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Beyond Diet Buying Guide to Eggs

Orange Icon  Beyond Diet Buying Guide to Eggs

Orange Icon  Beyond Diet Buying Guide to Eggs

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I love eggs. And I eat a lot of them - whole eggs, that is. Some people have the misconception that eating eggs will cause high cholesterol, but the truth is that eggs are an excellent food choice for us and our families.

But before we can talk about the actual egg, we need to talk about the chicken.

Factory Chickens
An egg is only as healthy as the chicken who laid it. Unfortunately, the chickens raised in commercial "factory" farms are treated very poorly. They are kept in extremely small cages, often amongst their own feces. They are also pumped full of antibiotics and hormones that not only fend off diseases but also speed growth. Eggs produced from these chickens are not good for you.

Free-Range and Cage-Free Chickens
However, some chickens are raised in a cage-free environment where they are allowed to wander around and are not fed antibiotics and hormones. These chickens produce healthy eggs that are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, extremely healthy fats that help our skin stay nourished and hydrated. Most people use the terms free-range and cage-free chickens interchangeably because there is only a small difference between the two. Free-range chickens have the entire farm to roam around during the day. Cage-free chickens also have a large area to enjoy, but it is a slightly smaller area than their free-range peers have.

Organic eggs that come from these healthy, free-range chickens are a wonderful food choice.

But some people still have a hard time believing that eggs are good for us. Why?

Eggcellent...or Not?
In the 1960s, people were told that eggs contributed to heart disease and high cholesterol. But eggs do not cause heart disease. Inactivity, lack of sleep, eating processed foods, and other unhealthy behaviors are what contribute to heart disease and a plethora of other diseases. And don't worry about the effect eating egg yolks might have on your cholesterol - good cholesterol is actually necessary for our bodies to perform at optimal levels.

Eggs are an excellent, inexpensive source of protein. In fact, egg protein is the second healthiest form of protein for us. (The first is mother's milk.) Plus, vitamin D and vitamin K, which are also found in eggs, protect us against cancer and help us live long lives. And guess which food contains the amazing antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are so good for our eyes? You guessed it: eggs!

Go Organic!
I always buy organic eggs. Organic eggs come from chickens that are only fed organic food, so these eggs will cost more. If you can't find organic eggs, start off with free-range or cage-free eggs that don't contain any antibiotics or hormones. (Free-range and cage-free eggs are also very healthy for you, but the chickens are not fed organic feed.) I love to get mine at my local farmers' market. Not only are the prices cheaper than at most grocery stores, but the food is fresher. The eggs and produce come straight from the source!

Keep in mind that no one changes their eating habits overnight. A gradual process of switching to organic eggs, milk, poultry, and produce will take time. If you need guidance, check out some of my delicious recipes that use eggs, and join fellow members who are already living this healthy lifestyle. You can do it, too!