The Truth about Eggs
First eggs are good, then they’re bad, then they’re good again. They’ve been rumoured to cause high cholesterol, heart disease, and more – but do they? Great news for egg lovers: The latest research finds eggs innocent of all charges. More than innocent – if there were a contest for the perfect food, eggs would be frontrunners.
Chicken eggs may be high in cholesterol, but their effect on human blood cholesterol has been shown to be minimal, especially when compared to the effects of saturated fats and trans fats. Most people can eat at least an egg a day with no increase in heart disease risk. And in fact, there are now studies that suggest that some types of strokes may be prevented by this level of egg consumption.
The truth is that eggs may very well be the world’s most nutritious food. The high-quality protein in eggs is utilised very efficiently by your body. In addition, eggs contain a huge range of nutrients. One egg will provide you with vitamins B12, B2, A, E, and B5; selenium, calcium, iron, folate, and much more. Eggs are rich in good fats and at least small amounts of nearly every vitamin and mineral you need to survive. They also contain unique antioxidants and their protein, and fat content mean you’ll be sated for a longer time after eating them than if you eat just carbs.
If you’re concerned about finding the healthiest eggs possible or want to make sure the chickens are treated humanely, then familiarise yourself with label terms and what they mean. For example, “free range” means the hens are housed in sheds with access to an outdoor area. “Barn laid” means that the hens roam freely within a shed (that may have one level or more), while “cage” means hens remain housed inside cages continuously.
If you’re still concerned about the cholesterol in eggs, try using only the whites, or use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, made from egg whites. But remember that most of the egg’s nutrition is found in the yolk – the white contains mostly protein. So if you enjoy whole eggs – scrambled, hard boiled, poached, what have you – then go ahead and enjoy them. It looks like they are (extremely) good for you after all!