Eggs are a food that most people eat, but likely do not give much thought about. Aside from being able to make some great egg jokes and puns, once you read through this article you will also be able to share these thought-provoking facts about one of the top breakfast proteins, eggs. From why Americans have to refrigerate their eggs when people in other countries do not, and why brown eggs cost more than white ones, you are going to be blown away by all of these interesting facts about eggs.
In fact, chances are you did not even realize how nutritious eggs really are. This is a superfood that is packed with many nutrients that are good not only for your brain but your entire body as well. Read on to learn more about 12 thought-provoking egg nutrition facts.
1. Whole Eggs Are Extremely Nutritious
A whole egg offers a large number of nutrients. Eggs contain minerals, proteins, vitamins, good fats, as well as a number of other nutrients. A single egg contains Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, and Selenium. In addition, eggs contain a small amount of almost every mineral and vitamin that the human body requires. This includes iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, folate, Vitamin E, manganese, and many more.
Eggs have just 77 calories, including 5 grams of fat and six grams of quality protein as well as just trace amounts of carbohydrates. It is important to note that all of the vitamins and nutrients of an egg are found in the yolk. The white part of the egg only contains protein. With the low-calorie count and high amount of vitamins and nutrients, eggs are considered to be one of the top superfoods and should be a part of any type of healthy diet.
2. Brown Eggs Versus White Eggs
When it comes to purchasing eggs, chances are that you have noticed that there is a price difference between buying brown eggs and buying white eggs. Chances are that you have assumed that because brown eggs are more expensive they are of a higher quality. However, that is not the case. Brown eggs are actually more expensive because the hens that lay brown eggs are larger, and require more food.
Since the farmers have to spend more money on feed for these hens, the eggs that they lay are more expensive. Essentially, since the cost to produce these eggs is more, this price gets passed onto the consumer. This means that unlike the white bread vs brown bread debate, brown eggs are not necessarily of a higher quality than white ones. However, when purchasing eggs it is a good idea to take a look at the label and choose high quality, organic, farm-fresh eggs over the non-organic variety.
3. Eggs and Cholesterol
Chances are that you have heard that eating eggs can raise your cholesterol. It is true that eggs contain a high amount of cholesterol. A single large egg has 212 mg of cholesterol. This is a high amount when compared to some other foods. However, what most people do not realize is that just because a type of food has a high amount of cholesterol does not mean that it is going to raise bad cholesterol in the blood.
Cholesterol is produced by the liver each day. If you consume cholesterol, the liver is going to make less. If you do not eat cholesterol the liver is going to make more. When it comes to eggs, there are many studies that show that eating eggs can help to improve your overall cholesterol profile. The reason for this is because eggs will raise the good cholesterol known as HDL and can help to lower or change the LDL or bad cholesterol.
4. Whites versus Yolks
When you think about eggs, there is a good chance that you have been told that you should only eat the egg whites. The main reason for this is because the egg whites contain 3 grams of protein for just 15 calories. If you are on a low-calorie diet, eating egg whites is typically going to be recommended. The egg yolks also contain three grams of protein.
This means that there is the same amount of protein in the yolks and the whites. The difference is that egg yolk contains 60 calories. This means that if you do not eat the yolk you are still getting a good amount of protein for very few calories. However, as mentioned, the yolks are packed with many vitamins and nutrients that your body needs, which is why you should go ahead and eat them as well.
Choline is an important nutrient for the brain. This nutrient is also important for human health overall as it is used for many different processes throughout the body. Choline is needed to synthesize acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter as well as being a component of cell membranes. Not having enough choline in the body has been associated with cardiovascular disease, liver diseases, and neurological disorders.
In addition, choline is very important for women who are pregnant. A low amount of choline in the body can increase the risk of neural tube defects and can also lead to lower cognitive function in babies. One study that was conducted found that almost 90 percent of people did not eat the recommended daily value of choline. The good news is that eggs are full of choline. One egg has 113 mg of it, which is close to the daily amount that is recommended.
6. High-Quality Proteins
Another fact about eggs is that they contain high-quality proteins that have a perfect amino acid profile. Proteins are the building blocks of a body and serve structural and functional purposes. Proteins are made up of amino acids that link together and fold into complex shapes. There are around 21 amino acids that are used by the body in order to build proteins. Of these, nine cannot be produced in the body, which makes them essential as they must be received from the diet.
Eggs offer one of the best protein sources available. Eggs have a perfect 100 score and other foods are measured by the protein quality of eggs. This is because eggs not only contain a good amount of protein, but they also contain all of the amino acids that are considered to be essential in the right ratios. For this reason alone, eggs are worth adding to your diet.
7. Eye Protection
Eggs contain two antioxidants that are very important for protection of the eyes. These antioxidants are Zeaxanthin and Lutein. Both of these antioxidants are found within the yolk. Both Zeaxanthin and Lutein will accumulate in the retina of the eye. The retina is the sensory area of the eye. Both of these antioxidants reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Both of these diseases are some of the leading causes of vision impairment as well as blindness among the elderly. There was one study that found that eating just 1.3 egg yolks a day for four and a half weeks increased the levels of Zeaxanthin in the blood by 115 to 142 percent and the levels of lutein in the blood by up to fifty percent. Overall, eggs have a high amount of both Zeaxanthin and Lutein, which means that simply eating eggs can be great for your overall eye health.
8. Lose Body Fat
Another interesting fact about eggs is that they can actually help you lose body fat. Eggs only have trace amounts of carbs but offer high amounts of both fat and protein. In addition, eggs have a high score on the satiety index, which measures how much a food will contribute to satiety. This means that eating eggs can help you feel fuller for longer. With this being said, it is not surprising that eating an egg each morning can help lead to weight loss.
One study conducted had 30 women who were overweight either consume eggs or bagels for breakfast. The women who ate eggs for breakfast felt full and ended up eating fewer calories over the next 36 hours. Another study that lasted for eight weeks found that eating eggs each morning for breakfast led to weight improvements overall. In fact, those eating eggs and not bagels for breakfast lost 65 percent more bodyweight.
9. Eggs that are Labeled Cage-Free
When it comes to purchasing eggs you must remember that not all eggs are created equal. In addition, just because a carton of eggs has been labeled as being cage-free does not mean that the hens that laid the eggs did not come from hens who were held in cages. The law that allows a carton of eggs to be labeled as cage-free only means that the hens have to have 120 square inches of space.
This is not even the size of a conventional cage. Most of the time, hens that lay “cage-free” eggs are held indoors in either a large barn or in an “enriched” cage that offers them to be able to have some natural habits. Unfortunately, there is no real way to know the conditions that the chickens are kept in just from the label of the carton.
Another claim that is often seen on an egg carton is that the eggs are hormone-free. The surprising fact about this claim is that it is actually quite meaningless. It is just like telling you that water is wet. The reason that the hormone-free claim is meaningless is that the use of hormones for all poultry was banned by the FDA.
The ban on hormone use for poultry began in the 1950s. This means that there are no chicken eggs or chicken meat that is on the market that contains hormones. While you may read about chickens being given hormones, the fact is that according to the rules of the FDA, this is not allowed. What is more concerning is the type of food that the chicken is provided while they are being held captive and producing eggs. Instead of looking for the hormone-free label, pay attention to the type of food that the chickens are fed.