Not all eggs are created equal. So today I’m taking a stand for the equality of all eggs – because all eggs deserve the right to be the best eggs!
You may be convinced that an unbiased consumption of eggs should be a regular part of your diet. And I certainly want to encourage you to continue eating eggs. But if you want to eat the highest quality, most nutrient dense, great tasting eggs, then you will only want to eat pastured eggs. Since not all eggs are created equal, you & I need to discriminately choose the best eggs for our diet.
If its been awhile since you’ve gazed at the egg display at your local grocery store, then you might be surprised by the multiple options you are at liberty to select. And I’m not just talking about the numerous companies that continue packaging their eggs in those iconic cartons. As with most food we purchase these days, we can no longer assume every egg is equally as good as its neighbor.
The old maxim is often true, that “you pay for what you get.” And when you pay less for your eggs, you can almost bet your getting less quality eggs too. Pastured eggs will potentially put a larger dent in your wallet, but there are very good reasons that pastured eggs are more expensive. Pastured eggs simply contain more nutrients. Non-pastured egg yolks lose most of their nutritional benefits when they come from an animal that was fed antibiotics and GMO corn or soy. One recent study revealed that pastured eggs have seven times more beta-carotene, three times more vitamin E, two-thirds more vitamin A, and two times more omega-3s.1 Yes, pastured eggs are really that much superior!
Pastured eggs aren’t just labeled differently, the eggs have an obvious visible distinctive too. Pastured egg yolks exhibit a uniquely dark golden color that is produced from the high levels of vitamin A and other rich antioxidants. So if you find yourself agonizing over which eggs to purchase in the grocery store, while attempting to carefully navigate the food labels, just crack an egg and check the yolk!
Should I Eat the Whole Egg?
Yes! Please don’t discard your yolks! The reputation of egg yolks have been damaged and unfairly demonized ever since the dietary cholesterol contained in the yolk was first thought to be the major cause of unhealthy blood cholesterol.2 Since then, many health nuts have resorted to eating egg whites exclusively, while avoiding yolks like the plague.
However, most of the nutrients in eggs are found in the yolks which are extremely high in micronutrients. They contain a rich array of essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A, D, E, B12 and K, riboflavin, folate and iron.3 While egg whites are indeed a healthy source of protein, there is definitely room for the whole egg in a healthy diet.
Eggs (with the yolk) consistently raise HDL (the “good” kind) cholesterol. For nearly 70% of the population, there is no increase in total or LDL cholesterol.4 Eating egg yolks have also shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer,5 as well as help lower blood pressure.6 7
How Should I Cook My Egg?
How your egg is cooked will determine how healthy the egg, and more importantly, how healthy you will be. So before you begin you’ll need to know what the finished product will look: Your perfectly prepared egg should have lightly cooked whites and a beautifully golden runny yolk.
To achieve an egg cooked to perfection you’ll need to lather your frying pan with lots of grass-fed butter (Kerrygold reigns in my household!). Use very low heat until the egg white is soft but solid. It should be completely white. Be careful that you don’t overcook your egg, especially the yolk. Hard-boiled and other overcooked methods (e.g. scrambled) are not healthy. The oxidized cholesterol from hard-cooked yolks are actively unhealthy, and produce harmful free radicals in the blackened, oxidized parts.
How Many Eggs Should I Eat?
They sell them by the dozen for a reason. So eat as many as you want, though some research suggests that three eggs a day is a safe recommendation.8 The truth is that when you eat high quality sources of protein you will rarely overeat because your body experiences a high rate of satiety from nutrient rich foods. So while there may be some wisdom in moderation, you can never really have too much of a good thing – especially when were talking about the best eggs!