5 Things You Should Know About Eggs
Due to the yolks’ cholesterol content, eggs have been singled out as a contributor to heart disease, but more than 40 years of research has shown that eggs can be part of a healthy diet. This is good news because at just 70 calories, eggs offer up high-quality protein, lutein and zeaxanthin (two antioxidants that help with eye health), vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin, phosphorus and folate. They also provide choline, which helps with brain function in adults and brain development during pregnancy.
GOOD FOR FITNESS
Getting sufficient protein is particularly important after workouts, is where it counts. It helps rebuild and repair your hardworking muscle tissue and makes the right amino acids — the building blocks of lean tissue — available to your muscles. “When they’re looking to get in shape, I always encourage clients to include a source of protein in every meal and snack,” says Carissa Bealert, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer in Orlando, Florida. And she describes eggs as a nutritious and convenient means of doing so. For a nutritious post-exercise snack, have a hard-boiled egg with fresh fruit or whole-grain crackers.
FILLED WITH VITAMIN D
Your body absorbs vitamin D through sun exposure and by consuming certain foods, but meeting your daily needs through food alone is difficult. Because eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, incorporating them into your diet routinely could help stave off deficiencies. “If you’re not in the sun a lot or your body doesn’t efficiently absorb vitamin D, then eggs can be a great place to get your daily dose,” says Carissa Bealert, registered dietitian. One large egg yolk provides 41 international units of vitamin D, fulfilling 10 percent of an adult’s daily needs although some experts argue intakes should be higher, around 1,000 to 2,000 IUs daily.
A large egg contains 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 1.8 grams of monounsaturated fat and one gram of polyunsaturated fat. Some eggs are fortified with omega-3 fats by providing an omega-3-fortified diet to the hens; this will be noted on the carton. A large egg also supplies 185 milligrams of cholesterol.
FRESH IS BEST
You might be throwing out your eggs a bit prematurely. Eggs can be used within three weeks of the “sell-by” date if stored properly in the refrigerator. They age faster at room temperature, so don’t leave them sitting out too long. Store eggs in the main section of your fridge to keep them at their best and discard them after two hours at room temperature or one hour in warmer temperatures. For the highest quality, eat eggs by the best-by or use-by date, and prepare them with clean hands and utensils.