Go suck an egg! Really. Eggs are good for you

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

There are a few foods that keep seesawing on the nutritional scale as experts debate whether to praise or condemn them. One of the most popular ones in this category has got to be eggs.

The main reason eggs have been put on our unhealthy food radar has been due to their high cholesterol content. Even so, recent studies suggest that eating one egg a day plays no role in increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke in individuals, the main concern with having too much cholesterol in the body. And cholesterol aside, eggs are an incredibly healthy food. They are a good source of high-quality protein, the entire vitamin B complex, phosphorus and riboflavin, among other nutrients. Here are a few reasons why you should be including eggs your diet.

Eggs are a great source of protein. In fact, eggs are a complete protein, containing all the necessary amino acids. A 50-gram egg has more than six grams of protein, or 13% of the recommended Daily Value (DV), and nearly half is found in the yolk.

Mitch Kanter, executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, told Live Science, “Although we often think of protein’s function in building and maintaining muscle, newer research suggests other benefits of protein.” The Egg Nutrition Center is the the research arm of the American Egg Board, a marketing body dedicated to selling more eggs.

Kanter added that many recent studies have found that protein-rich breakfasts, such as those including eggs, give people a greater sense of being full and helps cut down how much they eat at the next meal. Eggs also are relatively low calorie, containing just 71 kilo-calories in a large egg, and low fat, containing 5 grams. Therefore, eggs are a great food for individuals looking to lose weight.

“Additionally,” Kanter said, “diets higher in protein have been linked with lower risk of developing hypertension.”

Eggs are also great for your eyesight. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants found in egg yolks that may help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness,” Kanter said. “The two nutrients are part of the carotenoid family (like beta-carotene in carrots).”

“Eggs are one of the richest sources of choline in the diets of Americans,” Kanter said. A large egg can provide 35% of your daily choline needs. “Choline is an essential nutrient that is particularly important for pregnant and breastfeeding women as it contributes to brain and memory development.”

Despite all these benefits, it is still a good idea seek medical advice if you suffer from diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension. A Canadian Journal of Cardiology review of other studies painted an alarming picture of the risks that egg yolks posed for diabetics and others at risk of diseases caused by cholesterol.

So the takeaway from this would be that eggs are good for you if you eat them in moderation. Furthermore, perhaps eat only the whites instead of whole eggs if you are at risk of diabetes or already eat a high-fat diet. Finally, of course, always cook the egg until it is firm throughout, in order to avoid food poisoning from salmonella, a bacteria that is found in eggs. So don’t suck an egg, bite an egg.

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