By Jeanne Onginyo
Eggs are undoubtedly one of the most flexible types of food in that they can be prepared in different ways and at the same time eaten at different times of the day. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, eggs have served as a condiment in different capacities. Aside from eating eggs just as they are, eggs can be incorporated in various dishes to bring out the best results during and after preparation. Eggs are ultimately one of the groups of the most nutritious foods on the planet with enough nutrients to nurture the development of an egg to a full grown chicken. However, eggs have a relatively bad reputation considering that egg yolks are high in cholesterol. According to Authority Nutrition a single medium chicken egg contains 186 milligrams of cholesterol which is 62% higher that the daily recommended intake.
Cholesterol has often been perceived as a generally ‘bad’ word related to fat. Whenever cholesterol is mentioned the human race immediately starts thinking of heart disease, tons of medication and possibly early death. Ideally, the human body requires a regulated amount of cholesterol to help in the formation of cell membranes for the cells present in the various body organs. Some would argue against eating egg yolks because it would raise the levels of cholesterol in the blood and contribute to heart disease. But it turns out that the more cholesterol one consumes the less cholesterol is produced in the body. It is also used to make steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen and cortisol. This is enough proof that without the existence of cholesterol there is a likelihood the entire human race too would not have existed as well.
For decades, people have been advised to limit their consumption of eggs or at the very least eat the egg whites alone because they are high in protein. Most doctors would recommend 2-6 eggs a week and advise that eggs be eaten from 6 a.m. to 12 noon as this is the time when the body breaks down the cholesterol more effectively. The entire consumption of eggs however depends on the individual as some have relatively high metabolism hence the cholesterol is broken down faster. For example, children need more cholesterol compared to the elderly as their bodies are producing new cells at a higher pace. However, science puts across that in order to be on the safe side since we can not adequately count how much cells are produced by our bodies, we should eat a maximum of 3 eggs a week.
In relation to eggs and heart disease, research has been carried out over the years each producing varying results. Some results show that eating egg yolks increases the risk of heart diseases while at the same time reducing the risk of possible stroke. Some studies also state that diabetics are at risk of raising their chances of getting heart related complications as opposed to healthy individuals who do not suffer from diabetes. All this however boils down to the entire diet and dietary needs of an individual. If an individual is on an entirely low-carb diet and still eats eggs then the risks of getting heart diseases are limited. Therefore, eggs can not solely contribute to some health related complications.
All negative effects aside, the high nutrition content of eggs is not only beneficial to chicken but humans as well. Eggs are high in Lutein and Zeaxanthine, antioxidants that reduce the potential risk of eye complications like cataracts and short-sightedness. Eggs are also high in Choline, a component responsible for the proper development and functioning of the brain and that surprisingly lacks in over 90% of the world’s population. In reference to muscle mass and healthy bones, eggs have a ton of high quality animal protein that supplements this and much more.
Apart from tasting amazing and being easy to prepare, the benefits of consuming eggs would still far outweigh the underlying mild adverse effects on blood cholesterol. Hence, let’s all go forth an eat eggs…in moderation.