Don’t Do Away With the Yolk

Don’t Do Away With the Yolk

Egg whites and not the yolk, huh!?!?

For too long there has been a stigma that the yolk of an egg is high in cholesterol, even though skipping it skimps on the most nutritious part of the egg. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines allows eating up to one egg a day, yolk and all, within a healthful eating plan.

It is true that the egg yolk – with about 213 milligrams (mg) per serving – is one of the most concentrated sources of cholesterol in the diet. Recent studies show that the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood levels of cholesterol, the type that causes heart disease, is very complex and highly individual. Research has failed to provide conclusive evidence that one egg a day can raise your blood cholesterol or risk for heart disease. Studies show that eating eggs may cause a small rise in LDL (“bad” cholesterol) in some people – though the increase is in a subclass of larger LDLs, which are less likely to contribute to plaque in the arteries – and an accompanying rise in “good” HDL cholesterol. Still, the American Heart Association advises that if you have high LDL levels, you should cut your dietary cholesterol levels to 200 mg per day.

But there’s a lot more to egg yolks than cholesterol. Yolks contain high quality protein and essential vitamins and nutrients. One of the most powerful benefits of the yolk is the concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids responsible for its rich, golden color. They are key components in the human eye, and eating foods that contain these nutrients preserves good eyesight and prevents vision loss. High levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet are associated with the lowest incidence of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among the elderly. Tossing the yolk in favor of the perceived healthier egg white tosses out 100 percent of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D and K, as well as most of the calcium, iron and folate in the egg.

While spinach and some other foods are excellent sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lutein in eggs is three times more available to your body, compared with an equivalent amount of cooked spinach. What better reason to get cracking on the budget-friendly, accessible egg? Just be sure to shy away from less healthy pairings, such as eggs fried in vegetable oils or served with bacon, and partner moderate amounts with vegetables in omelets, quiche and stir-fries. It is, also, more beneficial to opt for pasture-raised or organic.

Adapted from Environmental Nutrition
5 Superfoods To Taste This September

5 Superfoods To Taste This September

August is gone, and September brings in the feeling of the last of what summer has to offer. So, get excited for the freshness of fall. The following superfoods below will help you savor refreshing warm-weather flavors and look forward to the comforting tastes of autumn.

Sweet Potatoes
What Makes Them “super”: These complex carbs with four grams of fiber in each potato make this a healthy choice. The vitamin A will help build up your immune system. Plus, the beta carotene can repair your skin by boosting skin cell production.

How To Enjoy: You may bake them, however steaming them avoids heating up the entire home with the oven. You may, also, purée two of them and put it in bean dip — sort of like hummus — with cashew butter. And, you can eat them all week and it stores well in the fridge, as part of a dip.

Broccoli
What Makes It “super”: It’s a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium. The cruciferous vegetable also packs anti-cancer properties, and could possibly prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Adding to its nutrition are folate, beta carotene and calcium which give this veggie the power to promote eye health, protect against heart disease, strengthen the immune system and build strong bones.

How To Enjoy: This versatile vegetable can be added to just about anything — grilled, roasted or eaten raw. Be careful not to overcook it, as some of the potassium and vitamin C can be lost with heat.

Beets
What Makes Them “super”: Beetroot is very high in antioxidants, calcium and potassium. The betanin and vulgaxanthin, which give the beets their deep hue, have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

How To Enjoy: Beets can be mixed into smoothies or dips to create a beautifully bright dish. They can be roasted, steamed, grated and eaten raw, or made into a dressing using a food processor.

Grapes
What Makes Them “super”: This small fruit is a good source of vitamins C and K. Plus, they’re hydrating because of they’re water content. The skin contains resveratrol (famous for giving red wine its health benefits, as well as preventing premature aging of cells) and other compounds that may reduce allergy symptoms.

How To Enjoy: They’re so convenient to eat like popcorn, but they can, also, be frozen for a delicious dessert on a warm night.

Lima Beans 
What Makes Them “super”: These beans are a good source of soluble fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer. One cup of lima beans adds 13.4 milligrams of iron and 38.2 grams of protein to your diet. All beans pack protein, but unlike meat sources, they have little to no fat and are cholesterol-free.

How To Enjoy: It’s common to buy frozen lima beans, however you may make them into a soup or dip. You can also steam limas and add them to meat dishes, or mix them with veggies for a nutritious side dish.

What in-season produce do you like to indulge in? Let us know in the comments below!