Eggs have been through it all – from first being hailed as a bodybuilding staple to getting a bad reputation for its cholesterol levels.
Even until today, some believe in the nutrition value that eggs provide, while others contest its health value.
With so much conflicting research out there, we at HealthLoco give you the lowdown on eggs.
Frying, poaching, scrambling – there are countless ways to integrate eggs into your diet. And you should.
Amongst one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, eggs possess several key vitamins in both its whites and yolks.
Cutting down on meat intake? You’ll be happy to know that 2 eggs make up one serving from the meat food group.
Consume a single egg, and you’ll have received less than 5 g of fat, 13g of protein and no trans fat at all.
Essential vitamins include vitamins A, D and E. Folate, which helps in post-workout recovery, is also found in eggs.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol – a word associated with health diseases, high blood pressure and a whole lot of medical ailments. Before you back away from cholesterol screaming, you need to know that your body produces it naturally.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance, which the body uses to produce hormones.
Heard of the term “blood cholesterol levels”? It refers to how much cholesterol you have – both naturally produced and from what you eat.
If someone you know of has high blood cholesterol, chances are that it’s not wholly caused by cholesterol-rich foods. Genetics and weight all play a part in determining cholesterol levels.
However, that’s not to say that you’ll be fine eating fatty cuts of meat daily. Limiting foods high in cholesterol is important if you want to lower your chances of cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol in eggs
The egg yolk contains most of the cholesterol. So the more eggs you eat, the higher your cholesterol levels, right?
It isn’t that simple. The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body produces.
Because cholesterol is so important to your body, it will find means to get it: either from food or by producing it.
When you eat a lot of cholesterol-rich foods, your body produces lesser to prevent cholesterol levels from spiking.
Likewise, when you stay away from such foods, your body produces more of cholesterol.
At the end of the day, the total amount of cholesterol you have remains about the same. The only thing that changes is where the cholesterol comes from.
Hence, eating a few eggs won’t cause your cholesterol levels to rise tremendously.
How many eggs should I eat?
One egg, yolk and all, provides you with 186 mg of cholesterol, 62% of your recommended daily intake.
Does that mean that more than one egg a day is too much? Well, scientific studies haven’t found any ill-effects on one’s “bad” cholesterol.
In fact, eating up to 3 eggs a day is perfectly fine!
However, if you want to enjoy eggs but without the cholesterol, you can always separate out the egg whites from the yolks and use only the egg whites, which contain no cholesterol.
If you can get your hands on it, liquid egg whites are the way to go.
Not convinced yet? Take a look at what the humble egg has to offer!
1. Builds strong muscles
The protein in eggs keeps muscles functioning well, protecting against muscle wasting away. Folate found in eggs also helps to speed up recovery.
Age-related blindness, which can be caused by muscular degeneration, can be kept at bay as well.
2. Energy production
Eggs contain essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep you energised, as well as boosting your metabolism.
3. Reinforces immune system
When we say that eggs contain a whole lot of minerals and vitamins, we mean a lot. Just the amount of nutrients in there are enough to turn a single cell into a baby chicken.
Not interested in rearing chicken? Eggs have vitamins A, B, and E, practically almost all that are present in the human body, and is key to keeping the immune system healthy.
4. Lower risk of heart disease
Ironically, the eggs prevent you from getting the very disease its associated with.
The amino acid homocysteine, which is known to be responsible for the development of heart disease, is broken down by choline in eggs.
During pregnancy, there is a constant risk of birth defects, which eggs can help lower.
This includes spina bifida, a disability which can lead to issues walking in future.
With such an array of health benefits, push your worries about cholesterol aside and go enjoy a side of creamy scrambled eggs!