Food and Fitness Fundamentals
What is often stated as the perfect food? Eggs of course! For a mere 70 calories and 5 grams of fat, one egg provides 6 grams of high quality protein, consisting of all 13 essential amino acids that our bodies need to help build and retain strong muscles. Eggs are also rich in choline, which is important for brain function, for cell membranes and during pregnancy; B vitamins for metabolic functions and converting food into energy; Lutein, zeaxanthin, selenium and vitamin E, which are antioxidants that aid in eye health, immunity and the reduction of free radicals in the body; and Vitamin A for cell growth and night vision.
What has not yet been mentioned? Ahhh yes, cholesterol. It is true that eggs are considered to be a significant source of cholesterol. However, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eggs are actually 14 percent lower in cholesterol than previously thought. One large egg provides 185 mg cholesterol v. 215 mg. Another interesting find is the Vitamin D level has increased 64 percent, providing 41 IU. Overall eggs provide an excellent source of nutrition, and as with most things, moderation is the key. See Health and Nutrition facts.
It is possible to enjoy an egg per day and still meet the dietary guidelines and the American Heart Association recommendations of consuming 300 mg or less of cholesterol per day. Often it is the complimentary foods added to the egg that drives the fat and cholesterol levels high, such as bacon, sausage and cheese. Instead try adding a variety of fresh vegetables to your egg dish when making a morning omelet, or using whole grain breads for a scrambled egg sandwich accompanied with a delicious slice of fresh tomato and some fresh spinach, or try this Quick and Easy Muffin Frittata. For more recipe ideas and cooking videos, visit www.incredibleegg.org and the American Egg Board
When using eggs for baked goods, try substituting egg yolks with only the whites, or add pureed fruit such as applesauce to help reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol. Watch videos for substitution ideas.
At about 15 cents each, eggs are an excellent, quick, all-natural food that is loaded with good nutrition. The combination of protein and fat provides satiety between meals and has even shown to promote weight management. Stay tuned for more information on egg labeling, certification, food safety, sizes and how color influences nutrition.