Looking for something to eat? Well stop rummaging through the vast empty space of your refrigerator or cabinets and grab an egg. Yes, these little things pack so much protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good fats that it is no wonder why so many professional bodybuilders turn to them for a quick fix.
And, consequently, their reasoning should be the same as yours. But wait, aren't eggs bad? A common fallacy is to the believe that with all that cholesterol and fat, eggs are bound to take its toll on the body sometime, say in the form of a heart attack. But this is not the case!
What About Cholesterol?
With heart attacks and other cardiovascular disorders claiming the lives of many Americans, cholesterol's place in a diet was almost non-existent. Food processing companies quickly branded their seal of "NO CHOLESTEROL" on every food item possible. Health conscious consumers bagged these foods like water and bread in time natural disasters.
However, now armed with modern science and tests, consumers are slowly making amends with cholesterol and frowning blackly and turning their backs on saturated fats. For instance, "Dr. Wanda Howell and colleagues at the University of Arizona conducted a statistical analysis of 224 dietary studies carried out over the past 25 years investigating the relationship between diet and blood cholesterol levels in over 8,000 subjects.
What these investigators found was that saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, is what influences blood cholesterol levels the most" (aeb.org). Factors that do contribute to cardiovascular problems include: smoking, controlling blood pressure, maintaining a blood cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl, exercising regularly, family history of heart disease, genetics and obesity.
Before determining that eggs are evil and deciding to throw them against someone's house, understand cholesterol and its role within our bodies. There are two kinds of cholesterol: dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol you consume in foods) and blood cholesterol (the cholesterol in your bloodstream, also called serum cholesterol).
Dietary cholesterol is found in such foods as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Dietary cholesterol does not automatically become blood cholesterol, which is produced in the liver, when you eat it. Your body makes most of your blood cholesterol.
Blood cholesterol can be broken down into two major parts: HDL or high-density lipoprotein and LDL, low-density lipoprotein. HDL, known as good cholesterol, helps move cholesterol back to the liver for removal from the bloodstream. LDL, referred to as the bad cholesterol, helps cholesterol stick to artery walls.
Individuals vary in how much cholesterol their body makes. Cholesterol is needed for many bodily functions and serves to insulate nerve fibers, maintain cell walls and produce vitamin D, various hormones and digestive juices. The more HDL present in your body the better. However, the more saturated fats one eats, the more LDL cholesterol is produced. And guess what? Eggs only contain 1.5 grams of saturated fat! Don't even think about giving me that look, because most of your protein powders may contain at least 1 gram of saturated fat, too!
The Good Parts Of The Egg
Now that we have understood the so-called "bad" parts of the egg, let us move to the good, abundant parts of the egg. If your chickens are fed with grain-enriched feed, you could be increasing your dietary benefits. Thanks to modern technological and intelligent farming techniques, the value of Omega-3 fatty acids has been understood. Grassfed animals contain more omega-3 fatty acids than ones that are fed normal industrial feed.
According to Animal Feed and Science, "When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 20 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens."
Nonetheless, eggs contain much more vitamins and nutrients necessary to any bodybuilding diet. The only vitamin not present within eggs is Vitamin C. Biologically, chickens, unlike humans, can produce their own vitamin C and don't need to get it from their diet. Several
Vitamins that are present in eggs include: A, D, E, B1 (which helps properly release energy from carbohydrates), B2 (which helps release energy from protein and fat), B6 (which promotes the metabolism of protein), and B12 (known to be an essential vitamin in the formation of nerve fibers and blood cells). In addition, the minerals present in eggs include Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Iodine, and Selenium.
Egg protein is of such high quality that it is highly incomparable to other sources of protein. For example, eggs have a biological value of 93.7% compared to 84.5% for milk, 76% for fish, and 74.3% for beef. And due to their abundance, eggs really are the best protein money can buy. The only food that ranks higher than eggs in biological value isâ€¦wellâ€¦your mom's milk. But, thankfully, that is why Bodybuilding.com has developed shakers and sells protein powders.
Eggs can be prepared in many ways. I advice everyone to actually cook the egg. Raw eggs can contain Salmonella. One in every ten thousand eggs contains salmonella. Properly storing and cooking eggs greatly reduces a chance of contracting salmonella. Even though it was pretty bad ass, do not try to emulate Rocky by downing raw eggs. But, eat, eat, and eat those cooked eggs!
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