Eggs are my best friend, and they really should be yours as well! I have at least two eggs, three times a week. So needless to say they are an essential part of my diet. Eggs have been known to have a bad reputation in nutrition. However, that is slowly disappearing and I could not love the science behind eggs more than I do now.
The Breakdown of Eggs
- The average egg contains 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and around 13 essential vitamins and minerals.
- The protein found in eggs are required for building and maintaining lean body mass.
- The egg yolk contains the most of the nutrients found within an egg. Nutrients include Vitamin D, Choline, and antioxidants to help decrease the development of cataracts.
- Eggs are considered a complete protein since they contain all nine essential amino acids.
What the Research is Saying
Previously in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the recommendations were to only consume four egg yolks per week due to the high cholesterol content. Now in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the recommended cholesterol levels are omitted because of new research studies being published.
In a recent study completed by the University of Eastern Finland, it was concluded that consuming a high-cholesterol diet or one egg a day did not increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Around 1,000 men aged 42 to 60, with no diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease, participated in the study and were followed up 21 years later. The highest control group consumed one egg per day with an average cholesterol level of 520 mg. Based on the results, the study concluded that the consumption of eggs was not an associated risk of CHD.
Another study done by the University of Eastern Finland looked at the correlation between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes. This correlation has not been studied intensively and results have not been conclusive. However, in this recent study, it was found that men that consumed about four eggs per week lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 37%. Opposed to men that only consumed one egg per week. Eggs contain nutritional benefits, like glucose metabolism and low-grade inflammation, which lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
I understand that these research studies do have relatively small sample populations and there may be different factors associated with the research. But these are small research studies that are starting the conversation on how eggs can be accepted again in the American diet.
My favorite ways to enjoy eggs
Avocado Toast & Fried Egg
If I have more than ten minutes to enjoy breakfast, I always am making avocado toast with a fried egg on top. This flavorful breakfast is packed with so many healthy benefits. Avocados offer amazing healthy fats to help my brain function in the morning and of course my eggs are packed with protein and nutrients I need within my body. Pair this breakfast dish with a glass of 2% milk and you have a breakfast packed with protein to keep you full until your next snack or meal.
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
When I do not have time to sit down and enjoy breakfast, mainly because I am most likely running late. I reach for a premade breakfast burrito. There are so many recipes out there that are great for making freezer breakfast burritos. One of my favorite recipes is from Budget Bytes. Of course, I usually load mine up with eggs.
Hard Boiled Eggs on my Salad
Another great way to enjoy eggs are when they are hard boiled. Hard-boiling eggs is easy and can be done on a Sunday night when you are getting your upcoming lunches ready. Adding eggs to salads is a great way to add protein, helping you stay full.
While doing my egg research I came across a study conducted by Purdue University. It states that adding eggs to a salad filled with raw vegetables can increase the absorption of carotenoids. Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients that help decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. The fat inside the eggs helps increase the absorption. Results showed a higher absorption rate when participants consumed a salad with three whole eggs compared to no eggs at all.
Based on these findings, it also shows the importance of consuming the whole egg since the yolk contains the lipids to help with absorption. So get creative with your salads and experiment with your taste buds on which raw vegetables taste better with eggs. (My favorite is raw peppers of all colors with hard boiled eggs.)
Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
Going along with hard boiled eggs, there are times where I am craving an egg salad sandwich. (I think my internship at a long-term care facility created that craving.) But, I am not a big mayo fan – the key ingredient in egg salad sandwich. Avocados save the day once again! Instead of using mayo, use a mashed up avocado. Season with some salt and pepper and throw on a piece of bread or enjoy with crackers. Something new and delicious!
As always, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you!