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Chickens, eggs and cholesterol

We set two new records here on Wednesday. Sixty-seven people visited Hardscrabble Times in one day. And the hens — nine araucanas and three buff orpingtons — laid 10 eggs. The chickens and rooster are a new and welcome addition — the first livestock that actually paid me back the first day I owned them. They are also fun to watch. The araucanas lay big greenish-blue eggs, and the buffs’ eggs are brown. Both have deep-orange yolks. I typically eat several eggs a day, at least two and sometimes as many as six, so it makes sense to have my own hens, not so much for cost-saving reasons, but to ensure the highest-quality eggs

My chickens eat vegetable scraps from the kitchen, are allowed to free-range daily to eat grass, bugs and whatever else they want, and are supplemented with Purina Layena, a feed that does not contain any animal-part ingredients.

Many people do not realize eggs carry the highest protein rating of any food and also contain high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Eggs also provide significant amounts of micronutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, folic acid, choline and biotin, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.

Researchers from the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University have identified a substance in eggs that appears to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed through the intestines and into the blood stream. This substance, phosphatidylcholine, may partly explain why eggs do not contribute significantly to blood-cholesterol levels as once believed, according to the researchers’ study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

To back this up, the Framingham Study, the largest ongoing medical study, found no relationship between cholesterol consumption and blood levels in 16,000 participants tracked over the course of six years.

While this news is welcome to egg-lovers everywhere, it only adds to the growing body of scientific evidence helping to clear eggs of their bad nutritional rap.

By the way, I have my own scientific study going on. I have consumed eggs nearly every day for more than 10 years. A recent blood-lipid profile scored my HDL (“good”) cholesterol at 87, which the lab said was “abnormally high.”

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One Response to “Chickens, eggs and cholesterol”

  1. Amanda Gower Says:

    Hi there, I found you by googling eggs and cholesterol. I live in Gloucestershire, England. Just had my cholesterol checked and explained to my doctor that the reason my score is so good is all the chickens in my garden, eating grass, worms, fruit and veg, and all the eggs I eat. He has a cholesterol problem so is going to start eating our eggs! I thought you might be amused to read of this.

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