By Anja Springthorpe
Eggs have been a pantry staple for centuries. Unfortunately, they have been the center of some debate in recent years. While dieticians and nutritionists hail eggs as superfood, others warn of the “high” cholesterol content of the egg yolk. However, recent studies found that elevated cholesterol and risk of heart disease is mainly caused by excessive intake of saturated fats combined with a genetic predisposition. Dietary intake of cholesterol has little impact on blood cholesterol levels.
Eggs should not be avoided. In fact, they should be on our plates on a regular basis. An excellent source of lean protein as well as a nutritional powerhouse, eggs provide more than 13 essential nutrients including vitamin B12, Vitamin A and Selenium, which plays a key role in a healthy metabolism. The nutrients are found in the yolks while the whites are mostly protein, which keeps hunger at bay on fewer calories. Regular consumption of eggs for breakfast can aid weight-loss and weight management.
To get the most nutrition from egg dishes, opt for fresh, pasture-raised eggs. “Free-roaming chickens feeding on grass and weeds, insects and seeds gain optimum nutrition, which translates into better quality eggs. Eggs from pasture-raised chickens contain higher good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and higher Omega-3 fatty acid and vitamins,” said Kate Estrade, who raises chickens at Local Cooling Farms in Bogalusa and sells them to consumers out of her Laughing Buddha Nursery store in Metairie. Compared to mass-produced supermarket eggs, fresh, farm eggs are nutritionally superior as well as better for the environment and free of animal cruelty. If you are not lucky enough to raise your own chickens, find a local farm or farmers market to purchase your eggs. Compared to meat, they are a considerably cheaper source of protein, so it is worth spending a little extra to get fresher, tastier eggs while also boosting your intake of essential nutrients.
Poached, baked or boiled eggs are healthiest options because frying and scrambling increases saturated fat content. Contrary to common opinion, eggs are more than breakfast food.
A couple of boiled eggs in the fridge make a quick, healthy snack. Many Moroccan tagine dishes use baked eggs instead of meat, making this “eat fresh favorite” a healthy and satisfying mid-week dinner. Visit healthline.com for 6 Reasons Why Eggs are the Healthiest Food on the Planet!
This article has been brought to you by the Laughing Buddha Nursery at 4516 Clearview Pkwy in Metairie. Visit www.laughingbuddhanursery.com or call 504-887-4336 to purchase from their large selection of fresh, pasture-raised eggs.