Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Understanding Your Eggs

A Guide to Understanding Egg Carton Labels


Did you hear? Eggs are back in vogue

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

This actually took a lot of effort on the parts of many health scientists, researchers, and doctors. They weren't always seen as bad, only in the past few decades but we're quickly righting the ship again.

Eggs are a superfood

We already know they're high in animal protein that's good for maintaining muscle mass and bone. What you may not be aware of is that they're high in many other nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce your risk of eye diseases. They’re high in choline, a brain food that over 90% of people are lacking. They're also high in vitamin K and E among others. Eggs are also good for weight loss and helping people feel fuller longer. There is no vegetable or fruit that can compare.

Whenever someone's cholesterol is high, the first thing they want to give up are eggs. Incidentally I notice no one ever says they want to give up avocados even though that's also a source of saturated fats, people tend to have a bias against animal products lately, which only leaves us man made trans-fats... If someone's cholesterol has been going up for the past few years, and recently they began eating eggs, they instantly want to blame eggs for their most recent increase in cholesterol. If eggs are to blame, why was their cholesterol going up prior to their consumption of eggs? Whatever was causing an increase in cholesterol in the past is most likely still causing the increase. What's the common denominator? It's probably not eggs.

Cholesterol fear

Eggs started getting a bad rap because of cholesterol which I spoke of in more detail in a previous article. To summarize, we need cholesterol to live. Every cell in our body needs it, we wouldn't have developed without it, our brain needs it, and we need it to produce testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol.  Since there isn't always cholesterol in our system, to keep us alive our liver will produce cholesterol. When we eat cholesterol rich foods, our liver produces less. The dangerous kind of cholesterol is not the ones found in our diets but the ones our liver produces in overdrive to manage excess dietary carbohydrates not dietary fats.

Consumption of eggs did not show increased risk of LDL (the bad cholesterol) in studies. In fact it increased HDL (the good cholesterol), increased insulin sensitivity (the opposite of diabetes) and lowered triglycerides.

To enjoy all the benefits of eggs buy organic pasture raised

Not all eggs are the same. There are some raised inhumanely, there are some from chickens who have never seen daylight, and from a grain-fed unnatural diet. Even the ones from farmer's markets and stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's may be grain-fed. Pasture raised means they were raised in an open pasture and ate whatever was around. Commercial eggs, even organic and cage free can have 19 times more inflammatory omega-6 fats. Pasture raised eggs will have low omega-6 and high omega-3, which is the good kind of fat like the ones found in fish. This is why the yolk is more orange than yellow, which is the actual color of yolk. Pasture raised eggs will also have more soluble vitamins.

Make sure to ask your vendor at the farmer's market or look for Vital Farms eggs. In California Vital Farms is available at Whole Foods. You can also check Eat Wild to find grass fed, organic, and pasture raised food options near you.

Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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