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With all of the conflicting studies about eggs and heart health, it is easy to be confused about the potential health benefits of eggs. Although doctors currently agree that eggs are helpful to the heart, find out why this has not always been a popular opinion.
High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Eggs are not a cholesterol-free food, with the average large egg providing 186 mg of cholesterol. This was once over half the daily recommended amount for consumption. As a response, people started attempting to limit their consumption of eggs. However, this is not necessary.
New findings indicate that the cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver and is not related to cholesterol consumed by diet in a significant way. Rather, the liver’s production is stimulated to make cholesterol due to trans fat and saturated fat in a diet.
Cholesterol is not the enemy. It is important to cell health and influences hormone biology. The body produces its own cholesterol to support functions in these areas. However, those with certain risk factors, such as LDL levels more than 100, may want to limit their cholesterol intake to 200 milligrams.
With only 78 calories each, eggs are an affordable source of protein that also offer nutrients such as Vitamin A, B, C. Eggs are also an excellent source of Choline, which is beneficial for nerve and brain health. To take advantage of all the nutrients found in eggs, it is important to eat both the egg white and yolk. The egg yolk, while containing cholesterol, provides lutein and zeaxanthin, beneficial for those at risk of developing cataracts. Those who want to limit extra cholesterol may want to use only egg whites however.
The consensus is that healthy individuals can eat one egg per day (or two egg whites). Some studies indicate that such consumption may actually help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. People with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes may be able to eat as many as 12 eggs weekly for three months without a negative change to cardiovascular risk factors, according to another study.
Eggs are favorable as part of a healthy diet as long as eaten in moderation. Individuals who lack sufficient fruits, vegetables, fiber, and consume high amounts of saturated fat may want to limit their egg consumption. Eggs are the most beneficial to the heart when served in nutritious meals such as scrambled eggs with onion, spinach, garlic, and cherry tomatoes.