Egg nutrition

Yield: 1 Servings

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EGG INFORMATION

ARE EGGS NUTRITIOUS?

Egg protein is often used as the standard by which other protein foods are measured. The egg contains small to significant amounts of 13 vitamins.

It's one of the few foods that naturally contains vitamin D and numerous minerals. On the other hand, eggs are not high in sodium or calories.

BUT WHAT ABOUT CHOLESTEROL?

Nutrition experts say the two main influences on blood cholesterol levels are heredity and saturated fat, not cholesterol consumption per se.

Contrary to long-held belief, dietary cholesterol is not strongly correlated with risk of coronary artery disease. The problem is that some people are genetically cholesterol sensitive (their blood cholesterol levels do rise when their dietary intake of cholesterol increased) and therefore need to watch their intake of foods high in cholesterol. And eggs are high on that list: Although the whites are both fat and cholesterol-free, the yolk of one large egg has 213 milligrams of cholesterol and five grams of fat, 1⅗ of them saturated fat. Although as a general rule the American Heart Association recommends a limit of four yolks per week, some diet and heart disease experts assert that dietary advice should be more individualized.

WHAT DO THE GRADES MEAN?

In descending order the grades are AA, A and B. The nutrition is the same no matter what the grade. Packers determine grade only by the quality of the exterior (cleanliness, soundness, texture, strength and shape) and interior (shape and firmness of yolk; proportion of thick white to thin white). Eggs that don't meet USDA or state standards for grade B or better never even make it to the market as shell eggs; in fact, most grade B's are processed into dried or other egg products.

WHAT CAUSES BLOOD SPOTS?

A spot forms when a blood vessel on the yolk ruptures during the egg's formation. It actually indicates a fresh egg, since as the egg ages, water moves from the albumen (white) into the yolk, diluting the blood spot. It is not a sign that the egg is fertile.

CAN EGGS BE FROZEN?

Not in their shells. To freeze whole eggs, beat them just enough to blend the yolks and whites, then transfer them to freezer containers.

IS IT SAFE TO EAT RAW EGGS?

As with all raw food from animals, there's a small possibility of bacterial (usually salmonella) food poisoning. Infection is more serious for those who are very young, pregnant, elderly, or have an impaired immune system. The American Egg Board says: Keep eggs cold. Cook them until the whites are set,, yolks start to thicken, and no visible liquid remains.

WHY ARE SOME HARD-COOKED EGG YOLKS RINGED WITH GREEN? A harmless iron and sulfur compound forms when eggs are over cooked or not cooled quickly.

WHICH CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? The Bible claims fowl. Modern scientists hedge by saying neither. Both are alternating stages in life's never ending progression.

Source: Modern Maturity magazine, March-April 1996; typos by Dorothy Flatman 1996

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