Food and Fitness Fundamentals
As I mentioned in my last blog, there is much more to say about eggs than I could ever discuss in one article. For a brief recap, one large egg provides about 70 calories, including 6 grams protein, consisting of all the essential amino acids needed to make a complete protein. An egg also has 185 mg cholesterol, all of which is found in the yolk. If you like to consume eggs on a regular basis, but not all of the cholesterol, eliminate the yolk and use whites only. As an alternative, you can use cholesterol-free egg substitutes. The substitution rate for one egg is: two egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute.
Purchasing eggs can sometimes be daunting: organic vs. conventional; brown v. white, pee wee v. jumbo, etc. Hopefully this discussion will help to ease your decision during your next grocery run.
The USDA has developed a strict set of guidelines in order for a food to be labeled organic. All organic eggs are produced and processed according to the USDA Certified Organic standards. All hens are fed food that is free of pesticides, herbicides and commercial fertilizers. Commercial egg producers routinely do not use hormones and antibiotics; however, they are forbidden in organic eggs. Organic laying hens must also be fed organic food and be given access to the outdoors.
Brown vs. White
Interestingly, there is no difference in taste or nutritional value when comparing various colored eggs. White shelled eggs come from hens that have white feathers and white ear lobes; brown shelled eggs come from hens that have red feathers and red ear lobes. On a side note, the color of the yolk however is dependent upon what the hen eats. A diet consisting of yellow corn or alfalfa spins off a medium yellow yolk, while wheat and barley produces a lighter colored yolk.
Eggs come in a vast array of sizes ranging from Pee Wee (15 oz) to Jumbo (30 oz). The larger the egg, the more calories, fat and nutrients it provides. A standard cooking recipe usually suggests using large eggs. Keep this in mind when planning your use for eggs.
Many people when purchasing eggs are concerned and confused about egg production and the associated labeling terminology. In my next blog, I’ll discuss these issues and more.
Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!