Already a muscle-building staple, the egg has been called one of nature’s most nutritious foods. You might have heard eggs are a great fitness food source of protein per calorie.
Though health researchers haven’t always agreed on the value of eggs versus their fat and cholesterol content, recent studies offer support for eating several eggs per week.
The World Health Organization use eggs as a standard for comparing the protein quality in other foods. As a result, egg protein is said to have High Biological Value, or “HBV” protein, and serves as the standard for food protein, scoring 100% on the HBV chart.
As a gym member, chances are you exercise regularly, which means you need more protein than a less active person. For your fitness food, you might try snacking on two large eggs, which have almost 13 grams of protein and only about 140 calories.
TIP: Eat your eggs after exercise for the greatest effect. Because this fitness food contains all the essential amino acids, an egg is referred to as a “complete protein.” Amino acids, the building blocks of protein in the body, help your body repair and create new muscle tissue between workouts.
TIP: Try egg protein to supplement your diet. A clinical nutrition study followed male weight trainers who consumed different amounts of egg protein after exercising, and then measured their amino acids and blood proteins. The most favorable degree of muscle synthesis was experienced by those who took 20 grams of the protein.
TIP: Combine egg protein with your other protein supplements. You’d have to eat more than three whole eggs or six egg whites in one sitting to get 20 grams of protein. Consider having eggs with another protein source, such as a protein powder shake, to enhance the nutritional content of both.
TIP: Eat more egg whites to offset the saturated fat and calories in the yolk. If you’re cutting fat or calories, know that two whole eggs contain about 9 grams of fat and most of the 140 calories, too. But eggs yolks have a lot of valuable nutrition, including almost all the vitamins and minerals. Want more protein but a little less fat and cholesterol in your fitness food? Adding eggs whites to a couple of whole eggs offers a good alternative, because about 60% of an egg’s protein comes from the white, but it has none of the fat.
Fitness Food: Try Mayo-free Avocado Egg Salad
Makes about 3 cups.
- 4 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 4 hard-boiled egg whites, chopped (pop out yolks & discard)
- 1 medium ripe avocado, flesh scooped out
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1 – 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Mash avocado, olive oil and lemon juice together with fork and combine with chopped whole eggs. Stir in yogurt and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in lettuce cups or in a bowl with veggies for dipping.
TIP: Try grating your eggs instead of chopping them. For a big fluffy pile of protein that will hardly need any moisture to form the basis of your salad—then you can cut back on the avocado and yogurt.
Stay tuned for more tips on how to eat healthy!