Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fresh start: quality eggs

eggsI have been talking about developing good habits in the new year. So far I have discussed getting a fresh start in your nutrition by adding nutrient dense coconut oil (see HERE) and cod liver oil (see HERE) and today I am discussing high quality eggs. Eggs are a relatively cheap protein source, even the highest quality ones. While you might balk at paying as much as $5 a dozen for 100% pastured eggs because they are so much more expensive than factory eggs at $1 a dozen consider this: three (at $1.25) or four (at $1.67) eggs represents a very hearty meal for anyone at a much lower price point than pastured meat.

Eggs are also quick and easy to serve meaning that you can serve a hot and hearty breakfast to your family before they leave in the morning. Warm foods high in saturated fats can give a sense of satisfaction and prevent snacking urges as well as give lasting power to enable children to concentrate on school and adults on work without the distraction of growling stomachs or plunging blood sugar. They are also very healthy and provide a lot of nutrition in such a small package.


What benefits do eggs have?

In turns out eggs, and most often the yolks, are an excellent source of many critical nutrients including:
  • True vitamin A known as rentinol, which is only found in animal foods
  • Natural vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Saturated fats (which are not bad for you but actually health promoting)
  • Cholestrol (which is, again, health promoting
  • Vitamin E, depending on the quality of the hens’ diet

On of the questions that people ask me is if they should reduce their overall intake of eggs (or other foods) to ensure that that what they do eat is of the best quality. I would never recommend it. If you are on a strict budget, think in broader categories. If you need more quality protein in your diet, look beyond meat to bone broth (which I am discussing tomorrow) and eggs. Choose cage-free, high vitamin eggs perhaps in organic but never eat them raw. Pastured eggs from tested hens can always been eaten raw and offers assurance that factory eggs from the grocery store cannot but this does not make the eggs inappropriate food for your family. Buy the best quality eggs you can afford to buy in great quantity, at least a half dozen a week per person. Cage-free, high-vitamin eggs are available at my local Costco for a a paltry $0.19 a piece meaning that my four egg omelet would cost only $0.76. If you are cash strapped but concentrating on improving your nutrition, quality eggs are one of the best ways of increasing your intake of quality proteins and fats and can prevent you from relying on cheap grains and potatoes as filler in your meals.

Need more ideas about what to do with all those eggs you are buying? See this post HERE with ideas and links to recipes on my blog. If you need a foundation on just what a nourishing diet is, take a look at my new eBook and download a free sample, details HERE.


Linking up with Pennywise Platter and Simple Lives and Hack the Budget Back!

13 comments:

  1. Oh man . . . we were just going to do a series on eggs -- you beat us to it! Might post a link back to this article too if ok.

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  2. Oh my gosh, Jen! I suppose great mind think a like. Right?

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  3. Why do you mentioned pasteurized eggs? Do you feel they must be? What about locally raised eggs? Do you consider those safe? Thanks, Andrea in NH

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  4. Andrea, I used the term "pastured" and I probably should have been a little more clear. Pastured refers to animal foods like eggs from animals permitted to live entirely out of doors and on the natural diet. "Pasteurized" eggs are ones which are heat treated to kill pathogenic bacteria. Some smaller farmers are able to test their layers for salmonella and other pathogens so that you can eat them raw with no worry while large multi-state producers never do. So these are two similar sounding terms for very different things. Does this make sense?

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  5. I also should say that often foods which are intended for pasteurization are more risky because it is falsely assumed that they are always safe and as such there are fewer precautions taken to prevent pathogens in the first place.

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  6. Anonymous1/14/2012

    I love your blog and read it constantly. I read your post on coconut oil and honey for asthma. I obtained quality coconut oil but since its winter, I am having trouble finding local honey. Will it help the kids asthma and allergies to start them on the coconut oil with regular store bought honey until I can find the local honey? Also how do you melt the coconut oil without spoiling it? Is just heating it up ok? Thanks, Jules

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  7. Regular honey might make the coconut oil more palatable but it won't have the same effect. There are pollens in raw honey that inoculate against allergy reactions. But even without honey, I would say that I believe the coconut oil by itself would be fantastic for your children! Heating the coconut oil won't spoil it at all and in the winter it will be necessary as it will be hard and waxy. If you are having hard time finding local honey check with your local health food store and/or your local WAPF chapter. If you tell me where you live, I can do some looking for you?

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  8. The pasteurized vs pastured is so confusing! It never even dawned on me that they were two different things (now I feel so silly!). Thanks for clearing that up for me :)

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  9. Marleen, I had never realized how closely the terms are related and how similar they sound! I am very glad that you and Andrea brought it to my attention and I will be very clear about it in the future.

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  11. I remember a conversation that I had with a buddy of mine back in my college days about how to stretch your food budget as far as you could (aka. how to spend less on food so you have a bigger beer budget)

    He said that spaghetti was super cheap, which is partially true, and that it would be the way to go to save some cash.

    I, on the other hand, asserted that eggs were the best bet. These were the days before I realized that free-range eggs had more food in them than the cheap eggs. But even if you're popping $5/dozen (which I've never paid, sales are too prevailant) you can be eating a 2 egg sandwich with a bit of mustard and maybe a spot of cheese and spending like...$3 a day on food.

    Sure you could be eating like 2pounds of pasta a day for the same price, but you'd be hungry and vitamin deprived the whole while.

    I would wager to say that short of milk, pound for pound eggs are the most nutrient dense food you can get. (which makes sense, both milk and eggs are intended to sustain babies of given animals at various stages)

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  12. Big D, we'll see if you want to part with those eggs once the hen are laying!

    Also, if any of you want to write about your experience of eating better eggs, Real Food Freaks might publish your experience. I wrote about it:

    http://www.dyno-mom.com/2012/02/do-math-eat-better-eggs.html

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