We’ve all read, or been told, that eggs (especially egg yolks) are to be avoided when it comes to health.
Do you know why?
Is this true?
Here’s what I found:
More than 25 years ago, when scientists were beginning to seriously research heart disease, they learned that high blood cholesterol was closely associated with the disease. It seemed that foods high in cholesterol were the culprit, and so those foods were “banned” from a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association’s suggested daily intake of cholesterol for an adult’s healthy diet is approximately 300 milligrams. The yolk from one large egg has about 185 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. Therefore, it followed that egg yolks should not be included in a daily diet.
I also found:
- Since the original research was done, it has been determined that it’s the saturated and trans fats in foods that are the most unhealthy. There is “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, “A solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet.”
- The way an egg is prepared makes a big difference. Frying a whole egg in butter, for example, is not the best way to enjoy a healthy meal, because the butter is filled with saturated fat.
- Also, the accompaniment of bacon, ham, sausage-and toast with butter- in a meal adds saturated fats. It’s not the egg so much, as what’s enjoyed with it!
- If one has a history-or family history- of heart disease or diabetes-it truly is best to limit consumption of eggs to three a week.
- It’s a good idea to think about how you might be getting eggs in other food, too—cookies have eggs, right? (And sugar, and….again, it’s not the eggs so much, as what goes with them.)
- It’s also a great idea to think about where your eggs come from. This from www.prevention.com: “A 2010 study from Penn State University showed that hens who were kept outside on pastures rather than in a cage laid eggs that had twice as much vitamin E and 2.5 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids [the ‘good’ kind of fat] than the eggs from their cooped-up counterparts.”
So, it IS true that egg whites are great by themselves—they are full of protein and other nutrients that a body needs for health.
It is also true that a whole egg, from a hen you know personally-that’s been eating well and free ranging in your yard and pasture- is, by itself, a delightfully perfect food. If that egg is carefully prepared and served, a healthy person can add it to his (or her) diet without a lot of worry.
Happy Heart Month!!
If you’d like to read more:
A “myth-buster” post: http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/myth-eggs
A post from the UK’s Heart Foundation: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/food-and-nutrition-facts
An article from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol