MHLbannersmallAnother look at what just might be the closest thing we have to the "perfect" food

Several months ago Daniel Ballin, Chair of the Employee Wellness Committee and a regular contributor to this newsletter, expressed his nutritional admiration for the simple egg. Going a step further, he generously offered to take in all of those yolks that may otherwise go to waste when restaurants, as well as a number of people cooking at home, put together an omelet or other dish using only egg whites.

eggDaniel also alluded to the fact that over the past few decades, the egg has gotten some bad press, particularly with regard to cholesterol. It turns out that the egg's bad reputation was based on some faulty and incomplete science and more updated research indicates that while no food can be considered "perfect," eggs – yolks and all – can be part of a healthy and nutritious diet.

Here's why:

  • When it comes to nutrients, a single large egg packs a lot inside the shell. In fact, crack that egg and you'll find 13 essential nutrients. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, half of which is found in the yolk. That same yolk also provides healthy, monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. And that's not all.
  • Eggs, again thanks to their yolks, are also rich sources of vitamin D, riboflavin, choline and folate (B-complex vitamins) and lutein, a carotene-related substance that supports vision health.
  • A large egg has only about 75 calories and is a great way to start the day when you're looking for help in managing your weight. That's because all that protein in an egg (about six grams or approximately 12 percent of the RDA) helps you feel full longer because it takes more time for your body to break down protein into energy when compared to carbohydrates. As an added bonus, the protein found in eggs provides almost all of the essential amino acids our bodies require.
  • Regarding the bad rap related to cholesterol, it's old news in the egg world. An extensive amount of research over the past 10 years has shown no significant connection between the consumption of eggs and the risk of heart disease. What the same research has shown is that the choline found in eggs helps to break down homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that might be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

So if your most recent encounter with eggs consisted of an eggnog over the holidays (most commercial brands, in accordance with FDA regulations on raw eggs and milk, contain less than 1% egg yolk solids), you may want to pick up a carton soon and start cracking.