Saturday, March 10, 2007

Protein Series Part IV - Eggs

Protein Series PART IV

Eggs, the perfect protein?

by Jose Antonio, Ph.D.
Melinda Mergen

Eggs. They seem to get no respect and I must say undeservedly so.

Eggs seem to have fallen off the radar screen as a premier choice of protein lately, but if you look at the facts and want a high quality protein, eggs should be included.

They not only provide "a full compliment of the essential amino acids," in addition, eggs are a rich source of thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folic acids, vitamin B12, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Seems like a complete food, right?

Don't throw those yolks away!

How often have you cracked those eggshells and daintily dropped the whites into a mixing bowl only to discard the yolk down your kitchen sink faster than you kick dog droppings off your shoes? Why the visceral disgust towards those bright yellow orbs? Have we been brainwashed by the 'anti-egg' lobby to fear the dreaded egg?

In one of the most extensive studies of egg consumption in the United States, dietary intake, of more than 27,000 individuals, was studied. Egg consumers and non-consumers were compared. (1) According to this study, "the daily nutrient intake of egg consumers was significantly greater than that of non-consumers." For instance, vitamins B12, C, E, and A were consumed in greater quantities in the egg consumers.
And the kicker; those who reported eating four or more eggs daily had lower blood cholesterol levels than those who ate one egg or less daily.

Furthermore, in 24 healthy adults (median age 40 years) who added two boiled eggs to their daily diets for six weeks, found that HDL-cholesterol increased 10%, total cholesterol increased 4% but more importantly, the total cholesterol; HDL cholesterol ratio did not change.(2)

Designer Eggs

Regular chicken eggs are not as bad as the naysayers have claimed, and are in fact chockfull of nutrients and protein. But scientists couldn't leave a good thing alone. So Let's introduce the "Designer Egg." These are eggs that have in some way been fortified with extra vitamin E, lutein (an antioxidant), selenium, and/or omega 3 fatty acids; these are all by the way, good for you. For instance, the prestigious European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in which 40 healthy men and women consumed either one "normal" egg or one "designer" egg daily for 8 weeks. The designer eggs won hands down in that blood levels of vitamin E, lutein (more on this later), selenium, (a mineral that works with vitamin E to fight free radicals) and docosahexaenoic acid, (DHA, a type of healthful polyunsaturated fat) were higher in the designer egg-eating group.(3)

Clearly, if you can get all the essential amino acids with a truckload of vitamins and minerals from eggs, then this is a food that you need to incorporate into your diet. Now with designer eggs, you have higher levels of omega 3 fats that are usually found best in fish. So if you live in South Dakota and can't get enough good seafood, then designer eggs may be the way to go. And to reiterate, there is no association was seen between egg consumption at levels up to 1+ egg per day and the risk of coronary heart disease in non-diabetic men and women.

Some 'EGGcellent' Facts for You

Nutrition Information on the EGG

1 large whole egg
Kcals - 77
Protein - 6.3 g
Carbohydrates - 0.6 g
Fat - 5.3 g
1 large egg white
Kcals - 17
Protein - 3.5 g
Carbohydrates - 0.3 g
Fat - 0 g

How many can you consume daily?
There is evidence that consuming 1-2 whole eggs daily does not adversely affect blood lipid parameters. So 1-2 is a safe bet.

Additional Reading and Information
Click Here for related articles.
Please click here for References and additional Reading Material.


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