For years now, it has been assumed that eggs are the culprits behind high blood cholesterol levels, but that might not be the case at all.
A single egg contains around 210mg of dietary cholesterol—more than two-thirds of the 300mg daily allowance recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). This has led many to condemn eggs as unhealthy.
But new research is showing that quite the opposite might be true. It appears that the dietary cholesterol in eggs has only a small effect on blood cholesterol levels. The real culprit is saturated fat—something eggs are relatively low in.
In fact, eggs are quite, if not very healthy. They contain eleven different vitamins and minerals. They also contain healthy fats and have the highest nutritional quality protein of all food sources.
Among the many benefits of eating eggs, they are one of the few food sources of vitamin D. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which actually help lower bad cholesterol and provide zinc.
Two thirds of a day’s requirement for selenium can be acquired from two average eggs. A couple of eggs also provide one third of a day’s requirements for iodine, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin E, along with one quarter of a day’s requirements for protein, iron, folate and phosphorus.
Eggs are Paleo friendly. Cavemen would certainly eat eggs when they could find them, including those from turtles, crocodiles and other reptiles as well as from birds. Keep in mind that animals were not domesticated until after the Stone Age, so finding a nest full of fresh eggs would have quite been a treat.
Dieters can look to eggs not only as a nutrient-packed food, but also as a low-calorie, low-fat one. A single egg contains about 70 calories and just 5g of fat, of which only 1.5g is saturated.
Perhaps surprisingly, eggs can help save lives. One study has indicated that women who ate at least six eggs a week “lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.”
Other health benefits include lowering the risk of developing cataracts, because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs, and helping to treat acne, because they lower the glycemic load of a diet.
Thanks to such characteristics and the variety of nutrients found in eggs, they are an ideal food to include in the diets of teenagers and ageing people. Half a dozen per week is certainly a good level and up to ten a week can be consumed without going over the AHA’s recommended seven-day average for cholesterol.
Of course, eggs are extremely versatile, too. They can be eaten raw, fried, boiled, poached or included as an ingredient in other dishes. They are convenient, tasty and good value for money.
So enjoy that omelet and make sure friends and family know the truth: eggs are good for you!
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