Nutritional Benefits Of Eggs
There are many nutritional benefits to eating eggs. As mentioned before eggs are an outstanding yet inexpensive source of animal protein. Eggs also happen to be rich in vitamin B2, selenium, vitamins B6 and B 12 and integral minerals, such as copper, zinc and iron. In spite of these nutritional benefits many people have good reason to be concerned about the effects of eating eggs on body cholesterol levels.
What Happens When People Eat Several Whole Eggs Per Day
For many decades, people have been advised to limit their consumption of eggs or at least of egg yolks.
A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake . In contrast, the white is mostly protein and low in cholesterol .
Common recommendations include a maximum of 26 yolks per week. However, scientific support for this limitation is lacking .
A few studies have examined the effects of eggs on cholesterol levels.
These studies divided people into two groups one group ate 13 whole eggs per day while the other ate something else, such as egg substitutes.
These studies show that:
It appears that the response to eating whole eggs depends on the individual.
In 70% of people, eggs had no effect on total or bad LDL cholesterol. However, in 30% of people called hyper-responders these markers do go up slightly .
Although eating a few eggs per day may raise blood cholesterol in some people, they change the bad LDL particles from small and dense to large .
People who have predominantly large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease. So even if eggs cause mild increases in total and LDL cholesterol levels, its not a cause for concern .
The science is clear that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people.
It Is Not All About Fasting Cholesterol Levels
A common misconception is that because statin drugs lower fasting cholesterol levels by approximately one-half and a low-fat diet only lowers cholesterol levels by approximately 10% , there is no point in worrying about diet simply take a statin, and it will be okay to eat anything! Nothing could be further from the truth. Although statins lower coronary artery disease risk by 25% to 40% and possibly more, it has been estimated that diet may account for 85% of coronary risk , and in the best of circumstances, statins still leave a residual coronary risk in the order of 70% in major clinical trials .
In human subjects, a high intake of dietary cholesterol increased fasting low-density lipoprotein levels by approximately 10% in a dose-dependent manner . A 10% increase in fasting cholesterol levels may not seem like much, but in the first study to show that diet and cholestyramine reduced coronary risk, a 12% reduction of fasting LDL levels reduced coronary risk by 19% . Even the relatively permissive Step 1 American Heart Association diet reduced fasting LDL levels by approximately 10%, compared with a typical western diet .
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What Causes High Cholesterol
Different things that can cause high cholesterol. Some of these causes you can change and some of them you can’t.
Risk factors you can change:
- Too much food high in saturated fats, like red meat, butter, cream, and other dairy products
- Too many foods with refined sugars, such as sweets, baked goods, white bread and fizzy drinks
- Too much alcohol
- Not being active enough each day
- Having too much body fat, especially around the middle
The good news is there’s lots of ways to manage these risks. Read about lowering your cholesterol.
Risk factors you can’t change:
- Family history
- Biological sex
- Other medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease, or hypothyroidism.
Some high cholesterol conditions that are passed down through families, including:
- familial hyperlipidaemia
- familial hypercholesterolaemia
- familial hypertriglyceridaemia .
If you have one of these conditions, you may not be able to reduce your levels using lifestyle changes alone. You may need to go on medication as well.
If you have a parent or sibling with one of these conditions, talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. These conditions usually start at a younger age and can affect people in their teens or twenties.
How Many Eggs Is It Safe To Eat
There is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat.
Eggs can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but it’s best to cook them without adding salt or fat. For example:
- boiled or poached, without added salt
- scrambled without butter and using low-fat milk instead of cream
Frying eggs can increase their fat content by around 50%.
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Does Eating Eggs Increase Ldl Cholesterol
Most studies show that dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels. These levels are more likely to be affected by:
- Activity level
- Consumption of unhealthy fats
- Healthy fats can boost HDL and decrease LDL. So, omega-3 fortified eggs could actually have a positive impact on your serum cholesterol levels.4
Cholesterol In Eggs: Am I At Risk If I Eat Eggs
Now, there are a lot of benefits to eating eggs. The cholesterol content may slightly increase LDL levels in some people. For most, though, the effect is low. Beneficial HDL is also increased by eating eggs. This actually helps to prevent plaque from collecting in the arteries.
Nutrients found in eggs like vitamin E and potassium boost heart health. Choline also helps reduce cholesterol build-up in the liver. The protein content in eggs helps you feel full, helping you stick to a healthy diet. And pastured eggs contain a healthy boost of beneficial omega-3s for heart health.
Eating pastured eggs as a part of a balanced diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. Make wise choices about the type of eggs you eat and how the chickens were raised, and your heart will thank you.
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American Heart Association News Stories
American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Statements, conclusions, accuracy and reliability of studies published in American Heart Association scientific journals or presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the American Heart Associations official guidance, policies or positions.
Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, for individuals, media outlets, and non-commercial education and awareness efforts to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News.
Is Coconut Good For You
There are a lot of claims being made about coconut oil. In relation to heart health, the claims are not convincing, and there is little evidence to support coconut oil being called a âsuperfoodâ.
The research suggests coconut oil is better than butter for cholesterol levels, but not as good as other plant oils that are lower in saturated fat.
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Other Health Benefits Of Eggs
Of course, the cholesterol in eggs isnt the only thing to consider. Eggs contain a wide range of nutrients that make them a great food to eatin moderation.
As a source of protein, eggs are far less expensive than other animal sources. Each egg contains 6 grams of complete protein .
The nutrient profile in eggs is very complete. This allows the body to absorb and use many of these nutrients more efficiently. For instance, vitamin D found in eggs helps your body absorb calcium .
Eggs contain many fat-soluble vitamins and a range of other nutrients, including:
CalciumYouve probably heard calcium is important for developing strong, healthy bones. Its also helpful to maintain healthy functioning of your muscles, brain, and nervous system.
IronIron consumption helps prevent anemia and assists in hemoglobin function. This allows oxygen to flow through the bloodstream.
SeleniumSelenium helps support heart health, and is thought to play a role in keeping you sharp and focused.
PotassiumPotassium helps support healthy heart and kidney function, as well as playing a role in blood pressure regulation, muscular health, and metabolic support.
ZincZinc helps protect your body from the oxidizing effects of stress. It may also help keep you healthy in the face of seasonal bugs.
FolateThis B vitamin is critical for cellular health.
Lutein and ZeaxanthinThese antioxidants are beneficial to eye health. They protect against the effects of aging on the eyes.
Youll Fend Off Metabolic Disease
Eating eggs is one of the best ways to increase your HDL good cholesterol levels. People with higher levels of HDL cholesterol have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions. According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Nutrition, increasing your intake of dietary cholesterol from eggs can also help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
When you work out, your body needs protein to repair the tears in your muscle tissue from exercising. Eggs are a great post-workout snack or meal because just one has about six grams of the muscle-building macro. Whisk two into a scramble or an omelet with some veggies, and you have the perfect dish for getting lean and toned.
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Do Eggs Raise Cholesterol Levels
While eggs do contain high levels of dietary cholesterol, multiple studies have shown they have a minimal impact on blood cholesterol levels, especially when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Current evidence indicates there is no link between the number of eggs eaten and the risk of coronary heart disease in most people. Eggs have a neutral relationship with heart health, meaning they neither increase nor decrease the risk of heart disease in the general population.
Eggs Have Several Other Health Benefits
Lets not forget that eggs are about more than just cholesterol. Theyre also loaded with nutrients and offer various other impressive benefits:
- Theyre high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce your risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts (
- 38 ).
- Theyre high in quality animal protein, the benefits of which include increased muscle mass and better bone health (
Whats more, eggs are tasty and incredibly easy to prepare.
The benefits of consuming eggs far outweigh the potential negatives.
Summary Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They contain important brain nutrients and powerful antioxidants that protect your eyes.
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What’s So Great About Eggs Anyway
It’s amazing how much nutrition an egg packs inside its small shell. The yolk has loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
One large egg has about 72 calories. The majority of those calories come from the fats in the yolk, but that doesn’t mean you should stick with egg whites.
“You would be missing out on the healthy fats by just eating egg whites,” says Rachelle Baker, RD, a clinical dietitian with Health First at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida.
For the record, there’s about two grams of monounsaturated fat and one gram of polyunsaturated fat in a large egg.
Eggs are also a source of vitamin D. “There are only a few non-fortified dietary sources of vitamin D, and egg yolk is among them,” says Yulia Brockdorf, a registered dietitian practicing in Hillsboro, Oregon.
And let’s not forget the power antioxidant duo of lutein and zeaxanthin. They’re well known for supporting eye health.
The egg white’s contribution to good nutrition comes via its quality protein, which contains all essential amino acids. “Interestingly, the egg albumin is considered to be a gold standard to which all other food sources of proteins are measured,” says Brockdorf.
In addition to protein, egg whites also contain riboflavin, selenium, and a small amount of potassium.
Basic Principles Of A Diet To Lower Blood Cholesterol Levels
The goal of this diet is to lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels. Diets are selected individually, but there are some general principles:
Factors that increase blood cholesterol levels are saturated animal fats found in fatty meats, lamb, sausages, butter, and coconut and palm oil, which have become fashionable in the food industry in recent years.
Eggs can be eaten in various ways, including fried eggs fried in olive oil or canola oil. If you fry in these oils, the blood cholesterol level will not rise. But if you fry in butter, then it may well grow.
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To Help Unscramble The Truth Lets Talk A Bit More About Cholesterol
When we hear the word cholesterol, it usually refers to one of two things
There is dietary cholesterol, which is the cholesterol we eat. Egg yolks have the most dietary cholesterol of any food. With just one yolk, were swallowing about 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. Thats the amount the American Heart Association recommends most of us not exceed for the entire day. For optimal prevention against heart disease, the Pritikin Eating Plan recommends no more than 100 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
Blood, or serum, cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol in our blood. About 85% of the cholesterol in our blood comes from our liver. And heres a really important point: Our liver manufactures all the cholesterol our bodies need.
About 15% of the cholesterol in our blood comes from the food we eat yes, dietary cholesterol. Consistently, research has found that the more dietary cholesterol we eat, the higher our blood cholesterol levels rise, and the greater our risk of heart disease. Thats why its so important to keep a lid on the amount of cholesterol we eat.
Eggs Vs Egg Whites: Which One Is Heathier
Eggs are versatile, affordable, nutritious and, best of all, delicious. However, it is a fact that egg yolks contain a fair amount of cholesterol. For this reason, many people choose to eat only egg whites. When considering the whole egg, though, is it worth it to ditch the yolk?
The yolk undeniably contains more cholesterol, fat and calories than the whites, but it also holds the majority of an eggs nutrients. In this piece, well explore the different nutrient levels of egg whites and egg yolks, which one offers the most health benefits and how to prepare your eggs to preserve their nutrition.
After you know the facts, youll be better prepared to decide which part of the egg suits your dietary needs. In most cases, you can have your yolk and eat it, too.
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Eggs Are Among The Best Dietary Sources Of Choline
Choline is an important nutrient that is made in the liver, however, as most people dont produce enough choline to meet daily requirements, it also needs to be consumed through the food you eat.
Similar to the function of B vitamins, choline is essential for normal cell functioning, playing an influential role in brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy, cognitive development in infants and also helping to reduce cognitive decline in the elderly. Until recently, the role of choline as part of a balanced diet had been largely overlooked.
Eggs are a rich source of choline providing more than double the amount of choline per 100g than any other commonly eaten food. This makes eggs a highly effective and simple means of meeting your daily nutritional intake.
To find out more about the role of eggs in pregnancy click here. And for more consumer-friendly information about choline in eggs click here.
Does Eating Egg Whites Decrease Cholesterol Intake
Eggs are packed with nutrients but it is compartmentalized amongst the egg white and the yolk. The yolk is higher in cholesterol than the egg white. And that has led to the common practice of consuming only the egg whites and discarding the yolk.
But even for those who want to maintain their cholesterol levels, completely discarding the yolk is not a wise thing to do. The yolk is packed up with vitamins A, D, E, and B12. It is also rich in folic acid and minerals like iron, calcium, and phosphorus. The yolk also has a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids which help to fight diseases.
Hence, it is not recommended to discard the egg yolk.
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How Many Eggs Is Too Much
Given eggs have a minimal impact on blood cholesterol and are not linked to heart disease risk in the general population, eggs can be enjoyed freely as part of a healthy diet. The Heart Foundation places no limit on egg intake for healthy adults.
For individuals with an increased risk of heart disease , the Heart Foundation suggests a limit of seven eggs per week.
Heart Smart Avocado Toast
Try this recipe for a complete, balanced, and heart-healthy breakfast.
- 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
- Â½ avocado*, mashed
- Fresh spinach leaves
- 1 egg, cooked any way you like it
Layer ingredients on top of whole grain toast, in the order given. Top with seasonings of your choice, such as salt, pepper, salsa, hot sauce, lemon-pepper, or Everything Bagel Seasoning. Yum!
*Avocados have been found to be good for the heart. Not only do they contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, but they are rich in antioxidants, phytosterols and fiber.
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