An Egg today is better than a Hen tomorrow. - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) ‘Poor Richard's Almanac’
Like Ben Franklin, my father’s farmer family enjoyed a diet that would have greatly concerned nutrition scientists in the 1970’s. They ate eggs with abandon - freshly laid that morning eggs. Yet, somehow, they remained mostly slim and coronary disease free. How could this be so? The body of research from the 1970’s clearly showed that egg yolks are a source of significant dietary cholesterol and that we should dramatically reduce the number of eggs in our diet to lower our cholesterol scores. This made perfect sense at the time. However, later controlled studies of egg eating and non-egg eating populations did not back up that hypothesis.
Archived in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition are a large number of very well referenced articles detailing modern nutritional science about eggs. Turns out eggs are not only delicious, but they are very good for you. The yolk contains nutrients that improve your good cholesterol number - minerals, folate, B vitamins, proteins, and monounsaturated fatty acids - all good things for cardiovascular health. This article from the Journal details the interesting history of egg nutrition. If, like me, you confront a family history of macular degeneration – eat an egg and enjoy some eye health from the lutien and Zeaxanthin. Eggs are a complete protein source in that they contain all eight of the essential amino acids - and the price is often much lower per serving than meat.
Of course, as with all foods, one simply needs to not go overboard in quantity. Just because one or two are good for you doesn't mean you should eat a dozen in one sitting...no matter how tasty the recipe. To get all the good stuff in an egg, you do need to eat the yolk as that’s where so much of the nutrition sits ready to be used.
I'm a firm believer in eating the best quality food you can - it's far cheaper than a trip to the doctor for medication resulting from less than stellar nutrition. Imagine a tomato grown in depleted soil and one grown in well mulched fertilized soil; which do you think would be more nutritious? The same idea is easily applied to the egg. Check the freshness dates on the carton and, if you can, do get eggs from humanely raised chickens. Crack open two eggs for your own comparison test. Open one from a cheap brand and one from a humane brand and compare the yolk. Unless there are shenanigans with the labeling, you should find that the yolk in the egg from a naturally raised chicken is larger and deeper in color which indicates a quality high nutrition egg.
Deliciousness with Eggs:
This is one of my favorite work day breakfasts. Fast and delicious - Egg, Turmeric, and a Tortilla.
Michael’s Skillet Frittata with Spinach and Cheese is so fast and simple to make it will become your go-to on a work night Frittata!
Oven Baked Spinach Frittata is another of my favorite ways to make a no-flip Frittata! It makes enough so that there are left overs for sandwiches the next morning!
This simple version of Egg Salad is a delightful low yolk high white recipe I found using the recipe search bar at Calorie Count.
Aline’s Shrimp and Scrambled Egg is a unique Louisiana treat from my Cajun friend!
Or try this contest winner for Egg Chard Pie.
Poaching an Egg is a great way for a calorie counter to cook an egg as it requires no fat at all. Everyone has their favorite method. You can even get little tools and gadgets to use on the stove top to hold the egg in a perfect shape – or get a little gizmo that will poach it in the microwave for you. Here’s a very basic way to poach an egg. About.com put together a simple slide show illustrating how to make Perfectly Poached Eggs.
If you are still unsure about how eggs and cholesterol apply to you and are concerned about adding whole eggs to your diet, try making your egg scrambles with one whole egg supplemented with a serving or so of low calorie high protein egg whites. That way you get the best of both worlds.
Do you only eat egg white or do use the entire egg? What is your favorite way to fix an egg? Do you buy whatever egg is on sale or do you buy free range eggs? Do you keep chickens so you can collect fresh eggs? Can you tell the difference? Do you find that eating an egg at breakfast helps keep you fuller longer? Share your favorite egg recipe with all of us here! If you would like you recipe to be considered for the CC Palate, send it to me by pm.