Sunny side up
Eggs have been very restrictive in the past due to their high cholesterol levels. Over the years the restrictions have loosened a bit, but eggs’ unhealthful reputation has been hard to shake and has people confused all round. While eggs are certainly not the demon a lot of experts have claimed them to be, they are still controversial, mostly due to the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease.
Eggs are made up of much more than just cholesterol. They are a great source of high quality protein (6g per egg), along with omega 3 fatty acids. Eggs are considered the most bio available source of protein, which means that our bodies can digest, absorb and use the protein in eggs better than in any other food. Numerous vitamins, including vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins like folic acid, choline and biotin, are also packed into this oval shaped staple. Very few foods share the same diverse nutrient make-up available in a single egg. Many of these are specifically needed for the health of the nerves and the brain. Because the protein in eggs are digested and absorbed very quickly by our bodies it also makes eggs a great post workout source of protein along with some carbohydrates. Eggs are also great tasting and inexpensive!
By avoiding eggs (or dietary cholesterol), you can actually hurt your health more. The body needs to achieve a balance when it comes to cholesterol consumption. Fat from healthy sources is vital for the body, while fat from unhealthy sources, such as brick margarines containing trans fats or foods fried in vegetable oil, are dangerous. Eggs remain a beneficial source of healthy fat. Many nutrients such as vitamin A, are better absorbed with fat, making eggs a very good source of vitamin A. Research has documented that eggs do not appear to promote heart disease.
Though it is true that eggs are high in cholesterol, dietary cholesterol does not automatically raise blood cholesterol levels. The body has compensatory mechanisms to deal with an increasing cholesterol load. In fact, saturated fat is a bigger culprit in raising blood cholesterol. When excess saturated fat is eaten, the liver increases more cholesterol into the bloodstream, thereby slowing down the removal of blood cholesterol. This is why saturated fat in our diets is a bigger problem at raising blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol.
What’s more important is your diet as a whole. If you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet, having an egg a day would be fine. It’s not the egg that’s the problem, but what you eat with it. And don’t toss the yolk!!Most of the nutrients in the egg hides in the yolk of the egg. The biggest egg eaters in the world are Japanese, and they also have the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease. That’s because their diet is low in saturated fat and trans fat. They also don’t have loads of bread with eggs, but rather vegetables and some rice.
The innocent, protein and nutrient rich egg has been attacked for too long, and it’s time we all see the egg for what it’s really worth!!