Eggs – The Yolk’s on You
Avoiding an egg’s golden yellow yolk has long been a strategy of those seeking better health. Why toss the most delicious part of an egg when recent research says you should enjoy it?
It’s long been said that yolks are high in fat and cholesterol, but nutritional scientists believe their part in raising cholesterol levels is minimal, and in fact they're the most nutritious part of an egg. According to Liz Wolfe, nutrition coach and author of 'Eat the Yolks', whole eggs don't raise the risk of heart disease. In fact, it may be worse for your health to not eat the egg yolk. Cholesterol in food is a minor factor contributing to high blood cholesterol for most people, and studies have not confirmed a correlation between eggs and increased heart disease risk. The major determinant of LDL (bad) cholesterol is saturated fat, and while eggs are high in cholesterol — 184 milligrams in the yolk — they're relatively low in saturated fat — about 1.6 grams in the yolk.
In fact, some of the biggest consumers of eggs in the world, the Japanese, have low cholesterol and heart disease rates, in part because they eat a diet low in saturated fat. In contrast, Americans eat eggs alongside sausage, bacon, and buttered toast.
The Old View
Egg yolks, along with other sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, came under fire in the wake of research by Nikolai Anichkov at the turn of the 20th century. Anichkov fed rabbits pure cholesterol and found that their arteries clogged up with plaque. This lead him to believe that cholesterol triggers heart disease and since then there have been many questions raised about the relationship between the two. Wolfe counters this result by saying that, "Rabbits have nothing in common with human bodies... and cholesterol isn't part of their diet anyway."
The New Facts
In 2010, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis - the collected findings of 21 different studies - which stated that "saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease". Time magazine reversed the argument it made in a 1984 cover story claiming eggs and other high-fat foods were dangerous.
Why We Love Them
Besides its great taste, egg yolks are power packed with amazing health benefits.
The saturated fat in yolks is also necessary for hormone production and the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals. If you control your overall calories, whole egg consumption won't cause weight gain, despite its fat content.
Eggs are loaded with nutritional value. A single egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals but only 75 calories. They are a good source protein and including all nine essential amino acid. Other benefits packed in the round white package:
Eggs are a good source of choline. Choline is of extreme importance during pregnancy and lactation when the reserves can be depleted. At the same time, it is the critical period for fetal brain development and lifelong memory enhancement. In experiments with rats, memory function in the aged rat was in part determined by what the mother ate.
Many people with mild iron deficiency experience vague symptoms of tiredness, headaches and irritability. Iron is the carrier of oxygen in the blood and plays an important role in immunity, energy metabolism and many other functions in the body. The iron in egg yolk is in the form of heme iron, the most readily absorbable and usable form of iron in food and more absorbable than the form of iron in most supplements.
Protect Your Eyes
A good dietary intake of eggs, spinach and broccoli is associated with a significant decrease in cataracts and age-related lens and retinal degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in seniors.
Eggs are a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine, which play an important role in keeping the eyes healthy. It accumulates in the eye where these nutrients protect against some types of harmful, high-energy wavelengths of light. Getting enough lutein and zeaxanthine is therefore very important from childhood onwards throughout the life cycle.
Protect Your Bones
Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, the "sunshine” vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and for maintaining optimum bone health. Eggs therefore play a supporting role in the prevention of osteoporosis together with dairy products, our main source of calcium.
Protect Your Hair and Nails
The hair and nails reflect many biochemical imbalances and shortages in the body. Eggs can help to promote healthy hair and nails because of their high content of sulphur-containing amino acids and the wide array of vitamins and minerals.
Many people report faster growing hair after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing zinc, sulphur, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.
For healthy individuals, the recommended dietary cholesterol intake is less than 300 milligram per day. For those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high LDL level, the recommended intake is under 200 milligrams per day.
Although cholesterol level in eggs has fallen, vitamin D has increased in the average egg by about 64% over what was seen eight years ago. However, one egg still only provides around 7% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, but it's a step in the right direction.
Other Helpful Nutrients
Selenium: An antioxidant which helps prevent breakdown of body tissues, expecially helpful for a heathy prostate.
Riboflavin: Aids in producing energy in cells
Vitamin A: Helps maintain healthy vision, skin, and immune functions
Vitamin B6: Helps nerves operate smoothly
Vitamin B12: Supports digestion and nerve cell function
Phosphorus: Required for healthy bones, teeth and cell membranes. Also essential for energy production in the body.
Zinc: Helps maintain a proper immune system, as well as growth and repair of body tissue.
There are many options for helping lower your cholesterol. Changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet can reduce a cholesterol level. However, dietary changes alone rarely lower a cholesterol level enough to change a person's risk of cardiovascular disease from a high-risk category to a lower-risk category. However, any extra reduction in cholesterol due to diet will help.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that includes many important natural ingredients is Cholesterol Complete™ (click here to view). It’s a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the "bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the "good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body. You’re supporting healthy cholesterol with 100% natural approach!