Do you remember in the late 70's when the egg industry launched "the incredible edible egg" campaign? Well, sometime in the late 80' eggs took on the not-so-incredible reputation as artery cloggers. A stigma they don't deserve says health experts. We went in to the Avera Heart Hospital kitchen with the Director of Food and Nutrition to see the sunny side of eggs.
While some in the nutrition industry are taking a fresh look at the health benefits of eggs, the Avera Heart Hospital food staff has never doubted the power packed inside the shell. Eggs have been on the menu here ever since the Heart Hospital opened in 2001.
Joanne Shearer is a Registered Dietitian and the Director of Food and Nutrition at the Avera Heart Hospital. She says, "Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol. That dietary cholesterol does not necessarily increase your blood cholesterol and if it does increase the blood cholesterol that LDL the bad cholesterol may go up some but so does the healthy cholesterol so you could call it a wash."
One egg is naturally packed full of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high quality protein, unsaturated fats and antioxidants; all for 70 calories.
Shearer says, "Eggs are a nutrient dense food which means for the amount of calories you are getting, you're getting a really power punch of nutrition."
If you are pregnant, eggs are especially good for the baby growing inside you. Besides folic acid, eggs are also rich with choline which is particularly important in fetal brain development. One egg equals 1/2 the daily recommended intake of choline your baby needs.
Shearer says, "A healthy person can eat at least one egg and up to 2 to 3 eggs a day. Research shows eating eggs for breakfast can actually help with weight control."
That protein fills us up more during the morning, so we eat less, 300 calories less a day according to one study. That protein also helps with wound healing and it's good in protecting against macular degeneration in people over the age of 50. What's not to like about the egg? Dig in! It is a dietary friend not foe.
Shearer also adds the only people who may want to watch their intake of eggs are people who have extremely high cholesterol due to genetics. Otherwise, the rest of us should have eggs for breakfast everyday.