals are.  If you want to bulk up and gain weight, eat more eggs.  If you want to stay lean and fit and just maintain a healthy physique or even just slim down a size or two, stick with 2-3 whole eggs.  And yes, have the WHOLE egg so you benefit from the nutritious values of the whole egg and not just the protein content of the egg white. FACT: half the protein is in the yolk!

            So don't be afraid of consuming your eggs. They will do you better than you think.  One last thing.  Don't think that eggs are only for breakfast.  You can eat eggs at anytime of the day.  Vince Gironda, a bodybuilding guru, used to eat 2-3 dozen eggs a day, raw or cooked.  Vary the way you cook your eggs and vary the time intervals of your eggs.

 

References:

1) Sisson, Mark, (2010), Mark's Daily Apple, Dear Mark: Raw Eggs, https://www.marksdailyapple.com/drinking-raw-eggs/

2) Kern, Fred, (1991), New England Journal of Medicine, Normal Plasma Cholesterol in an 88-Year-Old-Man Who Eats 25 Eggs a day - Mechanisms of Adaptation, 324:896-899, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199103283241306

 

 

 

 

 

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