Eggs have been an ubiquitous food for humans throughout history. People all over the world eat eggs without getting worried about its actual nutritional value. We all know eggs are ‘healthy’, rich in protein, so we don’t dig much into the other components. A separate category has been named after eggs called as eggetarians or ova vegetarians that no other vegetable or animal product has got. The proteins that eggs contain is one of the highest quality protein on the supplemental shelves. It has a high BV (biological value) and boasts a great amino-acid profile including a high amount of sulfur containing amino acids that is critical to the body’s hormone-producing pathways. Eggs are rich in leutin and zeaxanthin (antioxidants) which lowers the risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataract; they are also rich in choline which is a brain nutrient.
Eggs and Cholesterol: Do Eggs Raise Cholesterol Levels?
So what about cholesterol? The good news is that the cholesterol in eggs has no effect on blood cholesterol levels of a healthy person. However, people with diabetes, high cholesterol levels, or heart diseases have shown some increase in the cholesterol levels due to eggs. Cholesterol is very important for our body as it is the structural molecule for every cell membrane to make hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. Liver produces cholesterol but if we eat a cholesterol-rich food the liver starts producing less.
Egg whites have no cholesterol. It’s only the yolk that contains cholesterol. A large egg has 186 mg cholesterol only in the yolks which is 62% of daily intake recommended. Daily intake of cholesterol for a healthy person in 300 mg and for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart diseases the recommended intake is 200 mg.
Various studies have been performed to evaluate if egg cholesterol has any significant effect to our health. One such study shows that eggs had no effect on cholesterol levels of 70% individuals whereas 30% showed some increase in cholesterol. There are few factors which can affect the above data:
Method of Cooking Eggs. If oils are added during cooking egg, they are the real culprit for raising your cholesterol.
For individuals having diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart problems, the best way to cook eggs is poached or boiled eggs.
Now that we know we can eat eggs without getting worried about cholesterol, the best source of eggs are local farmers that allow their hens to forge freely outdoors. Organic pastured eggs are best. How to know which is the best egg? Answer is from the color of the yolks; it’s orange for best eggs.
Bottom line, eggs consistently raise HDL (good cholesterol) and for 70% people there is no raise in total or LDL cholesterol. Here are some points to remember:
Try and source your eggs from a local farm where hens are free.
Take into account your diabetes as diabetics are at a higher risk of heart diseases, hence cholesterol management is crucial for them.
Poached and boiled eggs are best ways to avoid any additional fats during process of cooking.
Our liver produces cholesterol too, but if the food intake has much cholesterol, it will produce less. Limit other sources of cholesterol accordingly.