egg-nutrition

EGG NUTRITION

Egg nutrition is finally being recognized for it’s many benefits.

For years it was believed that the fat calories in eggs meant that athletes should avoid egg dishes as part of their every-day diet if they wanted to stay lean and perform at their best.

EGG FACTS

In the years of my Ironman career when I was trying to race as fast as possible I was pretty well ready to make any sacrifices as far as diet was concerned if it meant I would perform at my best.

I would go entire years without so much as a cup of coffee, chocolate of any kind, or eggs. Needless to say, my egg nutrition was lacking.

Yet in recent years there seems to be mounting evidence from many nutritional studies that these foods have beneficial qualities in controlled amounts.

It seems that if you wait long enough(or perhaps live long enough)pretty well everything that is bad for you will eventually be good for you.

Egg nutrition

Brown Eggs

Any day now I expect that a study will prove that sucking back 3 cigarettes before your big 10k race will improve your chances.

However, over the years I met some very high end triathletes who swore by their two cups of strong coffee in the hours just before an Ironman. They swore that it improved their endurance and the latest studies on the subject seem to bear this out.

Eggs are the big winner of foods risen from the dead because after years of bad press, eggs are finally being recognized for their many nutritional qualities and egg nutrition awareness appears to be on the rise.

Most people are aware of the protein value of the egg whites. However few people realize that the egg yolk has over a dozen valuable nutrients that are good for over-all health.

Iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin D, and vitamin E are just a few of those beneficial nutrients that are found in the average egg.

EGG CHOLESTEROL MYTH

It’s obvious that cholesterol is necessary for life. It helps us digest our food, forms our cells, and regulates our hormones.

At least 80% of the cholesterol in our body is manufactured by the liver. Only 20% is dietary cholesterol that results from what we eat. Our bodies will produce less cholesterol if we eat more than is necessary.

Actually it’s genetic factors that have more to do with elevated bad cholesterol than diet. That’s why the doctor will ask you if their is heart disease in your family.

In short, researchers are certain that enough studies have been done on eggs to prove that eating eggs every day does not necessarily raise the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood and egg nutrition is given a clean bill of health.

The best defense against rising bad cholesterol is to have a blood test on a yearly basis. Often a regimen of regular fitness activities like triathlon for instance, and weight control will make medicinal treatment unnecessary.

EGG SALAD RECIPE

Well when I was a kid my Aunt called them “deviled egg” sandwiches and this is her recipe. Take about 3 eggs and hard-boil them.

Put them in the fridge and when they are completely cooled peel the eggs and mash them with a fork. Add finely chopped green onions and celery. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

Egg nutrition

Egg Salad Sandwich on Toasted Whole Grain Bread

The secret ingredient is “Miracle Whip.” (not to be confused with Mayo). The secret is to add just the right amount of Miracle Whip. Too much makes the eggs to runny and not enough and they are too dry.

Some people like to add a layer of crisp lettuce to the sandwich. This style of egg sandwich leads to way in egg nutrition as far as I’m concerned.

BOILED EGGS

The favorite egg dish for many people is the boiled egg.

Boiling an egg is not as simple as it seems. Most people really struggle to get it right. The problem is, if you are boiling a 3-minute egg, when do the eggs go in the water?

For example: If you bring the water to a boil and then carefully drop the eggs in the water, the results are much different than if you put the eggs in the water when you first set the pot on the stove and turn the heat on.

How can it be a three-minute egg if the egg is actually beginning to cook before the water begins to boil and you start the timing? Realistically, it is going to be cooking for a lot longer than 3 minutes.

The best thing to do is put the eggs in the water right away and start timing the cooking as soon as the boiling begins and see how they turn out after 3 minutes, or 4 minutes, or 5 minutes.

Personally, I like them to boil for five minutes after putting them in the water right away and not waiting for the water to boil.

Almost without fail the eggs turn out just the way I like them. Of course it’s important to allow for the size of the egg. I use extra large eggs all the time. To get the same results with a small egg might just take a 4 minute boil.

EGG SUBSTITUTES

The advent of egg substitutes was mainly to provide a means to replace the evil egg in recipes. At least until recent years when eggs are being given a break…so to speak.

It would be no surprise at all if the sale of egg substitutes begin to decline as the sale of eggs themselves begin to increase.

So what does all this mean if your are a triathlete? It means that you can be quite comfortable including eggs in your training diet. If you are a vegetarian than adding egg nutrition is a great way to boost your protein intake.

If you are concerned about the fat calories in the egg yolk, you can always have one whole egg and several egg whites for breakfast. Those three eggs will provide almost 20 grams of protein to your daily diet.

Once I began to eat eggs again, I leaned towards poached and boiled eggs as opposed to fried eggs as I was trying to stay as lean as possible.

There is a tendency to confuse fat calories with bad cholesterol when actually they are two different topics for discussion.

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