eggs and cholesterol


This is a question that has been asked by both scientists and non-scientist alike over the years. Research sponsored by egg producers say eggs do not increase cholesterol levels but some other research also say otherwise. The best answer to the question is that; research has been inconclusive and no one knows for sure.   Cholesterol is an essential component of every cell membrane in the body. And that's the reason our body makes most of the cholesterol that is produced. Our body makes two types of cholesterol to transport saturated fats around the body; LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) and HDL (High Density Lipoproteins). LDL acts to clog up our artery walls. While the good guy, HDL works to clean up the mess, by helping to excrete saturated fats via the liver. Our lipid profile should have high HDL and low LDL.           

Cholesterol is made naturally in the bodies of all animals and humans. It is necessary for the production of hormones and vitamin D, and to keep cell walls healthy. The liver makes most of the cholesterol needed by the human body. Dietary cholesterol is found in animal foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, kidney, liver, intestines, crabs, lobsters and, of course, eggs. While the cholesterol in food can raise blood cholesterol levels, researchers now know that consuming too much saturated fat and trans fat generally contributes more to unhealthy serum cholesterol levels.           

 Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and provide a number of heart healthy nutrients, such as folate, vitamins E and B12, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants such as lutein, which are important for good eye health. Eggs also contain vitamin D and A, iron, phosphorus and zinc. All the cholesterol in an egg is found in the yolk or the yellow. The egg whites or albumen has no cholesterol and saturated fats         

One large egg has about 213 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol all of which is found in the yolk. For a healthy person, it is recommended that we limit dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg a day. If one has cardiovascular disease, diabetes or high LDL (or "bad") cholesterol, we should limit dietary cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg a day. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it's important to limit or avoid other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day.            

 Generally, adults can eat up to two whole eggs weekly and any other eggs should have the yolk removed. Some recipes also require the egg yolk be used with the egg whites left out, such as when making certain cakes. In this scenario, regular consumption of such foods can contribute to an increase in blood cholesterol levels.

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