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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Truth About The Egg

About twenty to thirty years ago, we started hearing information from the medical society telling us that eggs were bad for us. They told us that the egg had too much cholesterol and that we shouldn't have more than two per week. Then in recent years, we have started hearing from that same medical society that the egg is good for you and that we can have as many as we want. What's the truth?

The reason for the first concern about the egg was the cholesterol content. According to some new USDA research, eggs now contain approximately 185 mg. of cholesterol, down from 214 mg. that was previously found. Why the change? Who knows. One theory is that stricter and higher standards for raising chickens might have made some chickens healthier, thus producing healthier eggs.

Chickens used to spend their entire life with their head in a box to be fed out of and their bodies in another part of the box to dispense eggs. They were not allowed to roam freely and they were pumped up regularly with laying pellets (hormones) and antibiotics. These chickens were fed very cheap feed that consisted mostly of sawdust, road kill and who knows what else. They were sick and unhappy, but nobody cared as long as they produced eggs. But for the health conscious community, that has changed.

For example, organic, free range and cage free chickens mean different things that contribute to the overall health of the chicken. Chickens that get to live and run around freely in an open pen and spend their days acting like normal chickens without getting hormone pellets and antibiotic shots are healthier, happier chickens that produce healthier eggs.

Healthy chickens that run around their enclosures build up lecithin in their bodies and pass it on to their eggs. Lecithin is a precursor to choline, an essential nutrient that lowers cholesterol. Recent studies have shown that cholesterol containing foods have nothing to do with cholesterol buildup in your arteries. Plaque buildup in your arteries is caused by the health of your liver and your artery walls.

Things like processed sugar, food allergies and other toxins can cause your artery walls to be inflamed and unhealthy. Natural and Whole Vitamin C (not Ascorbic Acid which is only a fractionated part of Vitamin C) helps restore the health of your arteries and veins. Milk Thistle helps detox your liver as well as Turmeric. High fiber foods like oat bran help to naturally clean out your liver of fat and cholesterol. Moderate exercise also helps rid your body of excess cholesterol.

Some websites promote the idea that the healthiest way to eat an egg is raw because cooking can destroy some of its valuable nutrients. Unless you're Sylvester Stallone, it's very hard to eat raw eggs. So it has been recommended that if you must cook your eggs, cook them as little as possible (maybe sunny side up) and on very low heat to help preserve their nutritional value.

So it seems that the truth about eggs is that they are very good for you if you are careful about choosing eggs from healthy chickens and if you prepare them in a way that preserves their nutrients. So, crack an egg and enjoy!

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