Eggs Pack a Big Punch
Eggs provide a healthy array of fats. The yolk contains more than 80% of the vitamins and minerals in an egg. Fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E, Calcium, Zinc and Phosphorus are also concentrated in the yolk. Egg yolks are one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D. Furthermore, egg yolk is a good source of lecithin, an emulsifier of fat that improves fat digestion. It is best to cook it soft boiled or poached to ensure that you retain all the nutrients.
But What About the Yolk? Cracking the Cholesterol Myth
Earlier studies erroneously scared many of us from consuming the delicious yolk, but today there is more and more research that supports the consumption of eggs and the medical community is finally starting to change their tune. This is good news for us egg-lovers! New evidence suggests that it isn’t necessarily dietary cholesterol that’s the culprit but other factors such as high insulin levels that may be causing an overproduction of cholesterol. Researchers are instead taking a closer look at excessive carbohydrate consumption, which elevates insulin in the blood. Furthermore, recent studies are finding that eating whole eggs may not only be okay, but may actually improve your blood lipid (cholesterol) profile!
What do the Labels Mean? Not All Eggs Are Created Equal.
Organic. Buying organic will ensure that the food these chickens eat is not treated with pesticides and herbicides and that you are not getting eggs loaded with antibiotics, which are often used by some producers to treat sick chickens.
Cage-free. Chickens that are allowed to move about more not only have healthier body compositions (more muscle, less fat) but they get to munch on real food like worms and bugs. Look for the cartons with United Egg Producers and American Humane Association logos, which indicate that producers met strict standards that require more cage space and better ventilation.
Omega-3 Enriched. These eggs contain higher levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acids because the hens are fed flaxseed and marine algae. The Omega 3s are in the yolk though, so eat that yolk!
Pasture-fed. Pastured egg yolks are a deep orange. These hens have been allowed to roam freely and feed on their natural diet (greens, bugs). They tend to produce eggs with the highest levels of omega-3 fats.