The Quick Answer
Yes. Eggs are paleo.
Why Are Eggs Paleo?
Eggs are paleo because they are one of the most nutritious, affordable, and easy-to-prepare protein sources that there is. In fact, many people refer to eggs as “nature’s perfect food.” While the whites of eggs provide protein and are very low in calories and fat, we recommend that you eat the entire egg, including the yolk, because the yolk contains important vitamins and minerals.
Eggs have been eaten for thousands of years in different parts of the world. Today they are one of the most beloved paleo foods there is. The reason many people turn to eggs as a healthy protein source is because they contain some of the most easily-used protein molecules of any foods, beating beef, soy, poultry, and dairy products in terms of the body’s protein utilization (how easily the body can use the protein in a food). Eggs have an ideal chemical composition, as well as all nine essential amino acids, so the body is very efficient at using them for muscle growth, repair, and general body functions.
One large egg has approximately:
- 80 calories
- 7 grams of protein
- 6 grams of fat
- Zero grams of carbs or sugar
- Very low amounts of sodium
Eggs are believed to contain at least fifteen different types of vitamins and minerals, most of which are found in the yolk. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline, which is an important nutrient for heart health and brain function, and for maintaining the structure of cell membranes. Choline is found inside egg yolk. It helps to keep the liver healthy and arteries free of cholesterol build-up, so while many people avoid egg yolks because they fear they might cause their cholesterol level to go up, the choline found in yolks actually does the opposite. In fact, all studies done to date suggest that eating more whole eggs does not lead to any problems with increased cholesterol levels (most show the opposite to be true, i.e. that eggs help to keep body weight and therefore overall health in check). Egg yolks also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. Additionally, eggs contain a good amount of vitamin B12, riboflavin, selenium, and sulfur (which gives them their distinct smell).
When choosing which eggs to purchase, you always want to look for eggs labeled “organic” and “cage-free”. This ensures the eggs come from chickens that are free-roaming (not crammed into tight, dirty cages) and are not given hormones or antibiotics. Healthy chickens produce the best eggs with the most nutrients. Eggs that come from free-roaming chickens are normally much higher in omega-3 fatty acids than standard, non-cage free eggs. Eggs from healthy chickens also pose much less of a threat of being contaminated with salmonella or other bacteria. Any time a chicken needs to be given chemicals or medications in order to survive and produce more eggs (which many conventionally raised chickens require), you will ingest these same chemicals when you eat the chicken’s eggs, so be wise about the eggs you choose and spend the extra few bucks to get quality eggs.
Eggs are normally pretty cheap, easy to find, and easy to use. There are endless ways to get creative with eggs. Try them in omelets, on salads, in paleo baked goods, and more. They are especially great to start your day with, since the filling protein and fat from the yolk helps to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, eliminating cravings and helping you keep your energy up.
Is There Any Confusion When It Comes To Eggs Being Paleo?
No. Everyone agrees that eggs are a paleo-approved protein choice that come with many benefits, so eat up! Go for organic, cage-free eggs whenever possible and plan to eat the whole egg including the healthy yolk.
So Are Eggs Paleo?
Yes. Eggs are paleo. Good quality, whole eggs are natural ad highly nutritious, they help us to absorb vitamins and minerals, they enable our bodies to function properly thanks to their nutrients, and they help us to stay full between meals as well.
How To Know What Is And Isn’t Paleo
Check out Paleo.io, the mobile app that answers the question, “is __ paleo?” Paleo.io comes with the most comprehensive paleo diet food list out there, so no matter which food you’re confused about, you’ll always be able to find out whether or not it’s paleo.
Photo credit: Ritesh Man Tamraker
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