The Good and Bad About Eggs and Cholesterol
Cholesterol is something we have all grown to fear because of its associated heart risks, the question is should eggs be included in our diet? I know I could ask a hundred people what their views are on eating eggs and how does it affect cholesterol…and I am sure I would get the same answer. I would probably hear, “eggs are bad for cholesterol”.
There are a lot of truths and a lot of cholesterol lies or at least a lot of misinformation.
I have researched and read many studies, to try and answer this question…but it appears there are many different answers.
We all know cholesterol is a sterol that is essential in the body. It makes up the outer membranes of all cells in our body. It is also a very important component in numerous body synthesis and processes.
Nevertheless, due to our different lifestyles, fast food diets and lack of exercise, bad cholesterol levels are on the rise.
These lifestyle tendencies are causing the bad levels to increase compared to our good cholesterol. An unhealthy diet also leads to obesity.
- So in regards to eggs, are they a healthy or unhealthy addition to our diet?
- Are they considered good cholesterol or high cholesterol foods to avoid?
The ‘Bad’ About Eggs
According to research, chicken eggs contain a high amount of cholesterol that has the capacity to increase blood cholesterol levels. However, our body has a regulating system that can balance out the cholesterol from the food we eat.
Therefore, cholesterol from food intake varies from one person to another. This means that my cholesterol level might differ from your cholesterol level even if we eat the same amount of eggs. One person may be able to eat many eggs, while another may not.
Another study shows that even if eggs are rich in cholesterol, egg yolks have a high cholesterol content, thus a maximum of four egg yolks a week will not affect the cholesterol levels. In addition to that, it depends on the individual person, as eggs can be eaten depending on factors that affect their metabolism and the capacity of their body to regulate body fats.
- One large egg has an approximate amount of 186 mg of cholesterol; most of this amount is found in the yolk. Limitations should be watched with all high cholesterol foods, so as to keep cholesterol levels on a healthy path.
- To look at averages, a maximum amount of 300mg of cholesterol is enough per day. One solution for this is to just consume the egg whites, rather than the whole egg.
For individuals that have diabetes, cardiovascular conditions or have high LDL cholesterol levels, then dietary cholesterol is often recommended to be limited to 200mg per day.
If you were to eat lots of eggs then you would just need to watch what you ate the rest of the day or week. Don’t eat greasy fried foods in your next meal. You would have to limit cholesterol rich foods from other meals to keep your levels in balance. There is a lot of common sense involved. For example, substitute high fat products with low fat products like dairy and lean meat. Egg whites instead of all the yolks…it’s still a good substitute for cholesterol rich eggs.
- Even if eggs are rich in cholesterol, it is still considered a healthy and very nutritious food. Taken in minimum quantity, eggs can be more beneficial than harmful.
The ‘Good’ About Eggs
- Eggs are a great source of protein and also a rich source of many vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, riboflavin, and choline. These vitamins prevent development of heart diseases.
- Recent studies also showed that eggs are rich in antioxidants that help prevent inflammation. To fully acquire benefits of eggs, many health associations recommend the “one egg per day” diet regardless of how it is cooked or prepared.
So in conclusion, there are studies that recommend 2 eggs per week, others now say 4 eggs per week, whilst you have diets saying 1 per day.
We have all seen people who smoke all their lives and they live into their nineties and I saw my own grandfather with a heart condition eat 2 poached eggs everyday of his life on 2 pieces of heavily buttered toast. He lived into his late seventies. I personally eat a lot of eggs because we have our own chickens!
How many eggs do you eat a day or week? What do you think? Are eggs good or bad for your cholesterol?
If you are worried about your levels, there are also ways to lower cholesterol naturally.