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Monday, April 11, 2005

The Egg: Perfect Bariatric Food

Considering the protein needs of a bariatric patient, the egg may well be the perfect food.

An egg contains the highest quality of food protein known, each Grade A large egg contains 6 grams of protein. It is so nearly perfect that egg protein is the standard by which other protein is measured. The egg is second, only to mother’s milk, for human nutrition. On a scale of 100% efficiency the egg scores 93.7. Beef scores 74.3% and fish 76%.

If that isn’t enough to convince you the egg is the perfect bariatric food, consider this: an egg measures one ounce and is approximately the size of your new tiny tummy. How’s that for a perfect protein fit?

For many years eggs have been the forbidden food of the health conscious – fear of cholesterol content staved off many would-be scramblers who feared heart disease. But new research shows that dietary cholesterol intake does not necessarily affect blood cholesterol levels. People with a low fat diet can eat one or two eggs a day without causing a measurable change in their blood cholesterol level. By having weight loss surgery you have forced upon yourself a low fat diet which should include eggs. Your cholesterol levels will be monitored in the annual blood screening required by your bariatric professional. Speak with your center’s nutritionist for specific guidelines.

A large egg contains 4.5 grams of fat (1.5 of which is saturated fat) and 213 milligrams of cholesterol and it supplies 70 calories. By nature an egg is protein rich, low in sodium and contains vitamins and minerals. Eggs contain biotin, a B vitamin; calcium and cephalin. Egg yolk is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. In addition, eggs are inexpensive, delicious and easy to prepare. I have enjoyed a hard-cooked egg almost every single day for breakfast since having surgery. By now I’m not sure if this is a habit or an addiction, but I just don’t feel right without my morning egg.

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