Eggs- a stabilizing “go -to” food

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to undo a bad reputation. Such is the case for eggs. Since the 1960’s there has been widespread belief that by consuming cholesterol containing eggs one is put directly on the path to developing heart disease. Despite multiple subsequent studies indicating that cholesterol alone is not causation for heart disease, the belief that eggs are “bad” has been hard to put to rest.

Eggs are, in fact, a wonderful source of easily assimilated protein, second in biological protein value only to mother’s milk. Each whole egg contains about 75 energy- sustaining calories, along with important minerals like selenium and sulfur plus the fat -soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.  Eggs are a good source of B vitamins, notably choline, which is associated with reducing inflammation and improving neurological function, mood and happiness.

Recent studies have found cholesterol in eggs to have no effect on overall blood cholesterol levels in healthy adults, and indicate some evidence that eating whole eggs may actually increase the levels of cardio protective HDL cholesterol in the blood.

Egg quality and cooking methods are two important factors for consideration. Eggs from healthy, free roaming chickens that eat a natural diet of grasses, seeds, grains and insects have significantly higher amount of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, Vitamin D, A, and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin than eggs from large scale, commercially fed and housed chickens.

Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, eggs are my energy sustaining “go to”. It is key to treat the yolk kindly by not exposing it to too much air and high heat. Thus, poaching, steaming, or boiling are the best methods for protecting the essential fats, carotenoids, and cholesterol that resides in the yolk from damage. High heat frying and scrambling are less desirable techniques for keeping those nutrients intact. I usually hard-boil several at a time so that I have a “grab and go” snack or foundation for a yet unseen meal.

My absolute favorite, for when I’m short on time or don’t want to exert much effort, is to poach 2 eggs and put ‘em on top of vegetables. Almost any vegetable makes a great bed for poached eggs to lie on…broccoli, cauliflower, raw or sautéed spinach, asparagus, roasted sweet potatoes or celery root. When the rich yolk drapes itself over the veggies it’s truly a taste of heaven!

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