Is there any food more perfect than the egg? We don’t think so. That’s part of why we created our Over Easy breakfast bars, which we designed not only to taste freaking amazing but also to harness the incredible nutritious power of the egg.
Egg whites, in particular, are an excellent source of protein and provide a wide variety of other nutrients that work towards your overall health. So without further ado… let’s discuss everything you should know about the amazing, humble egg.
Which Came First: The Chicken Or The Egg?
Before we can talk about the egg, we have to start at the beginning. There wouldn’t be any eggs without chickens, but people tend to leave them out of the equation.
There’s been a lot of hype lately about the welfare of egg-producing chickens. It can be really easy to get caught up in the advertising, with so many terms being thrown at you like “cage-free” and “free-range.” But believe it or not, these terms are more than just buzzwords. They’re vital to the way the chickens are raised and treated and can even impact the quality (and color) of the egg. That’s why, if you’ve ever ordered eggs across the pond, the yolks are often a deep orange color rather than the yellow-y color that we’re used to seeing in the states.
Here at Over Easy, we use eggs from cage-free chickens in our breakfast bars because we’re committed to giving you the best possible ingredients in our kick-ass bars. But what does that mean, exactly?
Up to 97% of the egg-laying chickens in the United States live in battery cages, tiny, tightly packed cages that give the chickens little to no ability to go outside and roam. Not only do battery cages disrupt the chicken’s laying process, but it is also not healthy for the hens in general.
While there are no apparent health benefits for choosing cage-free eggs over eggs that come from traditional, battery cage-raised hens, the moral obligation makes it a much healthier choice all around. Why not enjoy your eggs knowing that the chickens that laid them are more comfortable?
What About The Yolk?
We know that the egg whites are healthy, but what about the yolk?
When you crack open an egg, the yolk is the yellowish-orange part in the very center. Many people, especially if they’re dieting, avoid eating the yolks because they’re higher in fat and cholesterol. Although including some of those things into your diet is a good thing, especially with healthier fats like olive oil and avocado, cutting them out when you can is also a good diet decision.
That’s why we decided to only include egg whites in our breakfast bars. Our bars are built from the ground up from delicious, nutritious ingredients for a kick-ass breakfast experience all around.
Protein, Protein, Protein!
When talking egg white nutrition, the most glaring benefit is that they’re literally stuffed with proteinl.
As humans, we need protein. It is absolutely vital to maintaining our physical health, from giving us the energy to live to building muscle to keeping our cells working smoothly. When we don’t eat enough protein, we can experience sluggishness and muscle atrophy (essentially, losing muscle mass). However, there is a healthy balance.
To figure out how much protein you need a day, there’s a quick, easy formula. With that in mind, the official Recommended Daily Allowance set by the United States Department of Agriculture is 0.3 grams of protein for every pound you weigh. So that 150-pound person would need to eat about 54 grams of protein a day just to keep their body in good working order. Got that?
People who are bodybuilding, pregnant, trying to lose weight, or have other health concerns may need a slightly different amount.
With that in mind, on a regular day, between 10 and 35% of all of the calories you eat should come from a healthy protein source. And when we say healthy, we mean it. There are plenty of unhealthy sources of protein out there that can fulfill that number—things like sausage and even ice cream (yes, ice cream has protein!).
That’s what makes egg whites such a great protein source. A single medium-sized egg has just over 3 grams of protein in its egg white alone without all that extra grease and fat. Sorry, we know that stuff tastes good.
Diets that are high in healthy sources of protein can also help you to feel fuller, longer. Yes, please! This is especially good for people who are trying to lose weight or who don’t want their stomach to growl midway through their morning meeting. We’ve all been there, unfortunately.
The Power of Potassium
But wait! There’s more! In addition to being an incredible protein source, egg whites are also full of potassium. Bananas tend to take all the credit for being a natural potassium food source, but egg whites are definitely a close runner up. And guess what? Our banana nut bars have double the potassium since they’ve got both of these power hitters.
The average egg white contains about 54 milligrams of potassium. With the typical American diet lacking in potassium (and it’s recommended that we get at least a whopping 3,400 milligrams a day), any natural, healthy sources of potassium are a great thing. And the more sources we have, the easier they are to work in—not everyone wants a banana smoothie every single morning, no matter how good they are.
Potassium, which is an electrolyte as well as a mineral, is vital for a huge amount of functions that occur in the body. It helps to regulate our heartbeat, maintains good working order for the muscles and nerves, and helps keep balance in the body. When we have enough potassium in our diet, it can help manage high blood pressure and reduce our risk of stroke.
Riboflavin: The B Vitamin You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
With so many vitamins in the B-complex (eight of them, in fact), B-12 tends to get the most attention. Most of the others we only think about when our doctor asks if we’re getting all of the nutrients that we need, even though they are just as important to the way our body functions.
One of those B-complex vitamins that egg whites are naturally high in is riboflavin. Also known as Vitamin B2, riboflavin helps the cells in the body to grow and function normally. It also helps boost and maintain our metabolism, which helps us reach and stay at a healthy body weight. And, on a superficial level, riboflavin has also been shown to help with hair, skin, and nails. Hand over the riboflavin!
What Egg Whites Don’t Have
Now that we’ve focused on all the killer nutrients egg whites have, let’s discuss what they don’t have.
Unlike egg yolks, egg whites don’t contain cholesterol or saturated fats. These ingredients often run rampant in the foods that we eat regularly, so the option to avoid them makes egg whites a top choice for people those of us on a health kick. This is especially true for those who may be dealing with heart disease or high cholesterol already.
Egg whites are also pretty light on the carbs, with less than a quarter of a gram present in each. Carbs have been getting a lot of hate, especially over the last few years, with the rise of low carb diets like Keto and Paleo. Since egg whites are naturally carb-free, they are a great source of protein and nutrition for those cutting out carbs.
You know what else egg whites are low in? Sugar. Most people are already aware of the potentially deadly side effects of eating too much sugar, like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Cutting out unnecessary sugars, especially refined and processed sugar, is always a good lifestyle choice. It may even help clear up acne and help you feel more clear-headed! (But don’t worry—you can still have a little snack on the side if you have a major sweet tooth).
Eating the only egg whites is also a great way to cut calories. Egg whites are naturally low cal, with only around 17 calories per white—and yet somehow, they still make you feel full. It’s part of what makes them such a wonder food, giving you all of the clean energy with none of the side effects.
Egg whites have it all when it comes to food. Not only are they packed with protein, they’re also an excellent source of other vital nutrients like potassium and riboflavin. With all this info under your belt, our one question is this: Why wouldn’t you want to eat them?
That’s why we chose to include them in our Over Easy breakfast bars. They’re a tasty way of keeping your body running cleanly and efficiently, while not filling you up with empty calories. Try one of our bars today, and experience the difference using clean, real ingredients can make!