Celebrate Vitamins - Eggxactly!

By Julie Janeway and Karen Sparks

Eggs are a natural, unprocessed whole food that contain a number of nutrients, including protein, choline, folate, iron, potassium, and zinc, with only 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein per egg (1 medium). Research shows that eggs not only contain all nine amino acids the body needs, they also contain vitamins A, D, E, B-1 (the all important Thiamine), B-2, -3, -6, and B-12, but no vitamin C. Eggs are also rich in leucine, an amino acid that helps reduce the loss of calorie- and fat-burning lean muscle that commonly occurs during weight loss. Plus, leucine stabilizes blood sugar, hindering the spikes that trigger cravings and signal the body to store more belly fat.

In general, dietary protein helps regulate food intake by increasing the sensation of satiety and increasing the thermic effect of eating. New research supported by the American Egg Board (AEB) and Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) and recently published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition revealed there is a significant increase in satiety following consumption of a breakfast that includes eggs over other common breakfast foods by 50%, and also curbed cravings to snack between meals. The study further confirmed that those who consumed eggs as part of a regular diet plan resulted in significantly more weight loss, significantly higher energy levels, and ate about 330 calories less for the remainder of the day.

A common myth about eggs has been "cracked" in a recent study restoring the "incredible, edible" egg from its bad rap with high cholesterol and heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) web site includes eggs on its "Common Misperceptions About Cholesterol" page. The AHA notes that since an egg yolk has 213 milligrams of dietary cholesterol, one egg can fit into the dietary recommendation of 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day. But that means people need to watch their dietary cholesterol intake from other sources during the day to fit within recommended levels. Many egg dishes can have more than one egg per serving. So be careful with portions and frequency, and plan your eggs out over the week. Enjoy!