Friday, March 21, 2014

The Incredible Egg


  Egg's have the best nutrient package of any food we can eat.

With Easter egg hunt's right around the corner, let's take a close look at our friend the egg. Next to mother's milk,(and very close to it) whole egg's are, gram for gram, the healthiest staple on our planet. Think about it, one egg contains all the nutrients and building blocks required to grow an entire baby chicken. Large eggs contain 6 grams of protein, and all 9 essential amino acids. They are highly concentrated, with vitamins and minerals and are among the best sources of choline you can get. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Eggs are particularly rich in the two antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthine. These antioxidants gather in the retina of the eye and protect against the eye diseases Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.

The whole, "egg white vs. egg yolk phobia" began with very old and flawed self-serving research conducted over 50 years ago by the Cereal Institute. Using their deceptive research and condemning the egg yolk for being high in cholesterol and fat they instantly created a whole new market for egg substitutes. Created by cereal makers. The cereal industry created a hysteria with cholesterol lies and miss information that unfortunately some believe to this day. Egg yolks contain 240mg of leucine, the amino acid single-handedly responsible for flipping your genetic muscle-building switch. The bloated American Heart Assoc. finally relented in 2000 and changed it's dietary allowance for eggs from 3/wk. to one per day. While published research has supported that as many as 24 eggs per week results in no significant differences in blood cholesterol levels. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. Researchers from Harvard looked at the dietary habits of more than 100,000 people and concluded that daily egg consumption in healthy individuals didn't increase risk of coronary heart disease. In another study from the University of Connecticut, researchers found that eating three eggs per day as part of a low carbohydrate regimen improved HDL, "good" cholesterol, without any negative health effects. Got it.

  Organic and Free Range:

Don't be fooled by the egg industry's double-speak definitions of what organic and free-range really is. True free-range eggs are from hens that walk about freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. A hen that is let outside into a barren lot for a few minutes a day but is fed a diet of corn, soy and cottonseed meal, plus synthetic additives, is NOT an organic free-range hen, and will not produce the same quality eggs as its foraging counterpart. Likewise, a hen that is fed an organic diet, but never gets to go outside is also not, a true 
free-range hen, although it may currently slide through as an "organic" one. A major part of a hen being truly organic is having free range access to outdoor pasture. It's not just, about being fed organic grains. This, right now is a major point of contention within the egg industry. The largest egg producers have been hard at work, vigorously lobbying against requirements for outdoor pasture. The fact that the USDA, which is heavily influenced by the large players in the egg industry, is refusing to acknowledge that there is a direct link between the diet of the bird and the nutritional value of their eggs. To anyone with better than an eighth grade education, this is a clear indicator that there are strong financial incentives at work, and not nutritional science. For now unless you can get fresh eggs off the farm, stick with the organic label for your best buy. We'll have to let the money and lawyers decide what "Cage Free" and "Free Range" really mean. At the very least with organic, you're guaranteed no pesticides or antibiotics, and that's a major plus. As for the worst eggs out there, omega-3 fortified eggs take top billing and should be avoided.
  
Typically, the animals producing these eggs are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Also, omega-3 eggs do not last anywhere near as long as non-omega-3 eggs. The cornucopia institute rates organic egg producers. Check this link http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard, for the best rated producers, or check to see how the eggs you eat compare. A large egg contains:
  • Only 77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
  • Rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others).
  • One egg contains 113 mg of Choline – a very important nutrient for the brain, among other things. A study revealed that 90% of Americans may not get enough choline in their diet
A large egg contains 212mg of cholesterol, which is a lot compared to most other foods. However, it has been proven, time and time again, that eggs and dietary cholesterol do NOT adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood. In fact, eggs raise HDL (the good) cholesterol. They also change LDL cholesterol from small, dense LDL (which is bad) to large LDL, which is benign. A new meta-analysis published in 2013 looked at 17 prospective studies on egg consumption and health. They discovered that eggs had no association with either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people. This isn't new data. This is old news.

Multiple older studies have led to the same conclusion. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%. Eggs also promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulfur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Your hair might grow a little faster if you eat a few more egg's. Especially if you were deficient in sulfur, or B12. In fact The protein in eggs also causes your body to release the hormone glucagon, which encourages your body to release and use stored carbohydrates and fat. A real plus for athletes. Remember healthy athletes with no family history of heart disease have no need to ever toss the yolk and eat just the white. You guys who think your two-egg white omelet is a super source of protein. Think again, two egg whites, only 6 grams of protein. Yolks also have a high concentration of omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body, especially in the blood vessels, organs, and joints. Each egg has a different value of omega-3 fats due to what the individual hens had been eating. The BCAA (branch chain amino acids) in eggs are the building blocks of muscular growth. This is especially true with the amino acid Leucine, which triggers muscle growth. It's like throwing fuel on the fire for your muscles, so you recover faster and more efficiently. I like making a batch of hard boiled eggs once or twice a week, so that I can eat one after a workout, for breakfast snack or in green salads. It's a simple and a great time saving way to get them in your diet.

Ever since Rocky chugged down raw eggs as part of his quest to beat Apollo Creed, the lore about eating raw eggs has appealed to nutrition fanatics. However, research shows that the only thing you’ll gain from your Italian Stallion style of eating is a list of health concerns, without any extra benefits. I say pass on the raw egg's, although rare there is always the chance for salmonella poisoning. Lot of risk no benefit that I can see. Now contrary to popular belief, brown eggs aren't any healthier than white eggs. The color difference is due to the specific breed of hen, according to the Egg Nutrition Center. Hens with white feathers and white earlobes will lay white eggs, whereas hens with red feathers and matching-colored earlobes give us brown eggs. Speaking for myself, I only eat brown organic, cage free egg's, and I find their shells are much harder than white egg's. That tells me possibly the egg may be healthier since it has a sturdier house. Not to mention, the novelty of brown eggs give us egg snobs something to feel special about serving.

So go enjoy your eggs, Scrambled,fried,poached,soft or hard boiled.Brown,White or Green. Good Luck..






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