I suspect a good number of us have grown up with the notion that eggs are a food villain. This most unwelcome character reference for the humble egg was thanks to its reputation for being high in cholesterol which was supposedly associated with heart disease. As a result, I suspect many of us have shunned eggs, or reduced our intake and even gone so far as to only eat the whites, all because of guilt by association.
Yes, to the naysayer’s eggs are high in cholesterol and provide circa two thirds of our recommended daily intake. However, after numerous studies cholesterol rich foods, of which eggs are a nutrient superpower, have been found blameless.
Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School said, “studies do not find higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular diseases in people who eat up to one egg per day.”
Interestingly the liver itself manufactures copious amounts of cholesterol every day and acts as a form of ingenious bio-regulator, so when most of us increase our good cholesterol through diet (like in eggs), our liver will produce less. In fact, as Gregory Curfman the former editor-in chief at Harvard Health Publishing said “cutting back on cholesterol-rich foods is of little help. Most cholesterol in your bloodstream is produced by the body and does not come from your food.”
Whilst cholesterol in food is not a bad guy, what do we have to be more watchful of – many studies have shown that trans-fats (hydrogenated) are a real issue and that saturated fats have a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol. Fatty meats are examples of foods that are high in saturated fats which trigger the body to manufacture more cholesterol.
So, let’s reset our thinking and give it up for the good guy, a disease bashing superhero. Not just tasty, eggs are natures near perfect superfood. Packed full of nutrients we need to maintain an active healthy life, the health app myfitness pal says one large egg contains “70 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats”, as well as potassium, Iron, Calcium, selenium and sodium. It doesn’t stop there they also provide other valuable vitamins such as A, B2, 5,12. Omega-3 enriched eggs are even better, containing higher amounts of omega-3 fat, vitamin A and E which support good heart and brain health.
So, go on put on the cape and crack an egg today!