Eggs-tra nutrition: Why egg is a superior protein choice

  • Living
  • Wednesday, 08 May 2024

Nutritionally, eggs are considered one of the highest quality protein foods on the planet. — GCapture/Dreamstime/TNS

NUTRITIONALLY, eggs are considered one of the highest quality protein foods on the planet. Yet for more than 40 years, they took a beating from health experts due to their high cholesterol content. That was when the prevailing evidence pointed to assumptions that diets high in cholesterol were bad for the heart.

Then in 2013, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology unscrambled decades of research and concluded that “egg consumption is not associated with cardiovascular (heart) disease or (the risk of dying from heart disease) in the general population”.

Today, there is no specific advice to limit cholesterol in our diets. And eggs are now recommended as part of a healthful diet in the most current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Think about it. Within one little eggshell are all the nutrients needed to produce a new life. That includes numerous vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium and biotin.

And don’t forget choline – a not-so-easy nutrient to get in other foods – that is vital for maintaining the structure and function of every cell in the body. Choline is especially important during the development of the brain during pregnancy and young childhood. Even as we age, research has found that choline is essential to maintain memory and other brain functions.

Don’t assume that naturally coloured brown, blue or green shells are more nutritious, however. Egg colour is determined by the the breed of chicken, not nutrient content, say experts.

Of course, all this good nutrition comes only when we handle raw and cooked eggs wisely. Eggs need to be refrigerated within 36 hours of being laid, says the Food and Drug Administration. And they should stay refrigerated.

That’s especially important once they are cooked, says the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. – Barbara Intermill/ Tribune News Service

Barbara Intermill is a registered dietitian nutritionist and syndicated columnist.

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