Monday’s New Take

Filed under: Nutrition

So as of today I have decided to have a sort of Monday theme. I want to introduce a specific food or food group every Monday and basically explain why it is so awesome for you.

Not these food groups

Not these food groups

Most people have a general idea of which foods and good for them and which foods are not, but they don’t always really know why. They may know it is high in protein and low in sugar for example, but they probably don’t know specific antioxidant compounds that food may contain, and exactly what they do. That’s where I come in. Now this obviously gives me a lot of options and foods to cover, so if there are specific requests, please shoot me an email or just make a comment on this blog and I will do my best to comply. Hope you enjoy.

Today we talk: Eggs

Eggs are one of my all time favorite foods, are often completely misunderstood, and have a special place in my heart. In their entirety (meaning the whole egg) they are one of nature’s most perfect foods.

They are one of the world’s greatest sources of highest quality protein. Eggs contain a boatload of vitamins, minerals and some very important antioxidants. They are also a great source of choline, which is sometimes lumped into the vitamin B-complex, though it’s not really a vitamin, either way it is an essential nutrient for cardiovascular and brain function. The interesting thing about choline is that it is an essential part of the phospholipid phosphatidylcholine. Without phosphatidylcholine fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver. Hmmm. The ADA has always told us to avoid eggs because of the cholesterol content, yet eggs contain a compound that actually helps prevent the body from accumulating cholesterol. Interesting. Choline also helps to form betaine, which helps to lower the inflammatory homocysteine, a big risk factor for heart disease. More interesting. Choline is also need for a major neurotransmitter in the body, called acetylcholine, weird right. Acetylcholine is critical for memory and thought and may even be protective against some forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

The major antioxidants in eggs are lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants are known to be powerful protectors of the eyes, helping to filter harmful wavelengths. The amazing thing about lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs is that the bioavailability is significantly higher than from supplements.

As you can see so far, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, but we aren’t done yet. Eggs are also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B12 (for you vegetarians out there), and selenium among others.

One quick note about eggs is the oxidation of the cholesterol content. When a yolk is broken and the cholesterol is exposed to air it becomes oxidized, and oxidized cholesterol is a little worrisome. Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat scrambled eggs or an omelet, it is just something to keep in mind. Total time exposure is important, so maybe hold off on those buffet tables of eggs, but making some fresh scrambled eggs on your own won’t be a problem at all. Hope you enjoyed my little rant.

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Posted on January 19th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

11 Comments

  1. Eric Lagoy Says:

    cool tip about the oxidation of cholesterol when the yoke is broken, I never knew that!

  2. JMJ Says:

    Very interesting note on the egg yolk/oxidation of cholesterol. Will keep this in mind for sure.

  3. Kujo Says:

    Any comments on free range vs commercial/omega 3 eggs?

    Free range eggs supposedly have better ranges of omega 3 to 6 fats, and vitamin content.

  4. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Kujo,

    This is a tough one. Free range and cage free are not what the words imply. Theoretically it should be an improvement, but all it really means is that the chickens have “access” to the outdoors. Read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemna for more info.

    Having said that, I still purchase n-3 eggs in the hope and desire for them to be better for me. At least the fatty acid profile is improved, though I don’t rely on them as an actual source of n-3. I just look at it as a small contribution to my keeping my n-6 to n-3 ratio balanced.

  5. Gregg Says:

    what do you say to all the egg haters that say there is too much cholesterol in eggs? And keep in mind this is me talking, I eat more than 2 dozen of these bad boys a week and everyone thinks it is unhealthy.

  6. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Gregg,

    I say that it is bullshit. Dietary cholesterol has little to no impact (2-3%) on blood serum cholesterol for the majority of the population. There are genetic outliers, but they are not the norm. The greatest correlate to high cholesterol is body fat. If you are over-fat you tend to have high cholesterol. Get down to a healthy weight, and cholesterol usually comes down with it. That’s what I say.

  7. Starting over « No Magic Pill Says:

    [...] do something different, nommy eggs, Brad does pizza, you really can go without fruits and veggies, makin’ salsa, Primal [...]

  8. A Rare Gem : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] measures of antioxidant content, ability to prevent the oxidation of LDL (which we know from my blog on eggs, oxidized LDL is not a good thing) and total polyphenol content. Numero Uno was Pomegranate Juice, [...]

  9. Eggs: I am so confused?!? : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] Here is an often-asked question that is a tough one to answer. It really can go a few different ways, and there isn’t only one “right” answer. If you want more info on why eggs kick ass, I wrote about it HERE. [...]

  10. Mike Says:

    brianstpierfetrainning.com, how do you do it?

  11. Andy Cook Says:

    I make an egg casserole with 12 eggs, 1 cup whole milk, sausage, onions and tomatoes at the beginning of the week. Then I keep it in the refrigerator and have a piece each day. Is this a bad idea because of the oxidation?

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