Eat for Health
Eggs’ Are They Good For You?
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
Eggs are one of those foods we have been eating forever… eggs Benedict, deviled eggs, egg salad, boiled, fried, scrambled and poached eggs; yet modern times have put the health benefits of eggs into question. Recently NPR posted a story about the color of eggs here in the United States verses other countries.
While the story did little to encourage individuals to eat farm eggs, it did remind me of my 4-H days with poultry and the conversations over feed, and commercial egg production. Yes it is true eggs get their dull or bright color from the feed given or available to the birds, corn and wheat being the primary grains fed to farm birds add a more yellow coloring to the yokes. But as hard as some might want to believe it chickens are far from vegetarian. I have always found it interesting that poultry is allowed in strict Jewish diets – after all, they break most of the dietary guidelines for food animals and so do ducks and geese.
Chickens prefer a good juicy bug to grain, and they love baby grass. It is these foods that add to the value of eggs in out diet. Yes they gobble up the seeds, but what they really want is found in a three day old cow pie or compost pile. And just like cows their digestive systems were not setup to live solely on grain. Everything an animal eats becomes part of their flesh and DNA – that means if you are allergic to wheat, corn or soy – eating foods fed these grains could illicit an allergic or inflammatory response from your immune system, leading to chronic illness.
In the case of eggs here is a example for you: I have a client who is 57, they have a violent reaction to corn and dairy. Now most commercial milk comes from cows fed corn….hum Also when this client eats store eggs regardless of whether they are cage free, organic or commercial, within an hour – gas, cramping and diarrhea result. Once again the food trail leads me back to – the poultry was fed corn and wheat with soy…hummmm When this client eats true free range eggs fed only cracked peas and whatever they can find on their own, there is no distress. Are you seeing the connection here?
It isn’t just about what we eat, but also about what is eaten by what we eat, that has an effect on our health. The same applies to our soils and vegetables, fruits and fish. I can just hear the salmon at the local pub calling out for those roasted soybeans can’t you?
Next, we run into the fairy world of medical myth. For years doctors have told clients to stop eating eggs because they are high in cholesterol. They lead to heart disease and so-on and so-forth the fairy tale goes…..
On July 19, 2013 a study was released and published that would make my great grandmother smack her forehead — mostly because to her it was common sense eggs were good for a growing child. Headline reads – Eating Eggs Is Not Linked to High Cholesterol in Adolescents, Study Suggests. “Although in the late 20th century it was maintained that eating more than two eggs a week could increase cholesterol, in recent years experts have begun to refute this myth. Now, a new study has found that eating more eggs is not associated with higher serum cholesterol in adolescents, regardless of how much physical activity they do.” And guess what it is the same for adult too.
There is more; let’s look at information from Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University’s School of Health Professions study published Aug. 2, 2011, she says eggs are not created equal. “Eggs high in omega-6 fatty acids heighten cholesterol’s tendency to oxidize, which forms dangerous plaque in arteries. Dr. Shapira’s research shows eggs laid by hens with healthier feed can lessen oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), the body’s “bad cholesterol.”
But healthier eggs cost more, Dr. Shapira says. The price of chicken feed varies from region to region, and in many areas, feed containing products high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as wheat, corn or maize, soy, and their oils, are much cheaper for egg producers to purchase.”
So the bottom line – buy from the farmers market or a local farmer, look them in the eye and ask if they are feeding commercial egg maker or do their birds free range. I know my egg producer by name and sight, they live in our community, and I know they depend on the quality of the food they produce just like I do for health.
To Fresh Foods Your Good Health