incredible, edible eggs!

by Sandy Todd Webster on Apr 15, 2011

Food for Thought

Eggs got beat up a while back when the media went cholesterol crazy. Eggs were cast with full-fat cheeses and rich meats as heart-unhealthy villains in our diets (the latter two are still on the B list). Today, eggs are on the culinary—and nutritional—red carpet. In fact, many urban dwellers are now raising their own backyard hens. Why the change of heart? Here, from the Egg Nutrition Center in Park Ridge, Illinois, are a handful of reasons why eggs are making a comeback:

Facts. Eggs are nutrient-dense and a good source of all-natural, high-quality protein. They provide 13 vitamins and minerals in varying amounts at 70 calories per large egg. They are a strong example of a nutrient-dense food.

Protein. Both egg yolks and egg whites are good sources of high-quality protein; almost half the protein and the majority of the other nutrients are in the egg yolks.

Fat. Most of the fat in eggs is unsaturated. While egg yolks are a concentrated source of dietary cholesterol, they can still be included in a heart-healthy diet. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about eggs:

How many eggs can I eat in a day?

Evidence shows that consuming one egg per day is fine for most healthy people and does not result in significant changes in serum lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It you have cholesterol issues, consult a dietitian or your physician about this.

How much cholesterol does one egg have?

Recent studies show that eggs have less cholesterol than ever before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently reviewed egg nutrient data. Results showed that the average amount of cholesterol in a grade A large egg is 185 milligrams (mg), 14% lower than the amount previously recorded. One possible cause for the decrease in cholesterol level is improvement in the feed given to hens.

What is the difference between AA and A grade eggs?

According to the North Carolina Egg Association, in the grading process eggs are examined for both interior and exterior quality and are sorted according to weight (size). Grade quality and size are not related to one another. In descending order of quality, grades are AA, A and B. There is no difference in nutritive value between the different grades.

When I’m making a recipe or baked goods, what is the default-sized egg I should use? Most recipes are written for a standard large egg.

Is there any difference between eggs with different shell colors?

The breed of hen determines the color of the eggshell. Breeds with white feathers and earlobes lay white-shelled eggs, and breeds with reddish-brown feathers and earlobes lay brown-shelled eggs. The difference between brown- and white-shelled eggs is barely skin deep; the pigment layer of the shell is so thin, it can easily be removed by rubbing with sandpaper or abrasives. There is no nutritional difference between eggs due to their color.

What is the difference between certified organic and regularly produced eggs?

“In October 2002 the National Organic Standard Board set national guidelines that must be met by producers wishing to market organic eggs,” explains Marcia D. Greenblum, MS, RD, senior director of nutrition education at the Egg Nutrition Center. “Organic eggs are produced by hens given feed grown without most conventional pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers. The use of growth hormones is also prohibited; all eggs are hormone free, whether or not they are labeled as such.”

Want more from Sandy Todd Webster?

Fitness Journal, Volume 8, Issue 5

Find the Perfect Job

More jobs, more applicants and more visits than any other fitness industry job board.

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.