The Super Powerful Egg

By on January 11, 2014
egg

From a long long time ago, eggs have been a breakfast staple around the world. Eggs are a well known rich source of protein — an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Thus eggs are the perfect sources and a smart food choice for those who reduce their intake of carbohydrates in a bit to lose excess weight. Another important nutrient you will find abundantly in egg white is riboflavin or vitamin B2.

The yolk, which many of us avoid out of fear, is actually a very healthy food, if consumed in moderation. Mainly fat, the yolk contains 1.33 g of cholesterol per 100 g and is a rich source of vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, lecithin, and iron.

Egg Facts

  • Having one egg daily prevents macular degeneration due to the carotenoid content.
  • One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids.
  • One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, a 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 may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least six eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
  • Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals.

Fat Content in Egg

Eating eggs on a daily basis drastically increases your fat intake. You need some fat in your diet to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, produce certain hormones and perform other functions. Too much fat, particularly saturated fat from eggs, can be harmful and increase your risk of heart disease. For a 2,000-calorie diet, three scrambled eggs at breakfast take up as much as 35 percent of your calories for the entire day.

All of the fat and cholesterol in eggs comes from the yolk. Opt for plain egg whites in a carton or separate egg yolks from the whites before cooking.

Cooking Healthy

Ensure your eggs are cooked thoroughly, since raw or undercooked eggs can provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and food-borne illness. Limit your use of oil when cooking eggs, and pair eggs with healthy flavorings, like chopped red peppers, mushrooms and other veggies. Limit your cholesterol by cooking egg whites. If you have a history of high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about including eggs in your diet.

Egg Whites

Egg whites lack vitamins A and D, which are present in egg yolks. However, egg whites are cholesterol-free and contain few calories. Two egg whites provide about the same amount of protein as one whole egg; however, two whites only contain 34 calories versus 55 calories in one large egg yolk. Therefore, egg whites are an excellent high-protein alternative for those who want to curb their risk for heart disease. One potential disadvantage of eating egg whites is its somewhat high sodium content. One cup of egg whites contains 403 mg of sodium, or 17% of the recommended daily allowance. This could be potentially dangerous to those on a low sodium diet, or those who have issues with high blood pressure. Reduction of serving size, as well spacing out the frequency of eating the egg whites can help alleviate this problem.

The yolk contains 100% of all of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K found in the entire egg. It also contains 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12 of the egg. The egg white provides very few nutrients other than protein, and anyone eating egg whites exclusively will need supplementation to acquire the nutrients found in the yolks.

Omega-3-Enriched Eggs

Although usually more expensive, some eggs are high in omega-3 fatty acids because they come from chickens fed on omega-3-rich diet; this type of diet may include soybeans or flaxseed, for example. According to Harvard School of Public Health, omega-3s may protect you against heart disease. Since omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper fetal growth and development, they are important for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. If eggs are enriched with omega-3s, the nutrition label generally provides information about the amount of omega-3s provided in each egg.

Though egg contains more-than-enough calories, smart consumption is a far healthier option to cutting them out completely.

Image courtesy: stern.de ,

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