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Like the many workout myths grumbled around the gym, the kitchen can be home to many tough-to-swallow dietary diatribes. Chief among them: the effects the incredible, edible (and controversial) egg has on the body.
So to lay rest to, or at best, make sense of, this heated health issue, Tough Mudder is here to answer the top five health related questions surrounding eggs.
Let's get crackin'...
Is there any nutritional value in egg yolks?
Forever plagued by its controversial crumbly yellow center, we're seldom exposed to the sunny side of egg yolks. Egg yolks contain 90% of an egg's (deep breath now) calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, pantothenic acid and B12. Additionally, 100% of an egg's Vitamin A, D and E, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin and choline live in the yolk. And oh yes, how can we forget protein? One egg packs 6 grams of protein in just 75 easily-digestible calories.
What is the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?
Their color. Period. Genetically, chickens with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown eggs and their white feathered, white ear-lobed counterparts lay white eggs. Nutritionally speaking, there is no difference between the two. As far as the yolk of the egg is concerned, its color is based solely on its carrier's diet—the more corn a chicken is fed, the yellower the yolk of its eggs will be. It's that simple.
How did egg yolks get so demonized?
As we all know from high school, rumors take on a life of their own and, like a nasty infection, the longer they go without proper treatment, the more damage they do. Around 30 years ago, ovaphobia (fear of eggs) took over America when scientists learned that high blood cholesterol lead to heart disease. However, it wasn't until fairly recently that scientists have linked, not a food's cholesterol, but its saturated and trans fat content to high blood cholesterol.
Give it to me straight: are eggs bad for you?
You didn't think it'd be that easy, did you? To no surprise, we can't serve up a hard-lined ‘yes' or ‘no' here. What we can say, though, is that in a 2013 study of 17 studies on eggs and health, absolutely no relationship was found linking egg consumption to heart disease. However, people with diabetes who had a higher egg intake had a 1.5 times greater risk of heart disease.
So what can I take away from all this?
Health-wise: Dieting and choosing the right foods for you isn't one-size-fits-all. Know your body and refrain from generalizing because everyone is different. Life-wise: You can't believe everything you hear. Before cutting or introducing any food into your diet, do some research and refrain from being stubborn about change. And oh yes, if you're one of those hypocrites who smugly order egg-white omelets but have no qualms about stuffing down that entire serving of hash browns it comes with—chances are you've got some extra homework (and gym work) to do.