Did you buy extra eggs this week in preparation for Easter? Many people will be using eggs for egg hunts and the ever-popular deviled eggs on their Easter menu. It’s no surprise that more eggs are sold the week before Easter. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1.08 billion eggs were sold Easter week 2013, compared to 1.04 billion sold in each of the 51 other weeks.
The “incredible, edible” egg has been shrouded in misinformation for years. First, they were good for you, then bad for you, then good for you, and so on. It’s hard to know who to believe but you may be missing out on a nutritional super food if you are avoiding eggs.
•Cholesterol: For 70 percent of the population, eating eggs has no impact on blood cholesterol. In the other 30 percent, eggs raise both HDL which is beneficial and large particle LDL. Conclusion: egg consumption lowers heart disease risk, rather than increases it.
•Choline: More concentrated in egg yolks than any other food, choline supports important detox pathways in the body. Choline is necessary for the construction of every cell, and you can’t fire a nerve signal without it, which means you can’t move a muscle (including your heartbeat) without it. Most people are deficient in this essential vitamin.
•Vitamin, mineral powerhouse: Eggs (especially the yolks) are rich in vitamins A, D, E and all of the B vitamins, as well as the following minerals: zinc, phosphorous, iron, calcium, iodine, potassium and selenium. Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, egg yolks protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
On the flip side, some individuals are allergic to eggs. Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children, second only to milk allergy. Symptoms of an egg allergy reaction can range from mild, such as hives, to severe, such as anaphylaxis.
People with egg allergy should carry an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen) at all times. To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of egg and egg products is essential. Always read ingredient labels to identify egg ingredients. Most children eventually outgrow an allergy to egg.
Most people who are allergic to eggs react to the proteins in egg whites, but some can't tolerate proteins in the yolk. While the whites of an egg contain the allergenic proteins, patients with an egg allergy must avoid all eggs completely. This is because it is impossible to separate the egg white completely from the yolk, causing a cross-contact issue.
Some people do not have egg allergy but are sensitive or intolerant. They may experience delayed symptoms, up to 36 hours later, such as stomachache or digestive issues. People who are intolerant are usually reacting to the whites. These people can still enjoy the benefits of eggs by eating only the yolks. If possible, choose organic eggs from cage-free chickens. After separating the yolk from the white, rinse the yolk to get 100 percent of the egg white off before eating.