No Yolks, egg beaters, yolk free omelettes. These products are touted as a health revolution. Finally we’re free from those blasted yolks. So what’s wrong with yolk? Well, nothing really, but they contain Cholesterol and Saturated Fat. Two of the most vilified substances in food.
For years we’ve been told not to eat eggs. They can lead to heart disease, we’re told. The advice worked. Americans now eat approximately 41 fewer eggs per year than a century ago. According to Mary Enig PhD, American’s consumption of saturated fat has decreased by 21% over the course of the 21th century.
What hasn’t changed is the rates of stroke and heart disease. They have not gone down. At best they have merely remained the same. How can this be?
It’s very simple. The advice is wrong.
Saturated Fat and Cholesterol are not Your Enemy
Saturated fats play many important roles in the body. The lungs and kidneys cannot work without saturated fat. Saturated fats provide integrity to the cell walls, promote the use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver, and contribute to strong bones.
Our bodies need saturated fat. If we don’t have enough, our body will make it out of carbohydrates and excess protein. Breast milk contains saturated fat. Over half the fat in the brain is saturated fat. Humans have been consuming saturated fats for thousands of years. Heart disease, obesity, stroke, and diabetes are recent epidemics. A century ago they were rare, now they are commonplace.
Naturally occurring cholesterol contributes to the strength of the intestinal wall. Cholesterol helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Food that contains cholesterol also contain many other important nutrients. Only oxidized cholesterol, found in most powdered eggs and milk, contributes to heart disease.
Eggs are a Complete Food
Eggs are nature’s perfect food. Mankind has been eating eggs for millennia. An egg contains all the nutrients needed to grow a chick from embryo to a two day old chick. Egg yolks provide an excellent source of protein. They contain the gamut of vitamins and essential fatty acids that contribute to the health of the brain and nervous system. It’s no wonder that asian cultures value eggs as a brain food.
Most of these vitamins and nutrients are in the yolk. Egg yolks are the most concentrated source known of choline, a B vitamin, that is necessary for keeping cholesterol moving in the bloodstream.
Pastured Eggs are the Best Eggs
The eggs you buy in the supermarket are not the same as the ones you buy at the farmer’s market. It doesn’t matter how many certifications they have or how big they print “Free Range.” Even the organic eggs are raised in the same type of barns as the cheap eggs. Sure, some of them get to run free inside the barn, and they may even have access to outside. Hence the term free range. But having access to a small dirt yard does not make a healthy egg.
Pastured eggs are laid by hens out on pasture. They get to eat fresh grass and live bugs every day. This is how chickens are supposed to live. Not forced to walk across a floor layered in weeks old poop to get to their feed and water.
Properly produced eggs are rich in virtually every nutrient we’ve ever discovered. And many we haven’t yet discovered. Pastured eggs have both Omega-3 and Omega-6 in nearly equal proportions. CAFO eggs have as much as 19 times as much Omega-6 than Omega-3. Many other nutrients necessary for the development of brain are found in pastured eggs but are almost wholly absent in CAFO eggs.
Another problem with commercial organic eggs is freshness. The sell by date on organic eggs is based on the packing date, not the date they were laid. This means that organic eggs could be up to a month older than regular eggs. Certification is no guarantee of quality. If you don’t know where your eggs come from, then you don’t know if they’re any good.
Don’t Eat Powdered Eggs
Powdered eggs contain oxidized cholesterol. Dr. Fred Kummerow said in a new York Times interview: “Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, except if it’s oxidized.” Oxidation happens in the drying process. In order to dry the eggs they must be exposed to air.
Powdered eggs come from industrial cracked eggs. These eggs can’t be sold in cartons so they are separated and sent to a grinder, shells and all. These shells may have manure or chlorine on them. The eggs get pushed through a screen to separate the egg from the shell. They are then dried to make powdered eggs.