For years mainstream medicine and public health organizations have put eggs on the black list for those with high cholesterol. This view flooded the market with a series of “egg substitutes” and led to the birth of the “egg white only” movement. This movement was founded on the assumption that foods containing high cholesterol… cause high cholesterol. However, not only do eggs not increase cholesterol; they could help prevent cardiovascular disease.
A substance in eggs counteracts cholesterol and may actually prevent heart disease
Eggs, although high in cholesterol, also contain a fatty substance called lecithin. Lecithin is necessary for all living cells in the body and acts as a fat emulsifier by breaking down cholesterol and fat and preventing these substances from sticking to the walls of the arteries. In simple terms, it causes cholesterol to be dispersed into water so it can be removed from the body.
Numerous studies have shown that lecithin taken daily reduces LDL cholesterol levels, raises good cholesterol, and prevents atherosclerosis. In addition, studies on eggs have shown that eating larger amounts of eggs (avg. of seven per week) do not raise serum cholesterol levels or worsen cardiovascular health. The most recent research suggests that serum cholesterol is more affected by ones over consumption of saturated fats and trans fats found in meats and processed foods, than by the amount of cholesterol in the diet.
Cooking or “nuking” the egg destroys lecithin
Although lecithin in eggs counter balances cholesterol, lecithin can be destroyed if eggs are scrambled, over-cooked, or microwaved. Fresh organic farm eggs (from free range hens) contain the highest levels of lecithin (as well as all other nutrients)and should be consumed raw, poached, or sunny-side-up.
One egg may contain 200 milligrams of cholesterol but it also has more unsaturated fats than saturated fats, only 70 calories, and contains significant levels of vitamins A, E, D, B-12, folate, and riboflavin, nutrients shown to prevent cardiovascular disease.
The egg has been vindicated. Go eat one.
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