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To Be Healthy Are Eggs a Healthy Breakfast Choice?

by Michael on August 4, 2011

To be healthy physically, good quality fuel is a requirement.

And are eggs a healthy breakfast choice? The answer is:  It all depends on what kind of eggs you are eating.

Eating local farm fresh eggs is a healthy component of our diet. We’ve been eating eggs produced by free range naturally fed chickens for a long time. And when I say “naturally fed”, I mean naturally grown feed as their diet with no growth hormones or antibiotics.

But are all eggs created equal?

Mainstream corporate farming and major standard grocery chains take the position that all eggs are the same – just like they say all corn is the same.

The facts may be considerably different than we – the consumers – are being led to believe.

Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University’s School of Health Professions says that all eggs are not created equal. Her research indicates that when hens are fed with a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids from a young age — feed high in wheat, barley, and milo and lower in soy, maize and sunflower, safflower, and maize oils — they produce eggs that may cause less oxidative damage to human health. That’s a major part of what determines the physiological impact of the end product on your table.

Her findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Cholesterol oxidation: an industry standard?

Eggs high in omega-6 fatty acids heighten cholesterol’s tendency to oxidize, which forms dangerous plaque in our arteries. Dr. Shapira’s research shows that eggs laid by hens with healthier feed can lessen oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), the body’s “bad cholesterol.”

As consumers, we have been programmed to accept – as gospel – whatever someone says on television, or writes in a book, because they are experts. My experience has taught me that just because someone calls themself an expert does not necessarily mean they are.

The media quotes experts all the time without identifying what they are experts in and why they are experts – not unlike quotes from “whitehouse sources” or “insider sources” quoted in news stories and television advertising.

Mark Twain on advertising: Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

Naturally Produced Eggs Cost More

It’s very simple when you think about it. It costs more to raise natural eggs. Natural feed is more expensive.  It takes more time for chickens to reach full maturity when they are not pumped full of growth hormones and fed feed that encourages more aggressive fat production.

I gauge this personally by “taste” and how my body feels when I eat healthy eggs and chicken. There is a big difference in flavor and I notice a difference in energy levels when I eat healthy.

So I pay $2.37 per dozen for free range natural eggs even when I can buy a dozen ‘of regular eggs’ much cheaper. If Dr. Shapira’s research is accurate, I think reducing the oxidation of LDL in my system is worth the cost.

In the long run who pays more?

People who know how to be healthy or people who wish they had after they develop chronic health problems? And what is the cost to society?

Yes, it costs more to eat healthy.

Yet, there is an imminent economic cost emerging among the younger generation as childhood obesity and other chronic diseases become more prevalent. Healthy food can have a direct impact on this growing problem.

Making healthy food mandatory – and providing it on a widespread basis – is an intelligent place to invest our money as a society and considerably less expensive than dealing with completely preventable widespread disease down the road.

How much does it cost to treat and manage chronic disease?

Buy healthy eggs. They’re actually cheaper. And support programs and legislation that encourage fresh healthy foods for children in schools – like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

And enjoy eggs as a healthy breakfast choice – healthy eggs, low in omega-6 fatty acids.

In the long run we all win.

I AM Michael Barrett.

You can circle me on my Google + Profile .

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