Monday, October 15, 2012

The Benefits of Eggs for Breakfast

incredible egg dot org

I came across a handy infographic about eggs, and I thought it would be fun to share. I know that there are some misconceptions about eggs, and I thought this picture addressed a few of those with some good information.  Personally, I love eggs. But I have to be honest, I do have high cholesterol, thanks to my mother's side of the family, so I have to watch what I eat. Eggs are one protein source that I am not willing to part with, and there are many important reasons why.  

The first reason that I will keep eating eggs is that they have a low glycemic index - that means they don't raise your blood sugar. I don't have any health concerns that require me to eat a low glycemic diet (like diabetes), but I have found that sticking to foods that don't raise my blood sugar helps to keep me feeling full for longer periods of time. When you eat a piece of whole wheat toast for breakfast, your blood sugar spikes higher than it would if you ate a Snickers bar (see the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health for more info like this). As your body digests the toast, your sugar comes crashing back down, usually around two hours after you have eaten. Now you know why you're always grabbing snacks at the office around 9:30 or 10AM.  You can eat three or four eggs and your blood sugar does not spike at all while the protein makes you feel full for a longer stretch of time  

One of the other misconceptions about eggs is that they are a risk for salmonella. This may be true, but did you know that the odds of a single egg containing salmonella are around 1 in 20,000? If the average person eats six eggs per week, for 75 years, they have only eaten a little over 23,000 eggs. Your lifetime odds of being killed in a car accident are one in 158. Lifetime odds of drowning? One in 1,100. Lifetime risk of being killed in a fire? About the same as drowning. What about the lifetime odds of being murdered? Surprisingly, they are about one in 210. I'll keep eating my eggs. Just make sure that they are fully cooked as the majority of food-born illnesses are caused by under-cooked food.

There are also a variety of ways to cook eggs, and most of them are incredibly easy. Not only that, you can do what I do and make egg sandwiches in bulk and then freeze them individually for convenient microwave cooking at a later date. The possibilities are endless with eggs.

The final reason that I will continue to eat local, free range eggs is that they are probably the most affordable protein sources, and they have a relatively low carbon footprint. When eggs come from responsibly managed farms, they are a nutrient rich source of several very important nutrients such as vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids (in free range or vegan fed, especially). I feel good about eating a protein source that is both good for me and good for the environment.  

What about you? Do you eat eggs? Do your kids eat eggs? If not, are you surprised by any of the information presented? What is your favorite way to cook eggs?

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