Friday, September 14, 2012

The Incredible, Inedible Egg?

Oh, eggs.

Did you hear? Surely you did, since it was news a month ago, also known as "One of the many times during which Becka was not updating her blog." Eggs are killing us again.

I won't comment (much) on the quality of the study, other than to make sure we notice the "we didn't look at overall dietary patterns" thing, which... seems like something you might want to do.

I used to be an egg hater. Of course, I loved eggs in all things baked, and I had the occasional craving for a good eggs benedict (or variation thereof), but for the most part I was glad to take a pass. I thought they were bland and boring, and with their ~200mg of cholesterol each, I thought they were death traps. Within the last few years, though, I discovered good eggs. I'm not talking about the mass-marketed organic eggs that are a step up in quality but seven steps up in price. I'm talking about truly wonderful eggs from a local farm, or better yet, from a local friend. Eggs from chickens whose owners couldn't quite tell you what their birds eat, because their birds are allowed to hunt their own food. Eggs that are highly variable in shape, size, and - my favorite - color, and whose yolks burst forth when you crack them open, vibrantly orange and standing up proud and tall.

Yes, folks. I once was an egg hater, and now I wax poetic on eggs. But... look at them!


The thing about these eggs is that they're not just prettier and tastier. They may be healthier, too. Studies have found that eggs from pastured chickens may be lower in saturated fat and have a healthier ratio of omega-3 fats. And the cholesterol? Well, as far as my understanding goes, dietary cholesterol isn't a good predictor of blood cholesterol anyway.

Should we listen to the newest studies telling us our favorite foods are analogous to smoking a pack a day? Sure, but with a grain of whichever seasoning you like. This study has flaws, and doesn't seem to account for people eating truly good eggs.

So my advice? Keep eggs in your diet, but as always, practice moderation. Eggs shouldn't be your only source of protein. Pair a great diet with regular exercise, and hereditary factors notwithstanding, the saturated fat and cholesterol in eggs are likely to be a non-issue for you. But don't forget: eat some truly good eggs! Get them from a nearby farmer and support your local community and animal welfare. They'll cost more, yes, but they'll give you so much more in return.

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