Are eggs really heathy?

Today we wanted to talk about eggs.

You will be surprised to learn how big industries use clever marketing strategies to boost the sales of their products. One technique is called “unique positioning,” which involves highlighting a particular nutrient which is plentiful in the product. For example, when calcium is mentioned, we think of milk and cheese. Omega-3 fatty acids are synonymous with eating fish, iron with beef, and eggs are well known as the “best source of high quality protein.

“Focusing on the abundance of an individual nutrient,” Dr. McDougall says, “diverts the consumer’s, and often times the professional dietitian’s attention away from the harmful impact on the human body of consuming all kinds of animal foods.”

Although eggs might be high in protein, they are lacking in:
– Fiber
– Iron
– Magnesium
– Potassium
– Vitamin C
– Many more vitamins
– Antioxidants

People commonly believe the more protein consumed, the better. This wrong thinking dates back to the late 1800s, and was not founded on any real scientific research. Further confusion about our protein needs came from studies of the nutritional needs of animals.”For example a study conducted in 1913 reported that “rats grew better on animal, than on vegetable, sources of protein.” Consequently, animal products were classified as superior protein sources while plant proteins were labeled as inferior sources.”It seems no one considered that rats are not people. One obvious difference in their nutritional needs is rat milk is 11 times more concentrated in protein than is human breast milk. The extra protein supports this animal’s rapid growth to adult size in 5 months; while humans take 17 years to fully mature.”

A little protein is good, but more is not better. Protein consumed beyond our needs is a health hazard as devastating as excess dietary fat and cholesterol. 

This is one of the reasons why for more than 40 years the US government had warned us about eggs being unhealthy and unsafe; according to the past USDA regulations, the egg industry couldn’t use the word ‘safe’, ‘nutritious’ (they have so much cholesterol you couldn’t even say they contribute nutritionally), ‘healthy’ or ‘healthful’ (under FDA rules, a food is healthy if it is low in saturated fat, eggs fail that test since they have more than 90mg of cholesterol per serving), or say ‘eggs are good for you’, and even that “eggs are an important part of a well balanced, healthy diet’.

In a twist of events, the new 2015 USDA guidelines (a new one is released every 5 years) have changed and now they report that ‘eggs can be part of a healthy eating pattern and people should be thoughtful about including them into a healthy routine.’

However, don’t let this confuse you; these guidelines differ from a scientific panel report that had endorsed a vegetarian diet as one that was best for human health and more sustainable for the environment. The latter point led some members of Congress to question the politicisation of the guidelines.

If you’d like to reduce your consumption of eggs, the below useful table with baking substitutions will help you!

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