GOOD HEALTH = EATING AT LEAST ONE EGG DAILY! A MUST READ!
Compiled by Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
Decades ago, the medical profession announced that eating eggs increased the level of cholesterol in our bodies. Consequently, many have formed daily habits that eliminate almost totally eggs from their diets. We were told to throw out the yolk and eat only the egg whites. What a disastrous decision!
I never believed eggs could be harmful to my health. The egg was created in order to act as a womb for the baby chick … why would God create an unhealthy home for the chick and nutrition that would cause it to have a poor beginning in life? Like a Mother’s breast milk is best suited for her baby, the egg was created to ensure excellent health for the chick.
I am 75 and have eaten one-two eggs per day every day of my life, except for visiting in homes that did not serve them. Since I am never sick, I consider myself living proof that eating lots of eggs is not harmful to my health. In fact, the information I am sharing with you states just the opposite—eggs are beneficial to your health.
The two articles below are samples of what may be found on the internet. I also include a book that I have ordered and encourage you to do the same. You may read excerpts from the articles below or go to the URLs supplied and read the entire article. Bold font is my effort to help those who skim the article quickly.
Health Benefits of Eggs – Excerpts from Original Article
The poor, misunderstood “incredible, edible egg.” Over the years, this nutrition powerhouse has acquired a bruised reputation from reports they contribute to raised cholesterol. Like other pieces of information associated with cholesterol, avoiding eggs is off the mark. Eggs stand alone in beneficial elements.
Eggs are a great source of protein. Numerous vitamins, including vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins like folic acid, choline and biotin, are also packed into this oval-shaped staple [Source: USDA]. In fact, very few foods share the same diverse nutrient makeup available in a single egg. Many of these are specifically needed for the health of the nerves and the brain. Through the years, all fats have become public enemies, often blamed for an increased risk of heart disease. Eggs fell out of favor and people gravitated toward egg whites as a substitute. In truth, the yolk is where many of the vitamins and nutrients are found.
The topic of cholesterol has become very confusing. Dietary advice on the subject is often so far off that consumers actually hurt their health by trying to avoid cholesterol. The body needs to achieve a balance when it comes to cholesterol consumption. Fat from healthy sources is vital to the body, while fat from poor choices, such as margarine or foods fried in vegetable oil, are very dangerous. Eggs remain a beneficial source of healthy fat. Many nutrients, such as vitamin A, are better absorbed with fat, making eggs a very good source of vitamin A. Research has documented that eggs do not appear to promote heart disease risk [Source: Kritchevsky, Djousse].
Diabetics may be one of the only groups that should avoid averaging more than one egg a day, as they might show some increases in cholesterol with higher egg consumption. But even in diabetics, eggs can be very helpful. Much of the standard breakfast for Americans is laden with sugar. Waffles, pancakes, pastries, gourmet coffees and most breakfast cereals offer little or no nutritional value and are often loaded with sugar. These foods are poor choices for diabetics, and the rest of us. For most individuals, eggs are a nutritional breakfast choice.
But every egg is not created equal. It’s best to buy any source of protein from an environment that is as natural as possible, meaning the animal was able to feed on foods that its body could tolerate, in conditions that were not overly stressful. For egg-producing chickens, this environment is often called “cage-free” or “free-range.” This means the chicken was allowed to roam, picking what it wanted to eat. Research has shown that cage-free hens have produced eggs higher in various vitamins [Source: Pappas]. Chickens packaged tightly in cages undergo stress, lowering their immune systems and raising their likelihood of infection. Frequent infections are a common problem for animals raised in cramped quarters. Many times, chickens are given regular antibiotics to help keep down infection rates. These antibiotics may lead to stronger, more resistant bacteria in the feces of the chicken and even in that of the farmer who raises them. This presents two big potential problems for the consumer: 1) antibiotics like sulfa in the chicken that could aggravate drug allergies, and 2) super resistant bugs. Free-range eggs actually show greater resistance to bugs like salmonella [Source: Messens]. When purchasing eggs, choose those that were grown in a free-range or cage-free environment, or better yet, purchase eggs directly from a farmer who focuses on growing eggs in a healthy environment. Eggs that say “organic” or “omega-3” have the right idea, but will still not be as good as cage-free.
Like nearly all foods, eggs lose some nutritional value when cooked [Source: Ramalho]. Regular egg eaters should choose not to scramble their eggs every time. When the yolk of the egg is broken (when the eggs are scrambled) and exposed to high heat, the proteins and fat of the eggs are damaged. In this case, the fat does become unhealthy. Eating scrambled eggs occasionally is not a major problem, just don’t make it your routine.
THE WORLD’S HEALTHIEST FOODS – EXCERPTS FROM ORIGINAL ARTICLE
The George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or advertising, is a new force for change to help make a healthier you and a healthier world.
We have placed eggs on our “10 Most Controversial WHFoods List.” This list was created to let you know that even though some foods (like eggs) can make an outstanding contribution to your meal plan, they are definitely not for everyone. Eggs can be difficult to find in high-quality form; can be more commonly associated with adverse reactions than other foods; and can present more challenges to our food supply in terms of sustainability.
Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein, providing 6.3 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) in one egg for a caloric cost of only 68 calories.
Boost Brain Health with Eggs’ Choline
Another health benefit of eggs is their contribution to the diet as a source of choline. An egg contains about 113 mg of choline. Although our bodies can produce some choline, we cannot make enough to make up for an inadequate supply in our diets, and choline deficiency can also cause deficiency of another B vitamin critically important for health, folic acid.
Choline is definitely a nutrient needed in good supply for good health. Choline is a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, whose flexibility and integrity depend on adequate supplies of choline. Two fat-like molecules in the brain, phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, account for an unusually high percentage of the brain’s total mass, so choline is particularly important for brain function and health.
In addition, choline is a highly important molecule in a cellular process called methylation. Many important chemical events in the body are made possible by methylation, in which methyl groups are transferred from one place to another. For example, genes in the body can be switched on or turned off in this way, and cells use methylation to send messages back and forth. Choline, which contains three methyl groups, is highly active in this process.
Choline is also a key component of acetylcholine. A neurotrasmitter that carries messages from and to nerves, acetylcholine is the body’s primary chemical means of sending messages between nerves and muscles.
Eggs’ Choline Reduces Inflammation
People whose diets supplied the highest average intake of choline (found in egg yolk and soybeans), and its metabolite betaine (found naturally in vegetables such as beets and spinach), have levels of inflammatory markers at least 20% lower than subjects with the lowest average intakes, report Greek researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Detopoulou P, Panagiotakos DB, et al.)
Practical Tip: Egg yolks are the richest source of choline.
Eggs—An Easy Answer for Americans’ Unmet Need for Choline
More than 90% of Americans are choline-deficient. This finding is especially concerning in pregnant women because choline is necessary for brain and memory development in the fetus.
Older adults are also at high risk of choline deficiency.
And even getting the recommended AI for choline may not meet the needs of approximately 20% of men.
Practical Tip: Foods that are good sources of choline should be frequent contributors to your healthy way of eating. Two large eggs provide 252 milligrams of choline (all in yolk), a little less than half the recommended daily supply, and also contain 630 milligrams (yes, milligrams not micrograms) of phosphatidylcholine. Although most sources just report the free choline at 252 micrograms, it is the phosphatidylcholine that is the most common form in which choline is incorporated into cell membrane phospholipids.
An Egg Breakfast Helps Promote Weight Loss
Healthy people can safely enjoy eggs without increasing their heart attack risk. The relative risk study, a thorough scientific review of the major studies concerning heart disease causation, which was conducted by Washington, DC-based scientific consulting firm, Exponent, found that eggs contribute just 0.6 percent of men’s and 0.4 percent of women’s coronary heart disease risk.
Eggs and Heart Health
In addition to its significant effects on brain function and the nervous system, choline also has an impact on cardiovascular health since it is one of the B vitamins that helps convert homocysteine, a molecule that can damage blood vessels, into other benign substances. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin B12, another B vitamin that is of major importance in the process of converting homocysteine into safe molecules.
Eggs are high in cholesterol, and health experts in the past counseled people to therefore avoid this food. (All of the cholesterol in the egg is in the yolk.) However, nutrition experts have now determined people on a low-fat diet can eat one or two eggs a day without measurable changes in their blood cholesterol levels. This information is supported by a statistical analysis of 224 dietary studies carried out over the past 25 years that investigated the relationship between diet and blood cholesterol levels in over 8,000 subjects. What investigators in this study found was that saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, is what influences blood cholesterol levels the most.
Improve Your Cholesterol Profile
Not only have studies shown that eggs do not significantly affect cholesterol levels in most individuals, but the latest research suggests that eating whole eggs may actually result in significant improvement in one’s blood lipids (cholesterol) profile—even in persons whose cholesterol levels rise when eating cholesterol-rich foods.
Helping to Prevent Blood Clots
Eating eggs may help lower risk of a heart attack or stroke by helping to prevent blood clots.
These anti-clotting egg yolk proteins inhibit clot formation in a dose-dependent manner—the more egg yolks eaten, the more clot preventing action.(That being said, it’s still important to only eat the amount of eggs that fits within your own personal Healthiest Way of Eating.)
Protection against Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cataracts
Lutein, a carotenoid thought to help prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, may be found in even higher amounts in eggs than in green vegetables such as spinach.
The bottom line: this study suggests that eating lutein-rich foods may be a more effective means of boosting lutein concentration in the eye than taking supplements.
Lutein is best absorbed from egg yolk—not lutein supplements or even spinach. Egg yolks, although they contain significantly less lutein than spinach, are a much more bioavailable source whose consumption increases lutein concentrations in the blood many-fold higher than spinach.
Eggs Protect Eyesight without Increasing Cholesterol
A daily egg—whose yolk is a rich source of vision-protective carotenoids, including not only lutein but also zeaxanthin—may reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration
An egg a day boosts blood levels of both lutein and zeaxanthin, thus reducing the risk of AMD—without increasing cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Eggs are egg-ceptional foods. They are whole foods, prepackaged sources of carbohydrates, protein, fat and micronutrients. Yet, their eggs-quisite nutritional value should not be surprising when you remember that an egg contains everything needed for the nourishment of a developing chick.
EAT EGGS – YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU!