I’m Going to Have my Omelet and Eat it Too

The recent egg recall has made me more of an advocate for the protein packed egg!

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

Since the nationwide egg recall, I’m more in love with the egg. Yes, I said more in love with eggs than ever before. I was thinking about this during my omelet breakfast recently.

(photo courtesy flikr.com)

Despite the recall and while enjoying my omelet I couldn’t help but think that we need to continue to take advantage of this nutrient dense food source. And it’s cheap!

Sharing words of appreciation for our nation’s food safety system, Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD, an independent consultant based in Denver has some great advice on a balanced diet that includes eggs. “How wonderful that we have a system in this country that is able to identify a problem and issue a recall; we can target the source and really work to help alleviate the trouble,” she says. “From my perspective as a registered dietician, I know that eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein and other nutrients and especially important during these economic times since eggs are also a reasonably priced source of good nutrition.”

Naturally containing Vitamin D, those eggs in my breakfast omelet are an economical, reliable source of protein. From eating that omelet I also got my vitamin A, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and a variety of minerals.

The story about an egg’s protein power is fascinating enough on its own. Four measurements are often used to gauge protein quality in foods:

1. Protein efficiency ratio

2. Biological value

3. Net protein utilization

4. Chemical score

The score is commonly known as Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAA). The PDCAA score is most sought by weight lifting professionals and physical fitness enthusiasts. This rating determines how many amino acids in protein actually make it to the muscles. Eggs and whey both receive a perfect PDCAA score. Eggs also contain every amino acid essential to muscle maintenance.

But beyond weight lifters and physical fitness buffs, the medical community has long been a proponent of eggs. From gestation to health recovery, eggs are one of the top recommended foods by the medical community

And then there’s choline. Choline is a water-soluble essential nutrient similar to the B-vitamins, and is often lumped in with them, although it’s not (yet) an “official” B-vitamin. Although its entire mechanism of action, particularly how it interacts with other nutrients, is not completely understood, it seems to often work in concert with folate and an amino acid called methionine.

A recent choline study touts eggs as having the highest concentration of choline; considered the new “it” nutrient for advanced cognitive development, especially in the fetal stages of life.

And after finishing my omelet I couldn’t help thinking about what I’d read about blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association credits eggs as having one of the best options in blood sugar regulation without the negative effects of refined sugar consumption.

An associate of mine has recently completed her chemo therapy treatments, and after what I’ve recently learned about eggs, I plan on telling her to add an omelet and more eggs to her diet. Why? Medical recovery diets for chemo therapy, and other health compromises, list eggs in the top five recommended nutritional components in daily menus.

My list of the health benefits could go on and on. Things I’ve just learned! Like the fact that eggs contain readily available caretenoids, which are linked to preventing and improving patients suffering with macular degeneration. Or, how about that any of the most recent weight reduction programs spotlight eggs for their unique satiety quality.

So, despite the recall (or maybe because of) eggs should be front and center in our diets.

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