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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Y is for Yolks

Hello! This post contains lots of information and links. I really want to convince you in case you think eggs are bad for you that they are one of the most delicious, nutritious and healthy foods available to us. Go visit Mrs. Matlock’s class for more great AlphabeThursdays posts. I am also linking this to Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.
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Eggs Eggs, Glorious Eggs! Full of lots of amazing nutrients. Eggs have gotten a bad rap. First we were afraid of their cholesterol and then the fat. But let me tell you – eggs are one the the true Super Foods! Seriously these babies pack a whallop of goodness in a small container. Nutrient dense and delicious!


Why they're good for you: Eggs contain a variety of substances that promote good health. Choline, a nutrient that is critical to brain function, is one example. Eggs, it seems, are one of the richest food sources of choline.
Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may keep eyes healthy and ward off the leading cause of blindness, macular degeneration.
A recent report in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that we look at the egg as a whole package: Eggs are inexpensive, contain the highest-quality protein on the planet(6 grams of it), all 9 amino acids and are loaded with small amounts of vital nutrients, including folate, riboflavin, selenium, B12, and choline. They also contain EPA and DHA (yes, the brain boosters found in breastmilk and mimicked in formula) – not as much in supermarket eggs as farm fresh   For an in depth nutrient list go here.

EGGS NUTRITION MYTH #1: Eating egg whites rather than whole eggs is the healthy diet alternative.
The nutritional value of egg whites is practically nil. The whites have about half an egg's protein content, yes, and almost all of its sodium. That's pretty much it, barring trace amounts of other nutrients. The healthiest diet, of course, operates by maximizing nutrition value with every bite. In this sense of nutrition, the white is fairly pointless, particularly when contrasted with egg yolks.
From a nutrition standpoint, egg yolks are the most nourishing food. Period. They contain almost every mineral and vitamin the human diet requires, the notable exception being Vitamin C. This claim is rivaled by only one other consumable product--wheat grass juice.

EGGS NUTRITION MYTH #2: Eating eggs causes high cholesterol.

Roughly ¼ of your body's blood cholesterol comes from your diet. The other ¾ of blood cholesterol is produced by your body, and is entirely unrelated to food and cholesterol consumption in your diet.
What does this mean, practically speaking? That yes, your dietary intake of cholesterol does impact your blood cholesterol levels. However, the impact is fairly insignificant. The most important factor of your cholesterol levels is entirely out of your control--genetics. How much cholesterol your body will produce and how much it will absorb is congenital, in your natural programming. High cholesterol medications slow your liver's production--they have nothing to do with food, diet, or nutrition. (source)(source)

EGGS NUTRITION MYTH #3: Eggs cause heart disease.    According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.


All those nutrients in the egg yolk can improve your health:
    * Eyes (prevents leading cause of blindness)
    1. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. 2. Researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.
        * Brain Development (unborn babies and other humans) and mental acuity
        * Thyroid health
        * Strong bones
        * Antioxidants are cancer-fighting
        * Nerve function
        * Wound healing, fighting infection
        * Helps you feel fuller, longer (weight loss)
         * Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D, the so-called "sunshine vitamin" whose deficits are increasingly blamed for everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes, according to new research. (source)
        * Healthy hair and nails:  Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
    I have even read where they may be associated with a decrease in blood pressure and could possibly  prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.

    WHICH EGGS ARE THE HEALTHIEST?
      • By FAR the best option is if you can find a local farmer where you KNOW that the hens are actually outdoors most of the time and allowed to eat a natural diet with high variety. These will be the superstar eggs in terms of nutritional quality. 
      • In between are the ones with claims of omega 3 and cage free (not worth the $)and free range. The ones labeled vegetarian have never eaten a bug - totally grain fed. I personally don't think they are worth the extra $$.
      • Least healthy are eggs from conventional farms with chickens raised in confinement and given antibiotics. But as the Weston A. Price Foundation advises, if these are the only eggs you can find, eat them anyway because they’re so good for you.
      • Never use imitation egg products –  imitation egg products cause rapid death in test animals. There is no reason to eat these "eggs" when a real egg is perfect.
      •  Eat the whole egg never just the egg whitesthe yolk is the most nutrient dense part! Components present in the yolk help digest the whites; nutrients present in the whites help digest the yolks. God put them together in nature for a reason!     
      •  
         FYI - the color of the egg doesn't make it any healthier, color is determined by breed. We eat white, blue and brown.

      How to eat those eggs now!
      • Fry, boil, scramble, bake.
      • Peel them and eat. Some people like to heat this up and add some salt and pepper. That's it.
      • Slice them thinly and add to your salad.
      • Devil them. Yum! My secret ingredient along with mayo, squirt of mustard and pickle relish is to put a squirt of Wasabi mayo in it. This gives the eggs a bit of a kick.
      • Egg Salad – eggs, mayo and relish – plus celery, chopped red pepper and celery.
      • Tuna salad - add a chopped up egg.
      • There are some fabulous egg and spinach casseroles, you could make one.
      • Bury a few in  meatloaf for a tasty and pretty surprise. Hardboiled with sea salt or seasoned salt (great snack or send off in a sack lunch or use later in a salad)
      • Béarnaise sauce—delicious on meat or fish!
      • Hollandaise sauce to pour over eggs Benedict but also over steamed or sautéed veggies (especially broccoli and asparagus), and use what is left over as a mayo substitute
      • Egg salad with chopped red pepper, celery and a sprinkle of crispy nuts
      • Scrambles, omelets and frittatas galore with various flavors—spinach, feta cheese with olives for a Greek flair; diced tomatoes, onions and peppers for a Spanish taste; and onions, pepper, ham and cheese for more of a Western appeal. Really any leftover vegetable or meat will work.
      • Fried egg and cheese sandwiches (toasted bread smeared with mayo with a fried egg and perhaps some bacon in the middle)
      • Egg drop soup made with a base of homemade chicken broth (Talk about a healing food!)
      • Custard
      • Smoothies
      • French toast –eggs, bread, vanilla and cinnamon covered in butter and real maple syrup are one of life’s greatest pleasures.
      • Breakfast tacos or huevos rancheros (tostada corn tortilla shell layered with refried beans, chopped lettuce, a fried egg and melted cheese with salsa and sour cream to top)
      • Ice cream
      • Egg nog (remember, use just the yolk)
      • Egg casseroles, quiches and stratas
      • Pudding—tapioca, bread, rice, etc.
      • Macaroons—a great way to use up all those whites! 
      • You can even freeze them if you have an abundance
      • If you are still with me here is a blog post that has 100 ways to prepare eggs -with pictures.
      What do you do with eggs? Are you convinced they are a Super Food that should be in everyone's diet?

        25 comments:

        1. I am stopping by from Alphabe-Thursday. Thanks for your great post about eggs! I, too, believe that eggs are super-foods. I've always agreed with WAP, but it was good to read it again in your post.

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        2. This is such a fun post. I really haven't read much about eggs. I love them in everything. Today it will be in the high 90's. I will take my eggs in ice cream please.

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        3. Wow, I knew eggs where taken off the "caution" list, and I do love to eat them. But I had no idea that the yolk was so healthy! Thanks for the very informative post!

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        4. Yolks!!! You did a wonderful job - I love my eggs and do not plan on giving them up anytime soon....blessings..bkm

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        5. I'm convinced. I'm planning to have an egg in the morning. Thanks for the information.
          Cee

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        6. well thank you for this ... i love eggs ... i am finding them hard to get used to though since i gave up salt ... and i am totally happy that eggs aren't "bad" for me!

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        7. I never used to like eggs, especially eggs mashed into anything salad like. But now I love them. Except now I have kids and my kids don't like them! Gah!

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        8. I've always loved eggs and have never stopped eating the whole egg.
          You did a great amount of research for this week's assignment, Mrs M is bound to give you top marks.
          Maggie

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        9. Really interesting reading Yolk facts! Learned alot!

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        10. you forgot the part about for those of us allergic to them they make your tummy hurt, leave you heading for the restroom (and not to potty!) tee hee. Sorry. But Eggs make me so sick I had to share!

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        11. Eggs fried and topped over creamed spinach, creamed chard, or sauteed beet greens are delicious! I'm so excited I "discovered" that recipe.

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        12. Very interesting. I just bought Egg Beaters last week, but now I'm wondering if I should have skipped them. My son was told to watch his cholesterol and I thought if he mixed Egg Beaters with a whole egg (1/2 to 1/2) it would be better for him. Now I'm not so sure.

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        13. Great take on Y. Enjoyed the visit. Debbie

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        14. It's the incredible edible egg!! I love eggs.

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        15. Thanks for clearing up some egg misunderstandings! I usually don't eat eggs because I've never been fond of them, but my mom and husband eat them quite often. Glad to know that they are making a healthy choice!

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        16. excellent yolks in a plate,
          love them.
          I used to feed my baby one yolk each day, it is good!

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        17. I always thought eggs got a bad rap. Thanks for all the info, I'll take mine scrambles this morning :-)

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        18. This is great information about eggs, Christy! I love eggs in my salad.

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        19. thanks for stopping by. . .it was good to read your post as we go through at least 2 dozen eggs a week. My kids love them!! and they are really an inexpensive breakfast or lunch or dinner!

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        20. Christy!

          Thank you for cracking one of my big misconceptions about eggs. I didn't know that about the whites.

          Really, really good to know.

          I will start integrating more yolks back into my diet for sure!

          This was such an informative post on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "Y"!

          You really taught us a lot.

          Thank you!

          A+

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        21. Love me some eggs...this was a great Y and so much info. I love eggs all ways every way. My kids really love Deviled eggs....they are so funny at a party, first ones at the plate:) Have a great weekend!

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        22. i am a big fan of the egg yolk...especially when i am whipping it up with cream and sugar for a batch of ice cream!

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        23. the incredible edible egg.....you can do so much with them!!! I love your scallop recipe too....I am about ready to pick some beans from the garden...I might have to make them up in your recipe....

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