May is National Egg Month! The question is, do you eat the whole egg or just the white? Most people have been told to limit their egg intake or maybe even eliminate it all together! But the reality is that the egg is incredible for you, packed with nutrients that your body needs!
When it comes to eggs, many people get all worked up about the cholesterol, but the truth is that dietary cholesterol does not raise blood levels of cholesterol, that are known to contribute to heart disease. Saturated fat is actually the main factor that can raise blood levels of cholesterol. Thus, the goal is to limit the saturated fat you find in foods like the skin of chicken, visible fat on red meat, baked goods and of course the white, thick and creamy foods (sour cream, cream cheese, gravy, mayo, creamy salad dressings, Alfredo sauce, etc.). But don’t limit the egg! It is a nutrient powerhouse that will leave you feeling satisfied after meals and snacks. Here are 5 reasons to eat the whole egg, not just the white!
- Protein: An egg is packed with protein, 7 grams per egg! Protein slows down digestion and helps get full faster and stay full longer thus prolonging satiety after a meal. The goal is to get protein at every meal and snack and an egg is a great choice at all times. Many people just eat the white, but the truth is that the white only has 4 grams of protein and misses the next four nutrients as they are found in the yolk!
- B-12: B-12 is primarily found in animal foods and the egg yolk is one of those foods. So, if you don’t love meat or are a vegetarian that eats eggs, an egg can be a great way to get in vitamin B-12. Having a B-12 deficiency can contribute to fatigue long term, so get to scrambling and leave the yolk in!
- Iron: Iron is predominantly found in animal foods like beef, chicken and egg yolk. Some plant-based foods do have iron like beans, nuts, nut butters and dark green leafy vegetables, but animal sources provide the most per serving. In addition, iron is better absorbed from animal foods than that found in plant foods so adding eggs to your eating pattern could help boost your iron intake. One of the side effects iron deficiency is fatigue, so it’s very important you are consuming iron-rich foods on a regular basis.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is found in few foods as it is actually a hormone found in your skin that is activated by the sun. Milk is fortified with Vitamin D and you find it in fatty fishes like salmon and trout and fish oil like krill oil, but the egg yolk actually has some Vitamin D too! The yolk contains 41 IU (International Unites) and contributes to your daily needs of 600 IU.
- Choline: Choline is an essential nutrient for brain development and cognition. The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommend introducing eggs to babies as young as 6 months old. That means all you pregnant mamas out there could benefit from the egg too!