Tuesday, 22 May 2012
An argument for EGGS
Excuse me while I climb up on my soapbox for a minute (or two)....
The more I study nutrition...and I don't mean Canada Food Guide/American Food Pyramid "nutrition"....but what I can best describe as a Holistic Traditional Nutritional approach - one based on Holistic Nutrition and Traditional Diets, the more I find we are now being sold a load of bunk. Like many of the other soap boxes that I dare to climb atop, they all involve large industry telling us what will keep us healthy, when really all it does is keep them profitable. Like most things these days, it is all about the bottom line. Food processing is the largest manufacturing industry in the country (Canada and US) and hence the most powerful. The industry uses its financial clout to influence and slant university research (oh it sounds so much like the pharmaceuticals doesn't it?) and dictates what conclusions come from government agencies.
So we are continually sold the idea that low-fat diets are the way to go (the recommended daily intake being very small), telling us to eat huge quantities of grains and carbohydrates (the base of the food pyramid), a heavily subsidized crop. The 'experts' make little to no distinction between whole grains and refined, between foods grown organically and those grown with pesticides and commercial fertilizers, between unprocessed dairy products and meats from pastured-fed cows from confined animals raised on processed feed, between traditional fresh fruit and vegetables and those that have been irradiated or GMO'ed--between the traditional foods that nourished our ancestors and the now highly refined, GMO'ed, sugar laden, highly processed foods we are now offered.
I will now climb down - and comment on eggs.
I have never been a huge fan of breakfast foods and going gluten free made it all a little more of a challenge. So, and I have mentioned this before, I often just put on egg on what was for dinner the night before. "OH THE CHOLESTEROL!!" you holler at me, "OH THE FAT" you worry for my health (that's sweet really) but here's the thing......eggs are good for you - it's about how you cook them.
Eggs Contain - (may I add that this is farm fresh pastured eggs not grocery store egg mill caged birds - lacking in the macro-nutrients and completely devoid of all the micro-nutrients)
Lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) is fairly concentrated in the yolks. This substance is vital to the body's cell membranes. Because these membranes include the ones surrounding nerve cells in the brain, memory and other cognitive processes appear related to the lecithin supply. Its function in the body is to emulsify fats, and enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin A. Nearly 1/3 of your brain is made of lecithin - 30% of your brain's dry matter is lecithin and it is vital to proper brain function, increasing mental activity and enhancing memory. Lecithin also exhibits a calming effect and can be helpful in reducing hyperactivity. What’s more, lecithin protect against gallstone formation, high blood pressure, and is known to lower LDL cholesterol (bad) while preserving HDL (good) cholesterol, decreasing our risk of heart attack. (wait weren't you concerned about my cholesterol?). Lecithin is a very delicate nutrient and is destroyed with heat so you have to eat the eggs with runny yolks. Poaching and soft boiling are therefore your best choices for preserving the many health benefits of that precious lecithin.
Vitamin K - a fat soluble compound needed for blood clotting and plays an important role in bone formation.
Sulpher-containing amino-acids - methionine, cysteine and cystine - Important to the health of the brain and nervous system. Sulphur aids in many biochemical processes. It helps protect the body from infection, blocks the harmful effects of radiation and pollution and slows the aging process. Sulphur containing proteins are the building blocks of cell membranes and sulphur is a major component in the gel-like connective tissue in cartilage and skin.
Vitamin A - This vitamin is the catalyst on which innumerable biochemical processed depend. No protein, mineral or water-soluble vitamins can be utilized by the body without vitamin A. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body against pollutants and free radicals like cancer.
Vitamin E - This fat-soluble vitamin needed for circulation, tissue repair and healing. It seems to help in the treatment of fibrocystic conditions, sterility, PMS and muscular dystrophy. It seems to retard the aging process. A vital role of vitamin E is the deactivation of free radicals. With some trace elements it prevents cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B - All the water-soluble B vitamins work as a team to promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, muscle tone and cardiovascular function; they protect us from mental disorders, depression and anxiety
and some calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. They are also a decent source of protein.
For my science geek readers (like me), eggs yolks contain very-long-chain fatty acids that have 20 to 24 carbon atoms. They tend to be highly unsaturated with four, five or six double bonds. Some people can make these fatty acids from their essential fatty acid intake but others, particularly those whose ancestors ate a lot of fish, lack the enzymes to produce them. These people must obtain elongated fatty acids from animal foods like organ meat, butter, fish oils and egg yolks. Many of these very long fatty acids including dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are used in the production of prostagladins and AA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) play important roles in the function of the nervous system.
So with all that being said - I put poached eggs on top of dinner left overs. Grilled sweet potatoes and asparagus. Not only did it satisfy my hunger but it held me for hours. Must be all that nutrition.