New findings show that eggs are actually not as unhealthy as most people think. In fact, the new study clearly states that eating a high cholesterol item, like an egg yolk, does not increase the chances of a heart disease. The study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Humans have been eating eggs for thousands of years. They’re widely thought of as a good thing, but there are some conflicting opinions out there; many people believe eggs to be cholesterol-packed, and therefore a food to be avoided.
First and foremost, eggs are a meatless source of complete proteins. Complete proteins contain essential amino acids that your body cannot produce itself, and which must come from the diet. This makes eggs a great food choice for vegetarians, who may otherwise struggle to get these essential amino acids with meat and fish cut from their diet.
Fat, both saturated and unsaturated, is another macronutrient found in eggs. Luckily, most of that fat is of the unsaturated, heart-healthy variety that your body needs for keeping cell membranes healthy, protecting internal organs, and helping with absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
They are also one of the few foods that contain iodine, a mineral that’s essential for keeping your thyroid glands, which produce the hormones that control your metabolism, functioning properly.
Now, it is true that eggs contain small amounts of cholesterol. However, unless you have high cholesterol levels and have been advised by a doctor to cut down or cut out your intake, there’s no reason to avoid eggs. This is exactly what the study shows.
Dietary cholesterol does not translate into high levels of blood cholesterol.
stated Dr. Luc Djoussé, an associate professor and heart disease researcher.
During the study, researchers followed over 1,000 healthy men between the ages of 42 and 60-about a third of whom were carries of ApoE4-a gene variant that may increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and heart disease.
Researchers examined the participant’s diets by providing them with questionnaires and followed them for about 21 years-during which time, 230 men developed coronary artery disease. Men in the study consumed about 2,800 milligrams of cholesterol every week, on average. Much of this, or a quarter, came from eating an average of four eggs weekly, according to The New York Times.
Specifically, the researchers found that even a relatively high intake of cholesterol, which is found in one egg, is not linked with increased risk of coronary artery disease. The same results hold true even for ApoE4 gene-carrying people, whose blood cholesterol is said to be more strongly affected by intake of dietary cholesterol or cholesterol found in animal food sources.
Julia Zumpano from the Preventive Cardiology Nutrition Program of Cleveland Clinic affirmed that there is no current recommendation on how many eggs you should consume each week. However, moderation is still part of the picture.
Experts recommend that a person without heart disease, diabetes or high cholesterol can have a daily intake of one whole egg on the average. Doing so will not elevate the person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
For people with known high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes, the intake of whole eggs must be limited to two or less weekly. Such practice will help prevent heart disease, especially if consumption of other food rich in cholesterol, trans and saturated fat is kept at a minimum.
Another helpful tip is to cook and eat eggs in the right way. To make egg dishes healthier, experts recommend cooking it without salt or additional fat. For example, hard-boiled or poached eggs are better cooked without salt, while scrambled ones are better cooked without butter, which is high in saturated fat.
Lastly, eat egg whites more than yolks; these contain less saturated fat and cholesterol, which are actually the key culprits that make eggs less desirable.
So, no need to panic. As long as you’re staying right around that one-a-day average, you probably have nothing to worry about.
Image Source: healthylivingandtravel.com.