Eggs are a great source of protein and one of the few foods that has naturally occurring Vitamin D (important for our bones and teeth!) Eggs are also extremely versatile and can be prepared in a variety of delicious ways!
Other benefits of eggs include:
- Curb hunger – one large egg has approximately 7 grams of protein and only 70 calories
- Eggs are considered “complete proteins” meaning they contain the 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce naturally. (Amino acids are the “building blocks” of the body!)
- Eggs are full of so many vitamins and minerals that eating an egg has been equated to taking a multivitamin!
- Choline, an essential nutrient found in egg yolks, stimulates brain development and function. Choline is not produced by our body in adequate amounts and so we must obtain it from our diet. Two large eggs provide an adult with the recommended daily intake of choline.
- Eggs contain high levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, that promote good vision and reduce the risk of developing cataracts, as well as help protect the eyes against UV rays.
- Eggs contain good fats. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated (bad) fat.
What is the difference between the egg yolk and the egg white? Are the whites really healthier?
- Contains no fat or cholesterol.
- Little to no vitamins/minerals/nutrients
- Contains slightly more protein than the yolk
- Contains almost seven times the sodium than the yolk
- Contains the egg’s fat and cholesterol (As mentioned above, the fat is good fat! However, eggs are quite high in cholesterol, which is why people push using primarily egg whites compared to the whole egg)
- Contains the majority of the egg’s vitamins and nutrients
- More calories than the white
- Contains very little sodium compared to the egg white
If you eat just the whites, you’re getting more protein and less fat and cholesterol, but you’re missing out on all the nutrients eggs offer, plus you’re getting a much higher amount of sodium. If you eat just the yolks, you’re getting a whack of vitamins and nutrients, hardly any sodium but more cholesterol and calories than the whites.
So which one is better? From my perspective, the white and the yolk are equally good for you. Just remember, as with any food, moderation is the key!
What is the healthiest way to cook your eggs?
The healthiest way to cook your eggs is through methods that don’t require the addition of extra fat, calories or sodium (e.g. thorough oil, butter, salt etc.) Poached or hard-boiled eggs are the best.
Do brown eggs really come from brown hens and white eggs from white hens?
Who used to think this was true as a kid? *Raises hand* Hate to burst your bubble, but the answer is no. The color of the egg’s shell simply depends on the breed of chicken. The egg inside is the same! There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs.
*Brown eggs tend to be larger in size than white eggs, because the breed of chicken that produces brown eggs is bigger than the one that produces white eggs. As such, brown eggs are more expensive.
Are specialty eggs really better for you?
The two most common specialty eggs are omega-3 enriched and organic eggs.
Omega-3 Enriched Eggs are simply eggs from chickens that were fed omega-3 enriched feed. These eggs do contain more omega-3 fats than regular eggs, but there is discussion as to how significant the additional omega-3 really is. I guess a little is better than none though right?
Organic Eggs are from chickens that were fed certified organic feed. These chickens are supposed to run free outdoors, but labeling eggs as organic doesn’t always guarantee that they were. Organic fed chickens may be healthier, but research suggests that doesn’t mean the eggs are any healthier.