Eggs Are a Weight-Loss Superfood with Health Benefits
Eggs! They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner–or as a snack. They can be boiled, fried, poached, scrambled over easy or hard, deviled, etc.
They are low-calorie (80 per egg), low carb (less than 1g carb per egg) and high protein (6g per egg). Eggs are an excellent snack or meal for anyone who wants to lose or manage their weight. I hard-boil or buy hard-boiled ones and pop one or two in my mouth as I run out the door in the mornin. Add a handful of fresh spinach to an egg scramble, and you have a healthy breakfast that’s bursting with nutrients. Egg whites have only 15 calories per egg, no cholesterol, and no saturated fat, which makes them extremely diet-friendly.
In addition to helping with weight control, eggs supply many essential nutrients, including vitamin A, and the minerals iron, phosphorus, zinc, and DHA, which is a key to brain health. For vegetarians who still eat some animal products, eggs are an excellent nonmeat source of the vitamin B12, an essential nutrient that most humans get from meat, fish, and dairy.
How nutritious an egg is also largely depends on how it was produced. Some farmers now feed laying hens omega-3-rich diets that in turn produce eggs that are enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost heart and brain health.
Most of egg’s bad reputation is due to the yolk’s cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, one large egg yolk has about 186 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol, and it’s recommended that the average person limit dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day. The AHA recommends that people with normal cholesterol levels cap their egg consumption to four or fewer whole eggs per week, and suggests that people with heart disease eat two or fewer eggs per week or use cholesterol-free egg substitutes. Because egg whites contain no cholesterol, unlimited egg white consumption is perfectly heart-healthy.
The reputation of eggs has largely been restored because study after study has found that dietary cholesterol has a much smaller impact on cholesterol levels than was once believed. In fact, a 2001 study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, found that lutein, a nutrient found in egg yolks, may even help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Most egg substitutes, such as Egg Beaters, are pasteurized egg whites that are supplemented with beta-carotene for color and additional vitamins. There are also animal-free egg substitutes on the market that are made from potato starch or yeast flakes, which when mixed with water, can resemble the consistency of beaten eggs.