With Easter Sunday right around the corner, I have eggs on my brain. I love eggs, and not just at Easter. Whenever I know that I have a long day ahead of me, I make sure I start with eggs for breakfast. They are high in protein and give me a lot more satiety (fullness) than my usual bowl of cereal or oatmeal seems to.
Remember back not too many years ago when eggs were thought to be bad? Did you think they still were on the "do not eat" list? Well, wake up and smell the scrambled eggs, because they are good for you! I used to be one of those "egg white only" people, but I no longer eat only the whites. The yolks of the eggs are where most of the nutrients are, so don't throw them out!
The old news was that the cholesterol in eggs would cause a rise in a person's blood cholesterol. However, after looking at all of the research for the past 30 years, we know that the cholesterol in eggs does not raise our blood cholesterol as much as we thought, if at all. Beofre you get too excited, eggs (the yolk only) still do contain some saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol. For that reason, I recommend "An egg a day is OK" but I would not recommend doing 2-3 per day every day. If you want a 2-3 egg omelet, that is fine, just don't do it every day!
Benefits of eggs:
- Packs a protein punch. Eggs have 6 grams of protein in a large egg. They contain all 9 essential amino acids, which means they are high quality protein for adults and children alike.
- Low in calories. At 75 calories each, they are a good nutritional value.
- Convenient. They only take a few minutes to cook in the microwave (YES! You can mic them!). Hard cooked eggs travel easily in your lunch bag or your salad.
- Inexpensive. On average, eggs only cost about 12 cents. What a bargain!
- Nutrient dense. Eggs have 13 essential vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, Vitamin A, just to name a few!
- Brain food. This is really exciting: Eggs contain choline (found in the yolk) which is necessary to develop brain and nerve function. An excellent food for pregnant or nursing mothers and for children!
- Sight for eyes. Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that have been shown in research studies to help revent macular degeneration.
I would not be doing my job as a dietitian if I didn't warn you about food safety. Salmonella can be present in uncooked eggs, but with proper refrigeration and cooking, it is one less thing you have to worry about. Keep your eggs refrigerated as soon as you get them home and don't leave them out at room temperature for more than two hours. Always cook eggs so the yolk and white are hard and not runny.
If you are painting your eggs this weekend, have fun! Just make sure you put them back in the fridge and don't leave them out the whole weekend and then crack into them! I love deviled eggs, too. Make them ahead of time and refrigerate until the guests arrive and them wow them with your beautiful eggs. Happy Easter!