It took me awhile to determine which topic to cover in my very first post, but I finally decided on…THE EGG.
Now, if you’re thinking like I did a couple of years ago, your first thought just now was probably, “But what about the cholesterol?” I honestly didn’t even know what cholesterol was until about a year ago, but I was still eating those devilish (not to be confused with deviled) eggs in moderation!
The Root of the “Bad” Cholesterol Myth
In the 1960s–when research on heart disease was still shaky at best–sugar industry-funded Harvard scientists published research recommending that people eat foods low in fat. (Yes, you read that correctly. The scientists were funded by the sugar industry. Hmm…) As people started to cut fat out of their diets, they naturally consumed foods higher in carbohydrates.
Now, in the same way that there are myths about cholesterol, there are myths about carbohydrates. Not all carbohydrates are bad; in fact, most fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates. The real issue was that food conglomerates seized on the opportunity to make a buck–or billions of bucks–off of this low-fat trend. They started marketing highly processed foods as “low-fat,” which the average (and possibly health-conscious!) consumer read as “healthy.” These highly processed foods were/are filled with refined carbohydrates and sugars, both of which could not be worse for our health.
Since research on heart disease has improved dramatically since the 60s and we now know that the low-fat craze was actually more detrimental than helpful, we’re in the clear, right? Wrong. We’re still left with this never-ending hangover of processed food. Visit your local grocery store and just try to fill your cart with whole foods your great-great-grandparents would recognize. It’s nearly impossible!
So, what about that “bad” cholesterol?
The Truth About Cholesterol
The whole basis of the low-fat diet trend was founded on the belief that saturated fat caused high cholesterol and high cholesterol caused heart disease. However, new and improved research has proven that cholesterol is actually not the culprit for heart disease; inflammation and plaque buildup are. In truth, cholesterol is a main structural component of every single cell in the human body. (Another deleterious effect of the low-fat food craze is our ongoing association of the words “cholesterol” and “bad,” but, in reality, we could not survive without it!)
Not surprisingly, Big Pharma–like the aforementioned food conglomerates– seized on the low-fat trend by producing cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. In fact, Lipitor, a popular statin, is one of the best-selling prescription drugs of all time. (Again, hmm…)
The tragic truth at the bottom of all of this is that we should have been eating delicious eggs for breakfast all of these years instead of that low-fat, sugary, cardboard-tasting, processed crap. Ugh.
The Egg as a Superfood
As outlined in this concise and informative article from Healthline.com, the egg is a perfect food choice for the following reasons:
- They are packed with all sorts of nutrients, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin (for eye health), Choline (for brain health), Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, and Selenium.
- They improve our cholesterol profile. (They really had it wrong in the 70s!)
- They are a source of high-quality protein.
- They are filling.
Well said, Healthline! But, I’d also like to add:
- They are super easy to make.
- You can make them in many different ways to maintain variety.
- In some forms, they are perfectly portable.
When to Eat and How to Make
Obviously, eggs are an awesome breakfast food. I, however, would like to encourage you to eat them for snack, lunch, and dinner, as well! (But probably not all on the same day…)
My new-ish favorite thing to do is to pack a couple of hard boiled eggs as part of my lunch. I make them every Sunday night so that they’re all ready to grab and go when the craziness of the week begins. (In case you’re wondering, I also pack some chunks of full-fat cheese and an assortment of cut-up, raw vegetables. It’s the most filling, satisfying, easy-to-make lunch I ever did eat!)
If you think you don’t like hard boiled eggs, it may be because you’ve never had one that is cooked to perfection. I used to hate them, but now that I learned how to cook them like a pro, I can’t get enough! Here’s what I do:
The PERFECT Lunch Egg = Hard Boiled
- Take the eggs out of the fridge and let them sit for 20 or so minutes so they’re room-ish temperature. (Room-temperature eggs are less likely to burst apart when you drop them into boiling water. Also, my grandma used to add a bit of salt or vinegar to the water to prevent breakage.)
- Fill up a pot so that the water will be high enough to cover the eggs a full inch. (Don’t add the eggs yet!)
- Bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Now, add the eggs to the water…gently.
- Let them sit in the pot, uncovered, for about a minute, or until the water returns to a boil. (If you are boiling a lot of eggs, you’ll have to wait a bit longer than a minute.)
- Turn the heat off and cover the pot. Let them sit for 12-ish minutes.
- After 12 minutes, pour out the hot water and add cold water to the pot. Let them sit in the cold water for a bit to cool down.
- ENJOY! The whites should be firm and the centers a bright yellow. If the centers are too light yellow or gray, let them sit for less time in either step 5 or 6. (Oh, and a bonus: They should be super easy to peel once they’ve cooled!)
What’s the best way to eat eggs for dinner? I’m so glad you asked!
The PERFECT Dinner Egg = Cheese (French) Omelette
I enjoy a cheese omelette for dinner because a) it’s super easy, b) it’s rich and delicious, and c) if you haven’t gotten the message already, it’s super healthy! For this recipe, I defer to Bon Appétit: How to Make a Custardy French Omelette
I usually pair my cheese omelette with a side salad because, like eggs, greens are great-tasting and great for us!
Remember, I also mentioned that eggs are great for a snack…
The PERFECT Snack Egg = Deviled
Again, you may think you hate deviled eggs because the ones you’ve had were not boiled properly in the first place. I know what you mean! Poorly boiled eggs are disgusting in any and every form, even if mayonnaise is involved. You can make deviled eggs using one of the traditional recipes that usually includes vinegar, mustard, mayo, salt, pepper, and paprika. OR, you can try a variation that includes hummus or even Greek yogurt (in lieu of mayo). There are so many options! Just Google “______ deviled eggs” to find the perfect recipe for you.
These are just a few of my favorite ways to eat eggs, but there are so many more options. What are your go-to recipes?
In each blog post, I aim to bring you food for thought (pun intended. Note: my day job is teaching English), but don’t take my word for it! Click on and read all of the links above to become your own expert on this topic; knowledge is power. The more you know and understand the “why” behind each biohack, the easier it will be to stick to it and realize you can’t live without it!