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Nature’s Perfect Food: The Egg

 

The 1990’s called. They want their carton of egg whites back.

Sadly, for many years people spent time throwing away one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Egg yolks!

The yolk contains most of the nutrients and the egg whites contain most of the protein. So eggs work wonderfully as a whole to provide you with one of the most nutritionally perfect foods.

Eggs are a wonderful, cost-effective way to add a valuable source of protein and fat to your diet.

But what about the cholesterol?

The cholesterol in our food does not affect the cholesterol in our blood. We need cholesterol. In fact, it is so necessary that our body is able to produce it on its own. When we eat more of it, our body produces less. When we eat less, our body produces more. Foods that contain cholesterol also contain powerful fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K; nutrients like choline and minerals that help support hormones and immune function that we need from infancy until our later adult years. This is why the most perfect food for human consumption – breast milk – is not only packed with cholesterol, it even contains special enzymes that help little babes absorb as much of it as possible.

Without proper cholesterol our immune systems are weakened and it causes an imbalance in our hormones, and we can become more prone to memory loss and poor brain function. Studies also show that people who have a long history of low cholesterol actually have a higher cancer risk! Your body is smart. As we age, cholesterol levels rise because we need more of it for healing and immune support.

I have many clients around 50-60+ years young and this seems to be the toughest generation to convince. If you think about, the advice they have been given and had gotten used to for most of their adult lives is now-wrong??? Once they started having children and/or had to start thinking about things like cholesterol and heart disease, these dietary changes made them feel better about their health.

Fat-fearers have gotten so used to the fact that they would be ordering egg white omelets and cooking with canola oil, unlike their grandparents, that they don’t “feel right” about eating whole eggs omelets and cooking them in butter. The interesting fact is, that all of the people coming to me that are doing “all the right things” by mainstream advice are still taking statins or cholesterol lowering medications. This is because their doctors have just wired it all down to genetics. And while I agree that you can do all of the “right things” and still have bad luck, I think it is unlikely if you do all the right things for YOUR body. We are all unique. We also have to pay attention to what those numbers really mean and what to look out for the most before we jump  to take medication.

Why Eggs Are Nature’s Perfect Food:

  • Eggs contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body!
  • Studies show that eggs will actually improve your cholesterol profile, raising HDL (good) cholesterol and changing LDL (bad) cholesterol to a “fluff” sub-type not associated with a risk of heart disease.
  • 3 whole eggs per day may reduce your risk of insulin resistance!
  • Eggs can help improve your body composition.
  • Eggs improve brain-health.
  • Egg yolks contain one of the best sources of choline, an essential nutrient needed for a multiple processes in the human body.

One large whole egg contains: 

  • 300 mcg of choline
  • 245 IUs of vitamin A
  • 37 IUs of vitamin D
  • 19 mg potassium
  • 25 mcg folate
  • 22 mg calcium
  • powerful antioxidants
  • 7 grams of high quality protein

 

Okay, great, point taken…eat all the egg yolks!

Not so fast.

soy-free eggs

If you want the wonderful nutrition that comes packed in the yolk you MUST consider the source of your eggs. Many times people begin eating a whole foods diet and LOAD UP on eggs. This is not always the best idea. If you plan to do this, you must consider a few things first:

 

Avoid Factory-Farmed Standard Supermarket Eggs:

  • Factory farmed eggs you would get at a regular grocery store are not ideal. First off, eggs are one of the cruelest of cruel when it comes to factory farmed animal products.
  • Eggs from tortured hens are inflammatory to your body due to the imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 (and MANY other factors), so you may as well keep eating carton eggs whites.
  • Factory farmed eggs are usually fed GMO grains, given vitamins and antibiotics as well as synthetic hormones.
  • Beware of “cage-free” labels on eggs. This is a regulated term, but the chickens most-likely never see sunshine their entire lives and live in crowded rooms in unsanitary conditions. Cage-free does not mean cruelty-free. They are still de-beaked to prevent injuries to one another, have a stressful environment, and still may be given antibiotics.

DO Choose Organic Pasture-Raised:

  • Choose eggs from your local farm where chickens live outdoors and roam free in the sunshine, soaking up plenty of Vitamin D.
  • Hens should live off their natural diet of bugs, worms, plants and (organic) supplemental feed. Beware of “100% vegetarian” labels.
  • Pastured eggs sometimes have the label “omega-3” enriched. This is a great choice, and just means that the chickens were supplemented with omega-3 rich feed such as flax.

DO Choose Pastured, Organic & Soy-Free (Best Choice):

  • Pastured, soy-free eggs are the BEST choice if you can find them.
  • Many times people think they are allergic to eggs, but they are really sensitive to the soy concentrates in the yolks.
  • When chickens are fed soy, high concentrations of estrogen mimicking hormones end up in the yolks causing disruption of the delicate hormonal balance in both men and women.
  • Speak to your farmer and ask how they feed their hens. If soy is on the menu ask them to consider another way.
  • Be prepared to pay a little bit more. To me, it is worth it, especially because I am feeding these eggs to my young children! A whole carton of pastured soy-free eggs is cheaper than ONE Iced Venti White Chocolate mocha with caramel syrup…and you will be MUCH healthier if you cut those out of your life. You will also end up saving $47.00 a week if you drink that or another pricey Starbucks drink daily!

 

Bottom line, if you are going to eat eggs daily, pastured, organic and soy-free is what you want! Go to localharvest.com to find a farm near you. I love my farm service! They have food I can trust from people who truly care about bringing you quality and raising their animals the best way possible! Be sure the hens can roam-free to express their chickeness before you buy their eggs! This will ensure a very bright orange yolk.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats-full-story/
  2. Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD
  3. Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
  4. Eat The Yolk, Liz Wolff
  5. Cholesterol Clarity, Jimmy Moore
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