eggs nutrition

Demystifying common questions about eggs

Common question about eggs #1: “Is it healthier to only eat the egg white?”

It’s neither healthier nor unhealthy to only eat the egg whites. The reason is the egg white and yolk provide different nutrients. Their nutrients really don’t overlap (except for protein and small amounts of Vitamin B’s). If you’re only eating one part of the egg, you’re missing out on the other nutrients. Your decision to eat different parts of the egg may be influenced by what it’s been said about egg’s cholesterol content and their risk to disease, but it should also depend on the overall nutritional quality of your diet. To further clarify egg’s role in disease risk and to answer the burning question of how many eggs should you eat in a day, keep reading.

To help visualize the difference in nutrients, look at the comparison below. It’s obvious that the egg white is low in calories due to the fat free content and it’s a good source of protein, but it doesn’t provide many vitamins or minerals. On the other hand, a whole egg provides more calories (nearly 4x more than the egg white alone) and it has a substantial amount of cholesterol, but it has many more vitamins and minerals.

Common question about eggs #2: “How many whole eggs can I safely eat in a day?”

Most people’s concern with eating whole eggs is due to the egg yolk’s high cholesterol content. It’s an understandable concern, considering one egg yolk has 187 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol. Some health experts recommend a healthy adult to have under 300 mg of dietary cholesterol a day, so an egg yolk would provide more than half of the day’s worth, seems like a lot right? While older dietary recommendations have mostly given cholesterol a bad reputation, it’s important to keep in mind cholesterol is necessary for many of our body’s physiological and structural functions, including construction of the cell membrane, hormone production and other vital functions. For the most part, our body can produce its own cholesterol. We also get some dietary cholesterol from foods such as eggs. But don’t lay off the eggs just yet. Eggs are a tasty and affordable source of high quality protein with many healthful vitamins and minerals. Sure, they have cholesterol however, more recent studies have suggested that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to stimulate an increase in cholesterol levels the way foods with saturated fat and trans fat do (saturated and trans are often found in processed foods such as desserts, baked goods: cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts and croissants, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs or ice cream — foods that are best eaten in modest portions, sparingly).

Getting back to the question, most healthy adults can safely eat up to 7 whole eggs a week. For egg whites only, more could be safely eaten since it’s a great source of protein. Additionally, I recommend to consider one’s health history and look at the other sources of dietary cholesterol in the diet. If not contraindicated by medical conditions and your diet consists majority of whole foods, minimal processed foods and mostly limiting added sugars, trans fat or saturated fat, you might even consider having 1-2 whole eggs a day without a problem.

Eggs are a natural powerhouse of nutrients, so enjoy some eggs in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

New year’s reflection

A new year is a wonderful time to refresh and remind ourselves of what and who truly matters the most to us! There’s much to do and be grateful for throughout the year, but for many, the new year brings reflections, gratitude and a time for resolutions. One of the most popular resolutions is to be healthier. Is this a new years resolution of your own? It’s definitely one of mine and I’ve had this resolution year after year after year. Is this a repeating resolution for you as well? Why, you might ask, is this a recurring resolution many of us continue to keep on the top of our list? Why would this continue to be a resolution even if one has already achieved a healthy diet and lifestyle? Or achieved their goal weight. Or nailed down an exercise regimen to a tee. Because simply, there is no perfect diet, exercise regimen or lifestyle — it is always a work in progress. Year after year, there are new goals we can set for ourselves that can further promote health and wellness. Say, for example, if you achieved last year’s goal of cooking for majority of the week, don’t stop there! For the new year, why not enhance the existing goal by making it a new goal to start a recipe club that includes swapping recipes with friends and family? Goals don’t have to be boring. Make your goals fun, specific, measurable, achievable and realistic.

As we move forward in the new year, be healthy and stay positive, yet realistic. Make time to prioritize your health. It’s truly your first wealth.

If one of your resolutions is to be healthy, but you’re not sure how to get started or would just like some professional guidance and support, reach out to me. I’d love for us to work together in goal setting and getting you to a healthier you. To get started, contact me directly for a free consultation! Happy new year, everyone.

Taking a holistic approach to your skin’s health

Your skin is unique. Factors such as environment, beauty/skincare choices, diet, and genetics can affect it. Knowing this, you can pursue optimal skin health through a holistic approach that connects the different factors.

NUTRITION

  • Nurture your skin through proper nutrition and hydration. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods will provide a spectrum of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Minimize processed foods and focus on majority of your diet consisting whole, nutrient dense foods.
  • Watch out for sugary food. A diet high in sugar activates inflammation and it binds to the collagen to skin, making it less elastic and more stiff.
  • Maintain a healthy gut by including probiotic supplements or foods in your diet. A healthy gut microbiome helps stimulates your immune system and the production of anti-inflammatory molecules. These help fight against inflammation-associated skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.

LIFESTYLE

  • Take control of stress. Find stress-relieving strategies to help you cope. Take time for yourself. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time for hobbies.
  • Protect your skin with skincare that contains sunscreen to prevent the UV ray damage. Don’t forget hats and UV protective sunglasses. Cover up with protective clothing such as long sleeve shirts and long pants or even special sun-protective clothing.
  • Get adequate sleep. If you’re not prioritizing sleep, change that habit to making sure you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night. A place for sleep should ideally be dark, slightly cool, and quiet. Limit excessive caffeine intake at night. To be sure it won’t affect your sleep, allow at least 4-5 hours between caffeine intake and sleep.
  • Exercise and sweat to flush out toxins trapped in our pores. Exercise can be anything that causes your heart rate to beat faster. Examples are aerobic exercise, biking or walking with your dog.

BEAUTY

  • Choose skincare products without harsh abrasives, toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances. These items can harm your health in ways beyond just skin irritation. Opt for more natural and organic plant-based ingredients in your skincare because they contain nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants to fight free radicals, inflammation, slow the aging process, and boost collagen and elastin production. Take time to find to a skincare routine that works for your unique skin and commit to it twice a day, every day.
  • Cleanse your skin well daily with products such as a makeup remover and gentle cleanser. Don’t forget to exfoliate skin 2-3 times a week for healthy-looking complexion.
  • Treat the skin around your eyes very gently. Use a specialty cream/treatment product made especially for the area around your eyes. Keep the area moisturized as it is more likely to dry out and cause wrinkles.
healthy eating while traveling

5 Lessons I’ve learned about eating healthfully while traveling

When I travel, I realized it’s not always easy to eat a healthy diet because often times, we’re staying in a hotel without a kitchen or an airbnb with limited kitchen use, so we end up eating out often! It can be easy to forget about our healthy eating goals while abroad because simply, there’s just so much explore, including cultural foods that we may not get to experience in our hometown. But as a dietitian and someone who cares about my health, it’s important  that I find practical and simple strategies to still get in healthy foods. Through my travel experiences, I have learned a few lessons on how to balance out my diet while abroad AND still enjoy the amazing foods offered in the region I’m in.

Lesson 1: If you’re traveling with someone, share plates and eat in family-style at restaurants. If you’re traveling alone, consider asking for half portion plates and pack the other half to go.

By sharing plates, you can order several different dishes without overeating portions. This means you can include new foods that you want to try, foods that you’re accustomed to and definitely some healthy dishes/sides such as a salad, roasted vegetables, whole-grain salads.

Lesson 2: If you have access to a kitchen, even if it’s limited to only a stove and a pot, utilize it for homemade meals. If you don’t have a kitchen while traveling, go explore local farmer’s markets or grocery stores for some ready-to-eat nutritious foods.

While traveling, it’s fun to mix and match between eating out and making homemade meals. It’s also fun to try to make new recipes that may be pertinent to your travels. However, making homemade meals can be a challenge if you don’t have access to a kitchen. If that is the case, you can still pick up some whole foods at a local farmer’s market or grocery stores to help balance out from eating out too often.

Lesson 3: Research restaurants ahead of time.

When possible, look through a restaurant’s menu beforehand so you can plan out what you will have. You’re more likely to order less healthy choices impulsively if you do not plan ahead of time.

Lesson 4: Stay hydrated.

Don’t forget to drink water while traveling. Our brains can misinterpret thirst for hunger, so if you’re not staying hydrated, you’re more likely to have an increased appetite or cravings, which can lead to ordering impulsively and overindulging.

Lesson 5: It’s okay if you weren’t entirely consistent during your trip, just re-focus and get back on track.

It’s important to acknowledge that while traveling, you may not be eating the way you normally do. And that itself is normal!  Take some time to figure out where to cut yourself some slack and where to practice discipline. This will require some planning. When you get back from traveling, just be diligent about getting back to eating healthfully.