May is a month of celebrations. In addition to proms and graduations, we observe Mother’s Day and Memorial Day – the unofficial start of summer! But did you know that May is also National Egg Month? Eggs are versatile, delicious and easy to prepare. They are also one of the healthiest foods available. Are you still concerned about eating eggs? Well, here are eight reasons why eggs can and should be part of a healthy eating plan.
- Eggs are lower in cholesterol than they used to be. Doctors and dietitians used to advise us to avoid, or at least limit, eggs because of their cholesterol content. But today’s eggs contain just 185 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol, down from 220 mg from years ago. What’s even more important, however, is that cholesterol like this, found in food, has little, if any, impact on cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies show that eating an egg a day does not raise blood cholesterol in healthy people. For people who have diabetes, eggs can still be part of a healthful meal plan, as some studies show that eggs can be helpful in managing blood sugar levels.
- Eggs are a great source of protein. Eggs provide one of the highest quality sources of protein available. One whole egg contains 6 grams of protein, which is about the same as an ounce of beef or chicken. Protein is important for many reasons, including building muscle and helping control blood sugar. Eating protein also helps you feel full longer, which can help your reach and stay at a healthy weight.
- Eggs are good for your eyes. Egg yolks contain two antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are thought to help protect against macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.
- Eggs are carb-free. Everyone needs to eat foods that contain carbohydrates for energy. But if you have diabetes, you know that eating too many carbs can raise your blood sugar levels. Eggs don’t have any carbs, so a hard-boiled egg for a snack will fill you up and help keep your blood sugars in target, as well. Even better: one large egg is just 70 healthy calories.
- Eggs promote brain health. Hoping to stay as sharp as a tack as you get older? Eat eggs! Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that maintains the structure of brain membranes, and helps to relay messages from the brain to the muscles.
- Eggs can help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Choline, the same nutrient that boosts brain health, is important for healthy brain development in babies. Choline also helps prevent birth defects.
- Eggs are a good source of vitamin D. Believe it or not, eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D. One egg provides 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin D (41 IU).
- Eggs are affordable. Eggs cost about 15 cents each, making them highly affordable even for the tightest of food budgets.