For so many years the humble egg was vilified. Nobody dared to eat too many each week in fear of increasing our blood cholesterol levels and increasing our risk of heart disease. However, we can begin to rejoice again and eat eggs to our heart’s delight – literally! Even the American Dietary Guidelines no longer restricts the number of eggs we should or shouldn’t eat each week because new research shows eating dietary cholesterol has very little effect on our body’s blood cholesterol levels. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies is actually produced by the body in our liver!
Why are eggs good us? I’m so glad you asked. Here’s the scoop….
Firstly, eggs are packed full of pretty much everything our bodies need, from protein and healthy fats to vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy. Just two eggs contain about 20% of your average daily protein needs, have lots of healthy omega-3 fats to help reduce inflammation (especially if they’re from free ranging chickens), and have about 10% of your daily iron needs (it’s non-haem iron so having some vitamin C with your eggs will help absorption – eggs don’t contain vitamin C). You’ll also find zinc, selenium and iodine in your eggs too, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is great for optimising your metabolism by keeping your thyroid functioning well. Eggs contain no carbohydrates and no sugar so they have a very low glycaemic index (GI), which is great for keeping your blood glucose levels low, thereby keeping your insulin levels from spiking too – Just another benefit if you have diabetes.
Eating eggs has so many benefits to help you lose weight. Firstly, because they’re packed full of proteins and fats, they take their time breaking down in your body so you feel full for longer. Secondly, without the carbohydrate content to raise your insulin response you aren’t putting your body into fat-storage mode. Lastly, with all that iodine, zinc and selenium, you’re optimising your thryoid health which produces the hormones for energy production so your metabolism won’t be as sluggish which makes losing weight easier.
And now we no longer have to worry about eggs raising our blood cholesterol levels and putting us at greater risk of heart disease (of course, if you already have high cholesterol levels, talk to your doctor first before eating eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner because you may have other health issues that need to be addressed). You see, cholesterol isn’t always the enemy in our body. Every single cell of the body is encased in part, by cholesterol. That’s what helps the cell maintain its shape and stops it from collapsing. We also use cholesterol to help us make our hormones and to make bile acid, which is used to aid fat and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) absorption. Also, new lab tests show we can’t just label cholesterol as good (HDL cholesterol) or bad (LDL cholesterol) anymore. In fact, LDL cholesterol is made up of different particle sizes and can be small and dense (they actually are the bad cholesterol) or light and fluffy (do no harm at all). Did you know you can ask your doctor to include this test if you’re having your blood cholesterol levels checked? Research shows eggs can actually reduce the amount of small, dense LDL particles which gives us yet another reason to eat eggs!!
So, there’s just a few good reasons to regularly include eggs in your diet. To get you started, here’s a simple baseless quiche recipe you can try. Add whatever low-starch veggies you like. The recipe serves six. Have it for dinner with your favourite salad or serve the leftovers cold for lunch the next day!
Vegetable Baseless Quiche
- 6 eggs (I always use free-range organic eggs because I feel sorry for the chickens)
- 300ml (approx) Carnation-brand cooking cream
- 2-3 cups of chopped low-starch vegetables (I choose, spring onion, capsicum, broccoli, mushroom, beans and carrot)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (fan-forced). In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cooking cream, salt and pepper together until well combined.
- Place chopped veggies in a medium-sized baking dish and pour the egg mixture over until the veggies are well covered.
- Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese and bake in the oven for about an hour or until the top is golden and the eggs are cooked through. Serve hot or cold and enjoy!
*Hint – to reduce the amount of calories in this dish, omit the Parmesan cheese.
Cheers for now