Beauty Food Close-Up- Eggs

Trying to put together  menus that  incorporated the  maximum beauty foods, I realized that I had only explored three  protein  options- yogurt, shrimp and mussels– good start  but  more is definitely needed.  I decided to start with breakfast  and go up close  and personal with eggs.

Available everywhere, affordable and quick to cook, eggs pack  big nutrition into  that little oval shell.  One average size egg  has six grams of protein and a respectable load of vitamin A, B2, folic acid, B6, choline, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin D– and all  there for less than 70 calories.  Chicken fed a diet of polyunsaturated fats and kelp  will also be a source of omega-3 fatty acids  which is a great added  value to the basic egg.    Eggs are just about everrywhere and added to just about everything.  In addition to being the primo breakfast protein,  eggs are in  breads, desserts  and a key ingredient in standards like meatballs, chicken cutlets, and lasagna.

The Egg White Option

Because of the fat and cholesterol in the yolk of the egg,  nutritionists and cardiologists often   recommend using only the whites of an egg.  On average an egg  white  has 17 fat  free calories and can be used   in  most recipes   that call for whole eggs.  However an egg white has half the protein and little to none of  the vitamin A, D , E and omega  3’s found  in a whole egg.  Egg white substitutes often add  back  missing vitamins ( good news) as well as vegetable  oil and food coloring ( not so good  news). 

The Dark Side of Eggs

Despite an impressive nutritional payload, eggs  come with  several troubling health issues:

1. Cholesterol– a single egg  has more than 250 milligrams of  cholesterol– almost   the entire recommended daily limit . ( FYI an omlette in a restaurant   usually uses three eggs).  While most recent studies suggest that  the cholesterol in eggs is not quite as lethal as  first thought , most nutritionists  still recommend a limit of 3-4 whole  eggs per week.

2. Eggs and Diabetes–This one really freaked me out. Data from both the prestigious Woman’s Health Study and the Physician’s Health Study suggest that  a diet  high in eggs comes with an increased risk of diabetes.  Other research indicates that  a high egg intake  increases risk of  heart disease  in men and women with diabetes.  SInce I already have diabetes, I don’t want to eat anything that  could  make it worse.

3.  Contaminated eggs– In recent years there have  been several  widespread salmonella  outbreaks   traced to  contaminated eggs. In 2010,   more than 2000 people became ill and 500,000 eggs  had to be recalled.  Formerly found only  in a cracked shell, salmonella  can be    found inside clean, undamaged eggs.  To avoid severe  food poisoning its necessary to cook eggs throughly which means no runny sunny side ups, soft scrambled or  soft  boiled  eggs. 

The list of do’s and don’ts  to prevent food poisoning from eggs  is  long  and includes  watching hands, utensils and work surfaces that came into contact with raw eggs,  throw out eggs if a bit  of shell  falls in,  and don’t taste recipes  with raw eggs before cooking.    Because I don’t want to follow a Hazmat routinue  everytime I cook with eggs, I’m now going to be using pasturized, processed egg whites  when a recipe  calls for  eggs.  Any recipe suggestions?

4 thoughts on “Beauty Food Close-Up- Eggs

  1. Thanks for this post! I’ve long been a fan of eggs, especially egg whites, to keep healthy skin and control my weight (I feel fuller for longer when I have them for lunch).
    Apparently the yolks are good for shiny hair, but I tend to avoid them as they are the main source of cholesterol in an egg (and are also the part highest in calories as you implied)

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