Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Amazing Egg, and some great recipes...

The Amazing Egg

Boy I love eggs. For those of you who know me well you know I eat up to one dozen a day. Yep, that’s pretty easy for me to do. Of course only two of those eggs get to keep their yolk – the rest are egg whites. I most typically scramble them at a 1 whole egg: 5 egg white ratio. That is only 145 calories for my ½ dozen serving and 28 grams of uber quality protein. Why do I eat so many eggs? They are versatile cooking-wise, all natural, low calorie, packed with vitamins and minerals and have the highest protein efficiency ratio (PER) of any food on the planet. And even better they cost an average of just 16 cents an egg. I am also a big advocate of a mixed diet for most people. That means the diet should be 1/3 lean proteins, 1/3 healthy fats, and 1/3 unrefined grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables (carbohydrates). Eggs are one of my easiest and best staples for the protein portion of that diet type. They also have a strong filling capacity – i.e. an egg with a few whites will go a long way for making you full compared to equal calories worth of carbohydrate foods or fats – This is essential for fat loss and staying lean. Let’s review more benefits of eggs, crack the cholesterol myth and show you some of my favorite easy-to-make egg recipes.

Packed with Nutrients

Here are some other points from the Incredible Egg Website (www.incredibleegg.org)

The nutrient package of eggs aids in the following:

  • Weight management: The high-quality protein in eggs helps you to feel fuller longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.1
  • Muscle strength and muscle-loss prevention: Research indicates that high-quality protein may help active adults build muscle strength and help prevent muscle loss in middle-aged and aging adults.2
  • Healthy pregnancy: Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. Two eggs provide about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women.3
  • Brain function: Choline also aids the brain function of adults by maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes, and is a key component of the neuro-transmitter that helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.4
  • Eye health: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness. Though eggs contain a small amount of these two nutrients, research shows that the lutein from eggs may be more bioavailable than lutein from other food sources.5
The Cholesterol Myth

One of the big concerns with eggs is their cholesterol content. Although most current research links increased cholesterol and the potential for heart disease to dietary saturated fat when compared to dietary cholesterol – it is still important to be aware of. Like I said earlier I recommend doing scrambles with 1 whole egg : 3 or more egg whites (which have no cholesterol). You can go with a single egg too, but you will be only getting 7 grams of protein. Mixing the whole egg with more whites increases the protein while maintaining the rich flavor that eggs offer.

The American Heart Association says that it is absolutely safe for all individuals to consume 1 egg a day. 1 whole large egg supplies 185 mg of dietary cholesterol. Here are some more recent studies on cholesterol and egg consumption:

A 2008 study from Surrey University published in the European Journal of Nutrition provides evidence that increasing dietary cholesterol intake by eating two eggs a day does not increase total plasma cholesterol when accompanied by moderate weight loss. The study authors concluded that cholesterol-rich foods should not be excluded from dietary advice for weight loss.1

In 2006, Nutrition Bulletin published a review of scientific studies from the past 30 years showing that eating eggs daily does not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol or heart disease risk. The authors noted several benefits of egg consumption – including the high-quality protein eggs provide – and argued that consumption of one to two eggs a day should be actively encouraged as part of a calorie-restricted weight-loss plan.4

A review of more than 25 studies that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2000 showed that eating an egg a day isn’t associated with increased risk of heart disease in healthy men and women, even after taking into account other aspects of their diet that may increase the risk for heart disease.6

A 1999 Harvard University study that collected data from more than 100,000 men and women found no significant difference in heart disease risk between healthy adults who ate less than one egg a week and those who ate more than one egg a day, and that eating up to one egg a day is unlikely to have a significant overall impact on the risk of heart disease or stroke.7

My Three Favorite Egg Recipes

One thing that is perplexing to me is why eggs culturally are considered a breakfast food in America. I have traveled to Japan and found that it was a part of many lunch and dinner options. And I have been told that in Australia it is a major addition to many things as well. Since I am such a radical, I often have eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My following three favorite recipes are quick and easy to make, low in calories and sugar and packed with protein and fiber.

Spinach Scramble on Sesame Toast

  • 1 whole egg : 3 egg whites scrambled
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves added to scramble
  • 2 slices of toasted Ezekiel Sesame bread
  • 2 tsp of light butter with canola oil for toast
  • Favorite spices and salt as needed

Cook/Prep Time: 5 min Calories: 320 Protein: 26 grams Carbs: 36grams Fats: 9 grams Sugars: 0 grams Fiber: 7 grams

Black Bean Scramble on Corn Tortillas

  • 1 whole egg : 3 egg whites scrambled
  • 1/3 cup of Trader Joes organic black beans added to scramble (at the very end)
  • 3 small corn tortillas (heat on skillet, not the microwave, to keep them moist and flexible)
  • 1/3 of avocado
  • 3 tsp of salsa
  • Favorite spices and salt as needed

Cook/Prep Time: 5 to 8 min Calories: 444 Protein: 28 grams Carbs: 54grams Fats: 14 grams Sugars: 3 grams Fiber: 13 grams

Quick Fried Rice (to be used as a good recipe for leftover brown rice)

  • ½ cup of organic frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 tsp of olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 whole egg : 3 egg whites scrambled
  • Favorite spices and salt as needed

Add olive oil and peas and carrots first (1 min), add leftover brown rice second (2 min), finally add egg mix.

Cook/Prep Time: 5 to 8 min Calories: 412 Protein: 24 grams Carbs: 53 grams Fats: 11 grams Sugars: 4 grams Fiber: 6 grams

2011 © DEREK HEINTZ EDGE FITNESS CONSULTING www.yourfitnessedge.com 619-920-5452


  1. I often still make my eggs like this. At least SOMETHING you taught me stuck. :)

  2. Great post Derek...Thanks. Love those eggs!