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An egg contains, on average, about 6 grams of protein. More important than how much protein in an egg is the quality of protein in an egg. Eggs provide the most complete, economical and nutritious form of animal protein available.
Eggs, at least natural eggs, are one of the healthiest foods on the planet providing not only the highest quality protein but also, all known minerals and vitamins, with the exception of vitamin C. One of the glossed over facts about eggs is how mass production utilizing cheap feed, antibiotics to overcome severe inhumane overcrowding and chemicals have made them unfit for human consumption.
Natural eggs produced by chickens that see daylight and get to peck around for insects and eat green plants, both essential to their diet, are vastly superior in nutritional quality. One dangerous aspect of the nutritional imbalances derived from factory-farm production of eggs has to do with the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.
An imbalance in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is correlated to a number of health problems. An imbalance can hinder the production of crucial prostaglandins. This, in turn, interferes with the immune system and can lead to problems like weight gain, sterility and cancer.
This imbalance is also associated with high blood pressure, inflammation, blood clotting and irritation of the digestive tract. Natural eggs have a close to ideal or 1 to 1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Commercial eggs from grain fed chicken raised in total confinement, like most found in supermarkets, can have ratios as high as 19 to 1!
A study of eggs collected from 4 farms practicing traditional, sustainable agriculture and raising chickens that are truly “free range” and analyzed in an accredited laboratory compared the results to official USDA data for factory-farm eggs.
The natural eggs were found to have twice as much omega-3 fatty acid, 1 2/3 as much vitamin A, three times the vitamin E and 7 times as much beta carotene. The real clincher for me is they had 4 to 6 times the amount of vitamin D.
The quality of the amino acids in eggs is demonstrated by how well proportioned they really are. Eggs have become a standard by which the quality of proteins in other foods is measured.
Regarding how much protein in an egg and the quality thereof, they are a good source of the sulphur containing amino acids methionine, cysteine and cystine the veritable building blocks of protein. Other very-long-chained and unsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFA ) which our bodies need for development of the brain, found in natural eggs, are almost totally absent in factory-farm eggs.
This has serious implications for expectant mothers and parents of young children, if they are relying on eggs as a source of protein. This is especially true of mothers who are breast feeding as the unborn infant's need for VLCPUFA's for proper brain development rises rapidly prior to birth and peaks just before, then drops off rapidly after birth.
The breastfeeding mother's diet contains the only source the unborn and newly born baby has for these essential fatty acids. Traditionally, expectant mothers in China, who can afford it, consume as many as 10 eggs per day. Some of these culinary traditions, proven over millennium, now have a solid basis in modern nutritional science.
If these mothers are relying on farm-factory eggs I fear for the brain development of their offspring due to commercial eggs lacking these nutrients! Nutritionists are ever becoming more aware of what we visit on our progeny due to the diets dictated by the industrialization of the food industry.
Another major testimony to the quality of the protein found in eggs and the dispelling of a nutritional myth surrounding them is found in treatment of severe burn patients. Often these unfortunate folks are force fed huge amounts of eggs to provide the necessary protein and nutrients to regenerate large areas of destroyed flesh.
Researchers took advantage of this to dismiss the current apprehension of the amount of cholesterol in egg yolks. Volunteers with severe burns were force fed 18 eggs per day and their blood cholesterol actually diminished! So much for the cholesterol myth.
If that still leaves you with a bit of nagging doubt all the more reason to seek natural eggs. They were also found in the above mentioned study to contain 1/3 less cholesterol and 1/4 less saturated fat.
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society of a huge population of 800,000 participants deduced that people who ate eggs were less likely to die of heart attacks or strokes. The death rate of people, many of whom no doubt abstained from eating eggs for fear of these major causes of death in our day, was found to be higher!
Besides all of these compelling reasons to choose natural eggs, there is the fact that they just taste so much better.
Compare a natural egg to any commercial eggs and you will see the visual difference. The quality, natural egg will have a dark yellow yolk that stands proudly in a perfect hemisphere. None of this pale yellow stuff in commercial eggs.
It will also have two distinct areas in the egg white. That surrounding the yolk will be discernible by its more viscous nature. The outer circle of egg white will be thinner and more runny. Just this outer portion will look like the usual runny whites seen in the whole white of its commercial counterpart.