How Healthy is the Egg?
Over the years the debate over the egg has raged on. Some people claim that eggs are perfectly healthy and even a vital part of a well-balanced diet; others claim that eating eggs will lead to elevated cholesterol, heart issues, and other similar conditions. But what is the truth about the egg? Should we eat eggs regularly, occasionally, or not at all? Here are a few things to consider.
The primary reason eggs have been demonized is because of their high cholesterol content: an average egg contains about 2/3 of a healthy adult’s daily limit of cholesterol. Due to this, for years’ people have suggested that it’s healthier to avoid eggs or only eat egg whites.
However, although too much cholesterol in your blood is indeed a health issue, it turns out that the main source of high cholesterol in one’s blood comes from saturated fat. Eating fatty meats or dairy products have proven to have a significant effect on one’s blood cholesterol levels; eggs, not so much. In fact, some studies have suggested that the consumption of eggs will lead to more of the “good” cholesterol in the body and less of the “bad” cholesterol.
This suggests that eating eggs is not the horrific health-wrecker that many people once believed. With this in mind, we now turn to the benefits of eggs.
Packed with Nutrients
Eggs are packed with beneficial nutrients—such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are important to maintaining healthy eyes. Eggs contain a nutrient called choline. Nine out of 10 people in the U.S. do not get sufficient amounts of choline, a fact that is unfortunate given its importance in brain health, reducing the chance of liver disease, and even fighting neurological problems.
Further, with only 75 calories in an egg, the egg can be a part of a well-balanced diet for those who are attempting to control their weight. One reason for this is that after eating an egg one feels “full” and is less likely to consume large quantities of other, more calorie laden foods.
Great Source of Protein
An egg has 7 grams of protein, making it a great source of filling nourishment. Eggs also contain Vitamin A, several varieties of Vitamin B, and other vitamins and minerals. One thing to note is that most of the vitamins and minerals in an egg are in the yolk, so those who avoid the yolk and eat only whites are essentially only getting the protein.
Conclusion: Eat More Eggs!
While eggs have been given a bad reputation due to their high cholesterol content, the fact of the matter is that the cholesterol in our blood more frequently comes from fatty meats or full-fat dairy products that we consume. Eating eggs does not contribute to elevated cholesterol levels and may even help to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol in our blood.
Eggs contain many vitamins and nutrients, which are essential to the proper function of our vital organs. They are relatively low in calories while containing enough protein to keep us feeling “full” so we don’t binge on other foods. With all these things in mind, feel free to enjoy eggs as a regular part of your healthy diet.