I recently shared one of my favorite breakfasts, which shamelessly sported two fried eggs on top of bread, – with cheese and mayo. Ghosts of cholesterol Christmas past began to haunt me and felt that in all fairness I better do my homework to be sure I did not send anyone into cardiac arrest from over egg consumption, myself included.
I found a lot of information (and a really interesting discussion) about eggs and the egg industry. Some of it was helpful, some of it was so verbose and inflammatory it made me roll my eyes.
I am reminded frequently that you can find something to prove, or disprove anything you like on the internet. While that may be true, it does not mean that the information out there is useless. All medical, nutrition and other science is a work in progress. Long held notions are toppled and replaced by new ideas every day, and those are then set aside in light of more recent discoveries.
I am obviously very fond of eggs, so I have a bias. I am going to just cop to that and tell you that I think eggs are great. Yes they have cholesterol, but as it turns out, according to Nutrition Authority, “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.”
Web MD gives them a big thumb up saying, “Egg protein serves as a standard protein source. In fact, it’s such a great source that it sets the standard to which other protein sources are compared.” I also called in the troops on this one, (meaning my brother who is an MD,) and he added that one thing that is often overlooked is that how you or I respond to a diet is based partly on personal physical and hereditary traits. So, while for one person eggs might be artery annihilation, for someone else they might be a non-factor. His advice was take a baby aspirin and call him in the morning. Actually it was “moderation.” Surprise!
Some more eggie enlightenment: One egg is the equivalent protein, of 1 oz. of red meat. (While I am not a vegetarian, I love that nothing has to die for that benefit.) Men’s Health says: “Calorie for calorie you need less protein from eggs than you do from other sources to achieve the same muscle building benefits,”
I have heard eggs called, “The perfect protein,” and in terms of completeness this certainly seems to be the case. I find the protein in egg keeps me full and satisfied much longer than other meals. I don’t have any emergency refueling stops at the frig after a breakfast that includes eggs, and I also love that there are infinite ways to fix them.
Authority Nutrition gives the run down on eggs as follows:
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
- Folate: 5% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
- Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
In addition, eggs contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, E, K, B6, Calcium and Zinc.
You will note here that I am not even attempting to defend the butter and mayo in the other post. I did offer alternatives so hopefully now I will not be haunted by this. “God bless us every one.”
Post Script here: In case you were wondering, it does matter what kind of eggs you buy, and how the chickens that produce them are raised and fed. We now have eggs that are naturally nested and organically fed. What an animal is fed and how it is kept measurably affects the quality of its produce, but that is a post for another day.