The fear people have about eating eggs is the cholesterol level found in them. Numerous studies have tried to make the connection between cholesterol and coronary heart disease. And while there may be some connection, you have to look at the bigger picture. Consider Japan, for example. Japan has some of the lowest rates of coronary heart disease in the world. Their diet frequently includes eggs. So why do the Japanese not have high rates of coronary heart disease? The answer is that the Japanese diet is relatively low in saturated and total fat. What does this tell us?
This tells us that eggs alone are not going to cause you to have a heart attack.
Modern dietary recommendations are moving away from the idea of avoiding certain foods, opting instead for a balanced approach to a person’s diet. In other words, if your diet includes a wide range of foods and you eat everything in moderation, your health will be arguably better than if you avoid certain foods entirely. Look at the Mediterranean diet, for example: they love to cook with oil and the food is tasty. Spicy meats, potatoes and vegetables roasted in olive oil, eggs, and dairy products are often a huge part of the Mediterranean diet. Their diet is seen as a healthy option, even though we might be tempted to say it’s too high in fat.
Thus, you should not be thinking about being afraid of eating fat or avoiding eggs. Eggs are a rich nutritional source. The only reason you should avoid eggs is simply because you don’t like the taste. Any other reason is simply the result of fear-mongering. Eggs have earned a bad reputation through media and ad campaigns that are trying to explain the cause of heart disease. The reality is that even the most seasoned experts can really only make educated guesses about what causes it. The debate always comes back to the idea that fats and cholestorol are bad. But let’s not forget, the body actually needs these substances. It’s only when we eat them excessively that they can cause a problem.
Cholesterol helps yours body. Can you believe it? We are always told how bad it is. But it actually has a number of functions. It helps your body build new cells, which is essential for things like growth and regeneration. It also helps to insulate your nerves and produce hormones. Can you imagine if your nerves weren’t insulated? This would cause serious problems because nerves send signals around your body. Nerves are a bit like the body’s navigation system. Hormones are used for lots of different things, so chaos would ensue if you didn’t eat cholesterol so that they can be produced. Therefore, cholesterol is only bad if you eat so much of it that your body can’t process it and it builds up in the bloodstream. So how much cholesterol should you eat?
The American Heart Association’s current nutrition guidelines state that cholesterol should be limited to 300 mg per day.
One large egg yolk has 200 mg cholesterol.
Therefore, you can safely eat an egg every day: and yes, this includes the yolk.
The cholesterol level of an egg is really the only thing that makes it an imperfect food. The cholesterol level should not deter you, however. Stick to a limit of one egg a day and figure out what other foods are high in cholesterol. Try to limit your cholesterol to the recommended 300mg per day and you will sustain a healthy diet.
Now let’s look at the good nutrients found in eggs:
Saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (yes fat is good for you: in moderation!)
Sodium (yes, the body also needs sodium: just don’t overdo it!)
By Gillain Rixey