Nutrition as a field of study is evolving at record speed. Friends and strangers alike tell me all the time that I am on the cutting edge of a new industry and it’s so exciting. It is, it really is, I love the study of nutrition and am passionate about sharing with others how minor “tweaks” in diet can profoundly improve one’s health. But with so much information available to us on the internet, on TV and in magazines and so much of it unsubstantiated and over inflated by the latest craze some important facts are lost or just plain left out of the equation. For example, today’s topic of discussion The Egg.
As a personal trainer many of my colleagues are insistent that they and their clients need only to consume several egg whites for breakfast in order to get the necessary protein to build muscle and drop fat. TRUTH folks, don’t fear the yolk!!! Its true, there is lots of protein in the white but do yourself a favor, do your client’s a favor- Eat the YOLK!
The Egg in it’s entirety is a perfect protein containing ALL amino acids required by the body. One egg is 6g of protein and is ONLY 70Kcal! I gather folks fear the yolk due to it being rich in cholesterol. Here is the thing though, we NEED, ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE cholesterol to survive-our bodies in their infinitely perfect design manufactures it. There is a wonderful book written by Dr. David Perlmutter called Grain Brain (2013) in which he provides recent and compelling research supporting the value of cholesterol to support brain health which is becoming increasingly important with Alzheimers overwhelmingly on the rise. The Yolk is rich in Choline which is terrific for brain health and the egg in total is an excellent source of Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin D, B6 and B12 not to mention rich in Antioxidants and very good for eye health.
DON’T fear the egg, maybe consider a 2 egg breakfast with 2 cups of dark leafy greens and fried onions-leave out the bacon, sausage or toast. This will get you loads of calcium minus the dairy, lots of fiber not to mention Vitamin C and K and all those great cancer fighters. Current research shows that cholesterol in food does not raise blood serum cholesterol levels (SUGAR DOES! shhhh) contrary to what your doc might say. Oh and for the record, brown eggs and white eggs are both the same, the chickens are a different color. Opt for organic pasture raised over conventional when possible-the Yolks will be a richer more beautiful golden yellow.
PS: To my trainer friends who I love and admire, the nutrients in eggs are more bioavailable when cooked vs consumed Rocky style (aka raw)-Scrambled, over easy, poached, fried- you choose!
Rong, Y., Chen, L., Zhu, T., Song, Y., Yu, M., Shan, Z., … Liu, L. (2013). Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. The BMJ, 346, e8539. http://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8539
Fuller, N., Caterson, I, Sainsbury, A., Denyer, G., Fong, M., Gerofi, J., Baqleh, K., Williams, K., Lau, N., Markovic, T. (2015). The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study—a 3-mo randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 101(4) 705-713 doi: 10.3945/ ajcn.114.096925
Fuller, N. R., Sainsbury, A., Caterson, I. D., & Markovic, T. P. (2015). Egg Consumption and Human Cardio-Metabolic Health in People with and without Diabetes. Nutrients, 7(9), 7399–7420. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095344
Perlmutter, D., (2013) Grain Brain. New York, NY: Little Brown and Company.