The Healthiest Food in the World
The life of a editor isn’t the flashy existence you might expect. Most days I sit around at a computer starting as early as 4:30 a.m. and still find myself in the same position at 11 at night. My days consist of everything from writing and editing articles, to reading journals, writing scripts, interviewing the best experts in the world, and figuring out the type of content you want and need–all while (hopefully) educating and entertaining.
I love my job because I am able to help more people than I ever imagined, and I learn something new every day. But many of those revelations come from the most unexpected places. And that’s exactly what happened with my recent discovery of what I think might be the world’s healthiest food.
I'll be the first to admit that the “eggsperiment” was my idea, and on the surface it appears self-serving and biased. I've been eating many eggs for years, and at times my scrambles have included so many eggs that I if I told you the exact number I'm guessing you wouldn't believe me--or you'd question my sanity. I wanted to assess my dietary habits and see if there was something more to eggs. I thought I knew that they were good for me, but I had no idea just how many “hidden” benefits I’d discover. At the same time, this quest wasn't about me: It was a journey designed to help you understand the prevalence of food "myths" and the flexibility you have with any healthy eating plan.
You see, one of the biggest problems in the health industry is that we over-complicate diets. Food becomes stressful, problematic, and negative. That's the reason so many diets fail: We are victims of extreme measures and manipulated science. We try to boil down solutions into strategic, limited plans that are confusing, difficult to understand, and hard to follow. It's no wonder so many people struggle with eating.
That's why I did the eggsperiment. It's about understanding food, finding what’s healthy, and then doing what’s best for your body. Few have said it better than Dr. Yoni Freedhoff:
“Your real goal? Live the healthiest life you can enjoy, not the healthiest life you can tolerate. Yes, if you have weight to lose, you’ll have to make changes. But if you change so far from who you are and what you enjoy, odds are that it’s not a sustainable plan. Don't aim for your so-called "ideal" weight; instead aim for what I refer to as your "best" weight, which is the weight you reach when living the healthiest life you can actually enjoy.”
Freedhoff's approach is both simple and brilliant--yet I'm guessing most people think that approach isn't enough to get in great shape and feel healthy. But this is exactly what should be done to see the type of results you want.
Better health education was the motivation for the current project. This wasn't as much about eggs as it was simplifying the paralyzing "science" that surrounds most foods. If I could prove that eggs are healthy, it would open more doors and allow you to eat and enjoy another food. And the more doors we can open, the more people who will embrace "healthy" eating and live a better life.
With that in mind, here are 8 things I've learned (so far) about eggs, the evidence of how they are the healthiest food in the world, and why you should enjoy.
1. Eggs Won't Make You Fat
I'm not going to reveal my final numbers until the process is done and all blood work is completed, but I'll tell you this--eating three eggs per day has NOT made my health worse. If anything it's made it better. I've been stronger, have lost body fat (not just pounds), and I feel spectacular. And I must mention, this has all happened despite the fact that I've suffered two back injuries and have backed off training during the process.
2. The Eggs-Cholesterol Relationship is Misleading
Eggs don't raise cholesterol the way you think. And when you combine eggs as part of a low(er) carb diet, it actually raises the good stuff (HDL) without doing any damage to the bad (LDL). Add that to an increasing number of studies that shows the cholesterol benefits of eating eggs, (see here, and here, and here) and it's becoming harder to deny the truth: Eggs are a "health" food and they don't cause heart problems.
3. Eggs are a Super Food
I know that we all become tired of marketing buzzwords like "super foods" and "power foods." (and yes, I take full responsibility to adding to that mess) But sometimes the label fits so well that there's no better way to describe what you're eating. Eggs fall into that category. Research has shown that eggs can do everything from improve your immune system to help your brain function better, as well as build muscle and make your skin look better. And the research continues to grow. Recently, Canadian researchers found that eggs have twice as many antioxidants as apples. Here’s a list of 8 benefits of eggs--backed by science--that make this food so uniquely valuable.
4. Diablo Eggs are Delicious
Part of this process has meant trying out many (many) new egg recipes. While I enjoy eggs, I also have a wife who eats many meals with me and her sophisticated taste buds require variety. She can't dig in on the Born Scramble every day of the week. Enter Diablo Eggs. This new spin on deviled eggs is a culinary treat. I don't include the chorizo, but if I ate pork, I would imagine it would only improve this dish. Check out this quick and easy recipe (it's a video you can follow) and let me know what you think.
5. Eggs aren't Just for Breakfast
I've now made eggs on pizza, on burgers (my new favorite), and even in oatmeal. Don't judge until you try them. In fact, we have a list of 20 ways you can add eggs to your meal. (I've tried 13 of them)
6. Cook Your Eggs to Unlock More Benefits
If you haven't read this smart post by Dr. Mike Roussell, you should check it out. It dissects some of the most common myths about eggs. And that includes the idea that uncooked eggs provide your body with more nutrients. Ever since I watched Rocky, I've been intrigued by the idea of downing a few raw eggs. (and by intrigued, I mean I tried it in my younger days). So are raw eggs more potent? No. In fact, cooking your eggs can ensure that you enjoy more of the nutritional benefits. Oh yeah--and the cooked version taste a lot better, too.
7. Cook your Eggs in (healthy) Fat
I used to coat my pans in butter, olive oil, or some sort of spray when making eggs. And then I discovered coconut oil and it changed how I prepared my meals. From an enjoyment standpoint, coconut oil doesn't make eggs taste different (which can definitely happen with olive oil). Great taste is always preferred, but coconut oil has been linked to dropping body fat, raising good cholesterol, and fighting off viruses (due to lauric acid). I'd recommend giving it a try, and see what it will do for your meals.
8. Eat the Yolk
Just in case this was lost in translation, I'm eating three whole eggs per day. Not just the whites. And the reason is simple: The yolk is the best part. Both in taste and nutrition. The yolk is where you find all of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) as well as the majority of zinc, calcium, folate, and memory boosting lecithin. And you can’t forget Vitamin B12, which has been shown to help with fat breakdown. And while the whites still offer protein, it's only slightly more than 50 percent of the total amount. The yolks are part of what give eggs the highest possible biological value, which is a measure of how well a food suits your body’s protein needs. So if you're looking for the healthiest way to eat your eggs, your best bet is to keep the yolk.
I'll admit that sometimes I can be a little absent-minded. I enjoy making hard-boiled eggs, but I frequently forget if the egg is boiled or raw. This is not a good thing. (I may or may not have accidentally tried to bite into an egg before) Your solution: Spin the egg on the counter. If it spins, it's been cooked. If it wobbles or doesn't spin so well, it's raw.
In the end, I'm not here to convince you to eat eggs. And for those who don’t like eggs or are allergic, you can still be completely healthy without ever enjoying scrambles, omelets, or hard-boiled variety. The point is to question and research what many people assume to be true, and blaze your own path. If I can help you merely consider a personalized approach to your own health and avoid dogma, then I’ll have done my job. My greatest hope is that you’ll discover you have many more good food options than you might have realized, and that healthy living doesn't have to be a bland and difficult process.