Eggs not only provide delicious meals on their own but also serve as essential ingredients in many baked goods, dishes and sauces that wouldn’t taste quite the same without them. Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein providing 5.5 grams of protein in one egg for a cost of only 68 calories. In recent history eggs have received a bit of bad publicity. From contamination to confusion about eggs effect on cholesterol, eggs have pretty much run the gauntlet. However, there are quite a few health benefits eggs have to offer. Eggs are a good source of protein; they are also a good source of B vitamins (specifically B2, B12, and B5) and vitamin D as well as other nutrients.
One of the many benefits eggs have to offer is a good source of choline. Choline is a nutrient needed in good supply for good health and is a key component of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that carries messages between nerves and muscles and is essential in initiating muscle contraction and other neurological functions. Our bodies can produce some choline, however we cannot make enough to make up for an inadequate supply in our diets. Choline deficiency can also cause a folic acid deficiency. It has been estimated that roughly 90% of Americans are choline-deficient.
In addition to its significant effects on the nervous system, choline also has an impact on cardiovascular health. One of the B vitamins found in eggs help to convert a certain molecule in the body that can damage blood vessels into a harmless substance. It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol and health experts in the past have steered people away from this food. However, with the help of 224 dietary studies over the last 25 years, experts have now determined that people on a low-fat diet can eat one or two eggs a day without measurable changes in their blood cholesterol levels. What investigators found is that the saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, is what influences blood cholesterol levels the most. Also eating eggs may help lower the risk of a heart attack or a stroke by preventing blood clots thanks to the proteins found in eggs being potent inhibitors of human platelet aggregation (the formation of a blood clot).
Lastly eating eggs can help promote weight loss. In a randomized controlled trial, 160 overweight or obese men and women were divided into 2 groups. One group ate a breakfast that included 2 eggs while the other ate a bagel breakfast. Both groups were supplied with the same amount of calories for all meals. Both groups ate their assigned breakfast for at least 5 days a week for 8 weeks as part of a low-fat diet with a 1,000-calorie deficit. Compared with the bagel eaters, the egg eaters not only lost twice as much weight, but they had an 83% decrease in waist circumference and reported greater improvements in energy.
It is well know that eggs are common in culinary creations. However, eggs can also be used in many homemade all natural conditioning treatments for your hair. There are quite a few conditioning treatment recipes with eggs that can be used on your locks to help impart, strength, moisture, and shine. Lucky for us, eggs are one of a few foods that work well both inside the body and out.
The Holiday Survival Guide (Part 1)
Now that the ghost and goblins of Halloween have left us, we turn our attention to the holiday season. Our thoughts are now consumed with buying turkeys, planning the perfect family dinner, holiday parties, making travel plans, finding that ever-elusive toy, and having to sit across the table from that cousin you just simply cannot stand. With all the rush of the festivities that are bound to take place well into the New Year and thanks to the stress that is sure to rear it’s head, it’s all too easy to fall off your pathway to a healthy lifestyle. But don’t worry, there are ways to survive the holidays and still keep on track with your health and fitness goals. With just a few easy tricks from The Holiday Survival Guide you can enjoy your holiday season, with less stress and fewer pounds to resolve to lose in your New Year’s resolution.
I should point out that the first step toward a healthful holiday season is actually pretty simple. Don’t use the season or the stress of the season as an excuse to splurge. A splurge at a party or two here and there can quickly add up before you know it. So keep that in mind and try a few of these easy tricks:
1. Always eat a healthy dinner before you go to a holiday party. This trick is pretty obvious. If you are nice and full from a healthy dinner you’re less likely to latch on to the food table.
2. If going to a potluck party, bring a healthy dish or two. This not only encourages your friends and loved ones to eat healthy as well but it also gives you something to fall back on should the options at the potluck be less than healthy.
3. Be careful if you start to feel guilty for overeating. So you slipped during lunch, but that is not an excuse to continue to overindulge all day. One meal is much easier to recover from and more forgivable than an entire day. If you eat too heavily on one meal then go lighter on the rest. Remember balance.
4. No matter how busy you get (and you will get busy), remember to make time for a healthy breakfast. Eating a morning meal will help control food cravings later on.
5. Store healthy snacks at the front of your fridge and pantry. By keeping healthy snacks within reach this can help keep you from over splurging on holiday treats.
Be sure to check back next week for more holiday survival tips. Until next week…