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Rethinking a staple: The Egg

Rethinking a staple: The Egg

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Home The Well Kitchen Rethinking a staple: The Egg

 

Eggs

Since we were kids, the rap on eggs has been; don’t eat too many eggs; they’re bad for your cholesterol. The good news for egg lovers like me is that the science has evolved to appreciate the nutritive power in eggs.

 

Now that I know the health benefits of eggs, I want them all the time: nutrients like choline and protein and vitamin B12 – In fact, eggs contain every single B vitamin and a full complement of protein building blocks. I care because this full-on protein helps me build muscle too keep up with my own hectic life! And they are a low calorie food, with no carbs or sugars. All in all, an almost perfect food.

 

To be fair, a complex relationship exists between cholesterol and eggs, but research is changing this. Recently, heart disease risk has been shown to be related more to saturated and trans fats than to cholesterol. Now we know that eggs fit into heart-healthy diet depending on health, age, individual genetics. So what to do: follow my favorite dictum – everything in moderation. It’s not the egg; it’s often the other foods that we eat with it.   Beware the heavy sauces!

 

So, which eggs? Big eggs, small eggs, brown eggs, white eggs, cage-free eggs, organic eggs? Not all eggs are created equal so I had to get serious about what eggs to purchase. I love eggs; I love them scrambled, in omelets, hard-boiled and soft-boiled (oh I could rhapsodize about the egg cups alone for a while). But given my choice, I want brown eggs. Actually, I want cage-free, organic, pasture-raised brown eggs (they just look so cool!) given my choice. Why? Pasture-raised chickens make for the healthiest eggs, full of vitamins and other important nutrients. If you can’t find those, the next best bet are omega-3 enriched eggs. Can’t find those, then go for organic eggs, because these organic chickens got better feed than conventional-fed chickens. Still can’t find those, then free range or cage-free eggs may be the next choice. However, the guidelines surrounding what’s free range and/or cage free are not necessarily robust and it might mean that the chicken had it slightly better than it’s conventional counterpart. And finally, when all else fails, go ahead and choose that conventional egg…any egg is better than no egg in my book. They all have nutritional value.

 

I could talk all day about farmer’s market eggs. They look different to — earthy and brown, with deep golden yolks and taste different. The yolks are almost burnt orange in color, reminding me of saffron. A yellow so deep, almost like the marigolds we planted with my mom in the vegetable garden as children to keep out the slugs. I can’t always make it to the farmer’s market, but I am impressed by the options now at the grocery store. My current fave even comes with a note tucked inside the carton. Seriously.  So get out there, have some eggs in moderation, without all the gooey sauces or fried. This doctor approves!

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