Back in 1961 we began hearing the warning that you should eat egg whites only, because the yolks were considered unhealthily high in cholesterol and very dangerous for us. Some warnings were that it spikes your heart disease risk and the higher blood cholesterol raises the risk of diabetes. This has all been based on assumption that saturated fat was bad for us!
It is known that 30% of the total fat content of a large egg is beneficial saturated fat and the remainder is monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that are solidly heart healthy. Eggs are actually considered to be an almost perfect food for us. Of course, the yolk is arguably the healthiest part of the whole as it contains vitamins A, D, E, K and B12, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, folate and much more choline than the white. A good amount of carotenoid content is in the yolk, but the most important is the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which lower inflammation and protect your eye health. Water-soluble B vitamin, Biotin, is contained in the yolk and it aids in your body’s glucose, fatty acid metabolism and is important during pregnancy. But raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin that may block absorption of biotin. The white is largely protein and the most important nutrient, compensating for the meats that vegetarians don’t eat. Eggs might also reduce your appetite so you might eat less and lose some weight.
Eating eggs will help with type 2 diabetes and blood pressure. Research revealed that those volunteers who ate the most eggs were 46% less likely to develop hypertension than the ones who ate very few eggs, if any at all. Through a study it was found that consuming two eggs a day, six days a week, could be healthier for you.
Cooking reduces the vitamin A content of eggs between 17% and 20% as revealed in a review. The shorter time cooking, no mater the method you use, the more nutrients the eggs retain. The best way is to soft boil eggs or poach them until just firm, or cook them gently over easy, leaving the yolk runny. However, the healthiest way to consume them is actually raw. Baked for 40 minutes causes the eggs to lose as much as 61% of their vitamin D content where boiled or fried for a shorter period loses only 18%.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture states this is what you get with the raw version of eggs: 36% more vitamin D, 33% more omega-3s, 33% more DHA, 30% more lutein plus zeaxanthin, 23% more choline, 20% more biotin and 19% more zinc.
About 35% of the daily choline for a woman is realized from a single raw egg as compared to 26% from one that is hard-boiled. People in the U.S. are deficient in choline, and particularly troublesome for pregnant women. This deficiency is associated with an increased number of birth defects and may also be culpable in fatty liver and muscle damage.
The best quality eggs are pastured from an organically raised hen. From the grocery store, the eggs come from conventionally raised chickens and the odds are up that some kind of harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, is present. Organic eggs are from chickens fed only organic food, less the pesticides and GMOs they most likely eat when grain and corn fed. Free pasture access for the chickens insured they get the nutrients they need, naturally. Love those eggs, and aren’t we glad the previous assumption has been debunked so that we can all enjoy them without guilt?
–Dr Fredda Branyon