About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Are eggs good or bad for your health?

Nutrition is a confusing world...one study says "x" is bad for you, then later you will hear "x" is now good for you, etc. Nutrition is really hard to study because there is no way people can eat one food for an extended period of time to find out how it affects the body. There are lots of other factors that play a role in health including other foods consumed, smoking, drinking alcohol, physical activity, genetics, etc. Truthfully statistics is not my favorite topic, but there are ways statisticians help account for those other factors when studying nutrition, but it is not perfect. This is a big reason why nutrition science is often very confusing and filled with conflicting info. Over the years we have heard a lot of info about eggs...are they good or bad?

Egg facts:
  • One large whole egg contains approximately 80 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 1.6 grams of saturated fat & 200 grams of cholesterol. 
  • The eggs are a complete protein meaning they have all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein than your body cannot make, but must have!)
  • An egg white contains 20 calories, 4 grams of protein, 0 fat & 0 cholesterol.
  • The eggs contain a lot of nutrients including iron, lutein (good for eyes), biotin, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and choline. Many of these nutrients are found only in the yolk. 
  • Eggs are not expensive compared to many other good sources of protein such as meat.  
So what does this mean? 
Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol. However, as I talked about in my posts about fat....dietary cholesterol is not always well absorbed and actually saturated fat has been shown to be more important to restrict (see blogs about fat for more info). Remember too that your body makes cholesterol.

If you eat a foods high in plant sterols & stanols such as oatmeal, they help prevent dietary cholesterol from being absorbed. One more reason to eat whole grains, and fruits/veggies with your meals! Here is more info about this if you are curious.  http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/low-cholesterol-diet-plant-sterols-stanols  

My thoughts:
  • If you have good LDL numbers, then eat whole eggs at least a few times each week and don't stress about eggs! Avoiding processed foods, trans fats and foods high in saturated fat will be more beneficial to your overall health!
  • If you have elevated LDL, or are worried about the cholesterol, you can limit your egg consumption to a couple of eggs yolks per week. You can use egg whites with one yolk to make scrambled eggs or omelets, etc.
  • Great breakfast idea: eggs with a bowl of oatmeal and fruit to help cholesterol from being absorbed. 
Great ways to enjoy eggs!
  • Egg salad w/ a dab of olive oil mayo and spicy mustard
  • Omelets or frittatas w/ lots of veggies
  • Quiche w/ lots of veggies and low fat cheese. Make without crust or make/buy whole wheat crust.
  • Hard boiled eggs for snacks or breakfast
  • Breakfast for dinner, eggs of choice served with sauteed fresh spinach (or other fresh veggies), whole grain toast and fruit. What a quick and easy dinner!
  • Egg burritos w/ scrambled eggs, salsa, guacamole, and low fat cheese. Good for anytime of the day!!

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