Slideshow: Eat Eggs, Get Lean
By Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD; Photography Peter Chou
1. Get Cracking!
In the fitness nutrition world, it’s rare to come across an inexpensive whole food like the egg, which does it all on the performance-boosting front: amps up energy levels? Check. Eggs are both nutrient-dense (lots of vitamins, protein and fats), and energy-dense at just about 70 calories each. Helps build muscle and burn fat? Double check. Eggs have over six grams of protein each and, best of all, they are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids required for protein synthesis. Plus, protein revs up your fat-torching metabolism. If that’s not enough to get you cracking more of them, the government is giving you two more reasons to fuel up with eggs.
2. Less cholesterol
Despite years of research debunking the myth that dietary cholesterol raises cholesterol levels in the body, you might still worry over egg’s heart-wrecker reputation. But USDA scientists have “eggs-onerated” eggs from this rap by declaring that today’s eggs have 14 percent less cholesterol than previously reported.
Make this recipe: Simple Eggs and Salsa
3. More sunshine vitamin
Eggs now contain 64 percent more vitamin D. The latest RDA for vitamin D is 600 International Units (IU) for adults of all ages, and today’s eggs provide 41 IU per large egg. Higher vitamin D levels are a boon to your health and fitness. Higher vitamin D levels have been linked to higher testosterone levels and increased strength in older adults. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency in young, healthy women was recently linked to increased fat buildup in muscles, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Make this recipe: Clean Egg Muffins
4. Egg white safety
Blame Rocky for the dangerous trend of eating raw egg whites while training hard. Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella, which contaminates one out of every 30,000 eggs. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, and can lead to severe illness and even death in some cases. To ensure egg safety, follow these solutions:
- Refrigerate eggs as soon as possible and use within three to four weeks.
- Cook eggs to 160°F – that means hard-boiled or over-hard. Flip eggs and cook until the yolk hardens.
- Refrigerate all foods prepared with eggs.
- Do not use raw eggs in recipes that will not be cooked to the appropriate temperature.
5. Fat Loss Booster
In a new study, individuals who ate two eggs for breakfast over an eight-week-period lost an average of six pounds - almost twice as much weight as those who ate a bagel. The egg-eaters also reduced their waist circumference by 83 percent, improved their energy and did not have significantly higher cholesterol levels.
Make this recipe: Mushroom and Potato Frittata
6. Keep the yolk
Active and healthy women should be eating one whole egg per day, yolk and all. It can help build muscle, ease sore muscles and boost brain power!
Plus, most of the egg’s protein is in the yolk – 44% of the total protein in an egg comes the yolk. So when you discard the yolk, you're wasting nearly half the protein.
Make this recipe: Poached Eggs Florentine