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The Incredible, Edible Egg

By: Jason Yun

There really is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to eggs. Mainly the difference between egg whites and the yolk. Most people believe, and have been told time and time again that egg yolks are bad for you. They’re loaded with cholesterol, and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other bad things.

Well, I’m here to tell you differently. Eggs are one of my favorite foods. They are probably the world’s most perfect food. As a natural food item they pack the best protein source in the world. And without a shadow of a doubt are extremely healthy for you. And the yolk is actually the healthiest part of the egg.

If you throw out the yolk, you’re pretty much throwing out the nutrition. The egg white is almost completely devoid of any vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You get calcium, iron, riboflavin, B12, selenium (huge cancer fighter), phosphorous, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, all the fat soluble vitamins, and a whole lot more super powerful nutrients.

But what about the cholesterol? Before I get into that, let’s talk about an essential nutrient that eggs are a superstar provider of—Choline. It’s an essential nutrient because you must obtain it from the diet, much like essential fatty acids. It is essential for brain, cell membranes, and cardiovascular function. It’s part of a phospholipid that I can’t pronounce and you need not worry about knowing the name of. But without adequate amounts of it, both cholesterol and fat will accumulate in the liver. So the choline in eggs actually stops the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the liver!

Many studies have come out saying that dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise cholesterol levels significantly. It is much more affected by saturated and trans fats. You should be getting less than 10% of your total calories from saturated fats, and 0% from trans fats—Yes, they are that evil!

Many people don’t know this but the body actually makes cholesterol in the body.  If you don’t eat enough cholesterol in your diet, the body produces more. If you do eat foods high in cholesterol, like whole eggs, then the body lessens the amount it will produce. Cholesterol plays a hand in many important functions in the body. You actually can’t live without it.

So don’t be afraid of the yolk. It’s good for you. Each large egg contains 70 calories and 6.3 grams of protein. So add some vegetables, or fruit, and it makes a great snack. You should be getting protein with each of your meals throughout the day anyway, and there is no natural food item protein better than whole eggs.

Another great thing about eggs is the variety you can use them with. There are so many different ways to prepare eggs. I must confess I do eat my eggs raw some time. Rocky! Rocky! The question of salmonella comes up then. Actually a study done by the USDA found that of 69 billion eggs produced annually only .3 percent are contaminated at all. Salmonella appears only when the eggs come from sick birds. If you’re buying your eggs from a reputable company the chances are super slim of getting bad eggs.

Back to egg whites. These are fine if you are trying to watch your fat intake or calorie intake. But unless you’re a professional body builder preparing for a show, you don’t need 100% egg whites. You’re missing out on super important brain, eye, and overall health food nutrition. Plus it tastes a whole lot better.

Jason Yun, a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Nutritionist, is the owner of Yun Strength and Fitness Systems, LLC and is a Columbus fitness bootcamp instructor and weight management teacher.

 


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