Good Eggs or Bad Eggs?
With the age-old debate about eggs and cholesterol, it's important to be clear on the subject. Eggs are not evil artery cloggers. This is important because rather than being a culprit of disease, eggs are actually very good for us. But first, we need to understand that cholesterol is not necessarily bad.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like chemical compound produced in the liver, and made to provide the body's cells with the needed fluidity and flexibility for proper function. Cholesterol found in every living cell. We cannot live without it. It provides the building blocks from which the body makes its own supply of sex and adrenal hormones. Cholesterol can also be converted to vitamin D in our body and used for the calcification of bones and teeth. It is important to have and maintain the correct cholesterol ratio within the body for optimal health.
There are two types of important cholesterol: dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol is found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Blood cholesterol, also known as serum cholesterol, is produced in the liver and resides in our bloodstream. Blood cholesterol is divided into two sub-categories: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL).
LDL is called bad cholesterol because it adheres to artery walls. An excess of LDL may cause heart complications, but researchers are now discovering that eating foods rich in dietary cholesterol does not increase blood cholesterol.
Because your body naturally produces the correct amount of LDL cholesterol that it needs, the LDL cholesterol that we consume from meats, animal products and saturated fat, is above and beyond what we need for good health. This may produce higher cholesterol levels within the blood that can lead to heart disease.
Because of the concern about cholesterol in the foods that we eat, eggs have been targeted as a source of excessive cholesterol. However, recent studies have dispelled the myth. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggested that those who consumed seven to 14 eggs a week had the same rate of cardiovascular disease as those whose consumption included no eggs.
Another study reviewed egg consumption, dietary cholesterol and heart disease risk. They concluded that although dietary cholesterol may marginally increase LDL cholesterol, the amount is clinically insignificant, and will not increase the risk of heart disease. Eating eggs may actually increase HDL cholesterol, counteracting the effect of LDL cholesterol on heart disease risk.
This new information counters the conventional thinking on eggs, which advised people to limit their egg consumption to three or four eggs per week. In fact, the American Heart Association, the British Heart Foundation, and the Food Standards Agency no longer advise limiting the number of eggs you can enjoy. Other than those who have been advised to limit eggs for specific health reasons, like those with familial hypercholesterolemia, the genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, the mighty egg is now touted by medical professionals to be a healthy part of a balanced diet, and may even be eaten every day.
So who is the bad guy now? Primarily saturated fats. Saturated fat does raise blood cholesterol and LDL levels. As eggs contain mostly polyunsaturated fat they may actually lower your blood cholesterol if you replace food containing saturated fats with eggs.
Eggs nutritional value
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. Two antioxidants that help contribute to healthy eyes, Lutein and zeaxanthin, are among the other benefits. Also packed in the round white package:
- Choline: Critical for normal cell function, including cells that help with metabolism, brain and nerve function, memory, and the movement of nutrients through your body
- Selenium: An antioxidant which helps prevent breakdown of body tissues
- Riboflavin: Aids in producing energy in cells
- Vitamin A: Helps maintain healthy vision, skin, and immune functions
- Vitamin D: Works with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth
- 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.
- Calcium: Helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Also is an important part of nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
- Iron: An important part of red blood cell production and transportation of oxygen through the body. Fatigue may be a sign of low iron levels.
- Zinc: Helps maintain a proper immune system, as well as growth and repair of body tissue.
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.
Interestingly, in a new report from the USDA, a typical large white egg contains about 185mg of cholesterol. That is a drop from 215mg of cholesterol per egg back in 2002.
The egg industry explained that the drop could be due to several factors, such as diet changes in chickens, and the methods used to breed them.
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.
The good news is that adults can take steps to improve cardiovascular health, including eating a proper diet, exercising, controlling their cholesterol levels.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that include 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!