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An "Egg-ceptional" Superfood

Posted 3/17/2016 by UHBlog

Do you need help understanding which foods will keep you healthy? We can help.

An "Egg-ceptional" Superfood

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's…an egg? Packed with vitamins and nutrients, this superfood is no “yolk” and can play a big role in your diet.

“Eggs are a good complete protein source for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike," says registered dietitian nutritionist Heather Butscher.

In the past, you may have heard differently. For instance, too many eggs will send your cholesterol levels through the roof. But Butscher cracks that myth.

“Research is saying to focus less on restricting cholesterol and more on limiting your intake of saturated fat,” she says. “We used to say one egg a week, but now it’s a few eggs per week.”

Since egg yolk contains cholesterol and saturated fat, be mindful of how much meat you’re consuming, Butcher says.

“If you’re having over five ounces of red meat and an egg, it might be too much” she says. “Rather than worrying about eggs, you should really be focusing on the amount of meat you’re eating.”

That's because the dietary recommendations for meat are very low these days. Although it may seem small, five ounces of meat per day is plenty, which is about the size of a deck of cards.

“Bottom line is go ahead. Have the egg, but reduce the meat,” Butscher says.

So what's in an egg? According to Butscher, for 70 calories per egg, you get 14 key nutrients. Eggs have all of the essential amino acids along with iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, B12 and more.

Not only are they an "egg-cellent" source of nutrients, but they're versatile, too. Butscher suggests trying your eggs:

  • Hard-boiled
  • Scrambled
  • Cooked in oatmeal
  • Inside pancakes
  • On a salad

She also recommends that you keep eggs stocked in your fridge and hard-boil a few at the start of the week for easy breakfasts, lunches or snacks.

“I encourage people to purchase eggs with omega-3s because most people aren’t meeting their omega-3 requirements in their diets,” Butscher says. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that are good for your heart and blood vessels. They help to keep your heart healthy and protect against stroke.

Buying eggs with omega-3s is a good idea, but going organic may not make much of a difference.

“Organic is a lot more money,” Butscher says. “Organic or non-organic is a buyer's preference, but nutrition-wise? They’re maybe the same.”

If you’re ready to change your diet, see a dietitian for more tips and tricks on how to incorporate the incredible, edible egg into your diet.

Heather Butscher, MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist at UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH Landerbrook Health Center and UH Medina Health Center. You can request an appointment with Butscher or any other University Hospitals health care professional online.

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