I am often asked about the perfect food choices people can make to support
healthier lifestyles, and more often than not, I recommend eating more eggs.
Are eggs the perfect food? Some important indicators suggest they might
be. As well as being an excellent source of protein, they also contain
vitamins and minerals. If they are not already, eggs should become part of your
healthy meal plan because they are quick and relatively easy to make –
and they pack a powerful nutrition punch.
Yes, the fat is all in the yolk; however, so are the nutrients. Among its
array of nutrients, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
reports that one egg yolk provides the following:
According to the book
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, one large egg yolk provides 300 mcg of choline, which forms betaine to
help lower homocysteine, which is a risk factor for
heart disease. Choline also helps make phosphatidylcholine to benefit your liver, nervous
system, and brain.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in egg yolks are powerful antioxidants
and particularly valuable in preventing macular degeneration. A study
in the journal
Optometry showed lutein is a powerful antioxidant to improve vision. Another study in the
Journal of Nutrition found that men absorb lutein better from egg yolks than from spinach or
The bottom line is that if you cut out the egg yolks, you’re also
discarding the vast majority of an egg’s nutrients.
Eggs = Nutrition
Intolerances aside, eggs may be one of the best sources of nutritious food
around. In fact, three large eggs can pack approximately 21 grams of very
high-quality protein. While they may have an undeserved bad reputation
for containing too much-saturated fat, eggs actually provide a balance
of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.
Diabetes? Over, Easy.
Scramble your defenses: According to a study from researchers in Finland,
eggs could also help protect against
type 2 diabetes.
Eggs contain many beneficial nutrients such as high-quality protein, fatty
acids, and vitamins that may have had a positive effect on, for example,
glucose metabolism and low-grade inflammation, which would therefore lower
the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Need More Vitamin D? Make an Omelet.
Eggs are another excellent source of
vitamin D, with two large eggs providing about one-tenth of a daily dose of vitamin
D. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, they will not increase your
body’s cholesterol levels like saturated fat does so feel free to
make omelets a regular breakfast option. Just remember that the vitamin
D in an egg comes from the yolk, so it is important to use the whole egg
and not just the whites.
Eating Eggs Can Assist With Fat Loss
Eggs contain only trace amounts of carbohydrates, but plenty of good protein
and healthy fat. They also score very high on a scale called the
Satiety Index, which is a measure of how much foods contribute to satiety – or,
did the food satisfy your hunger? It appears that eggs do that very well.
In one study, 30 overweight or obese women consumed either a breakfast
of eggs or a breakfast of bagels. Both breakfasts contained the same amount
of calories. The women who were in the egg eating group felt more full
and, therefore, ate fewer calories throughout the rest of the day and
for the next 36 hours. Furthermore, eggs are inexpensive to buy, taste
incredible and tend to go well with almost any food.
Dr. Jo Ellen Pitzer practices family medicine at St. Jude Heritage Medical Group in Anaheim
Hills. Learn more about
St. Jude Heritage Medical Group.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.