The old adage ‘an egg a day keeps the Doctor away’ was unceremoniously shot down a few years ago because of some apparently damning research surrounding the fat, and more critically the cholesterol content of the humble egg. Amazing how things can change right?
An Egg a day DOES keep the Doctor away…
Like with anything, don’t jump straight into things because ONE research paper says it is so. One research paper doesn’t mean it is 100% so…however, should you find a meta-analysis on a subject i.e. a research paper that has gone through all of the existing research papers in order to find a consensus on something, then you can generally feel secure to go ahead and follow the recommendation. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that its good news…the cholesterol in eggs isn’t thought to cause a rise in blood cholesterol, nor is it thought to increase the risk of heart disease in otherwise healthy people, nor people with diabetes (Examine.com, 2015).
So why are eggs so good for you?
What makes an egg stand out from most other foods and protein sources is its simplicity. An egg is a specially made capsule of goodness that is programmed to deliver pretty much everything a living being (a chicken, bantam, duck etc) would need to grow…so it stands to reason that they are nutrient packed and pretty darn good for you! From a muscle perspective, the egg delivers all of the essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis e.g. muscle growth and repair, making it a complete source of protein. Not only that, the egg contains B-vitamins, choline and essential fatty acids including omega-9, all of which are needed for cell production and energy metabolism.
Go organic where possible, the reason being that pasture fed hens are generally higher in vitamins and minerals, plus certain hens fed omega-3 enriched diets in the form of Alpha-lionleic-acid (ALA) fortified feeds will produce eggs higher in the essential fatty acid omega-3. Some hens are also fed the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oils, however this can make the eggs taste a little fish like in the process and are often avoided by the consumer in consequence.
Combine the benefits and what small negatives there are surrounding egg consumption, and it’s fair to say that the positives significantly outweigh the negatives, meaning eggs should ideally be a staple of everybody’s diet…especially those wanting to gain muscle mass.
An average egg contains around 6g of high quality, biologically available protein, therefore 4-5 eggs delivers a comprehensive range of amino acids and the ideal serving of protein. Should you have an underlying condition of any sort that may require you to limit total fat intake, then by all means remove the yolks of maybe 2-3 of those eggs to reduce total fat intake. Although all of the fat is found in the yolk, remember these fats deliver omega-3 and 9 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as choline, a nutrient associated with a number of potential health benefits including enhancing memory and mood, as well as performance enhancement in athletes through delaying fatigue (although a nutritional supplement may be needed for this).
Examine.com, (2015). Are eggs healthy? Retrieved 20th October, 2015, from http://examine.com/faq/are-eggs-healthy/?utm_source=Examine.com+Insiders&utm_campaign=4dda3abd4b-Eggs10_15_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e4d662cb1b-4dda3abd4b-70250881&goal=0_e4d662cb1b-4dda3abd4b-70250881&mc_cid=4dda3abd4b&mc_eid=de2ac25553