Welcome to the Healthy Way Diet Program! Our focus is providing nutritionally sound and medically researched information and advice to help you live healthier, happier lives.
Should You Eat Eggs?
Of all the misinformation existing in the field of nutrition, the belief that eggs are to be avoided at all costs may be one of the most widespread. Eggs are continually being disparaged for containing saturated fat and cholesterol whose consumption is a leading factor in raising cholesterol levels and contributing to the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. In truth, eggs contain a wealth of nutrients, are a source of complete protein, and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
Let’s address some other common beliefs about eggs:
Belief #1: Eggs yolks contain only fat.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Egg yolks are absolutely chock-full with nutrients, which include:
Proteins: Both the white and the yolk of an egg contain protein. Eaten together, they form a complete protein. This means that all of the amino acids that your body requires are contained in the egg and they are easily digestible.
Vitamins: Eggs yolks are a rich source of all the fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A, D, E and K, and contain generous quantities of water-soluble vitamins like B-6, B-12, Panthothenic acid, and Folate.
Minerals: Egg yolks are also a rich source of minerals like Phosphorous, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, and Calcium.
Essential fatty acids: Egg yolks, especially the yolk from free-range chicken eggs, are high in omega-3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that plays a large role in a number of body processes and is crucial for proper brain function, as detailed in the Healthy Way Diet Manual.
Belief #2: Egg yolks can make cholesterol levels skyrocket.
This is another widely-held misconception, even by those who are nutritionally informed. Cholesterol is an important component for normal body function and your liver manufactures all the cholesterol that you need. The liver makes cholesterol from saturated fat, so the more saturated fat we get in our diet, the more cholesterol we produce. This is where we can run into the problem of having a high cholesterol level. If you have a high cholesterol level, it is more important that you reduce the overall saturated fat in your diet than the cholesterol.
As cited in the Egg Economics Update published by the University of California, the link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease is shaky, and a study published in a 2008 issue of The Journal of Nutrition showed that men placed on a low-carbohydrate diet who ate 3 eggs per day maintained their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and actually raised their HDL (good) cholesterol levels. The group receiving no eggs maintained their LDL levels, but their HDL was unchanged.
Belief #3: Egg yolks are a strict no-no for those trying to lose weight.
Eggs are a calorie dense food packing lots of nutrition into a small amount of calories. One egg contains approximately 75 calories and 5 grams of fat. That is good news for dieters who are trying to lose weight but like eggs. You can include whole eggs in your diet without worrying about its effect on your weight, as long as you are maintaining the proper ratio of overall calorie intake. As a matter of fact, eggs can be a great choice for those on calorie restricted diets because they can help insure that you are getting some essential nutrients.
Most people are advised to keep their dietary cholesterol intake to 300mg or less. A whole egg contains about 213mg of cholesterol. Including eggs in your diet shouldn’t contribute to high cholesterol if you are watching overall saturated fat intake and eating well-balanced meals, and if possible, buy eggs from free-range chickens as their Omega-3 content is higher giving you an additional bonus toward good health.