Mention the word “egg” to a group of people and you are bound to hear the word “cholesterol” referenced several times.
A few decades ago, eggs were shunned by the health community for their high cholesterol content and possible effects on heart health. Many shied away from them and opted for alternate protein sources, especially for breakfast. After many years of banishment, egg is re-emerging as a powerful dietary addition. Recentlypublished data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), indicates that a medium egg contains 14% less cholesterol than previously believed. Eggs are once again a nutrition icon that provides numerous health benefits to women.
- Nutrition PowerhouseA medium egg contains 75 calories, 7 grams of protein and 13 different nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins A, D, E and K. Furthermore, eggs are generally cheaper and easier to produce than other animal protein sources making them an affordable addition to the diet.
- Eye HealthEach egg yolk contains the disease fighting antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin which help eyes filter out certain light that causes damage. By-so-doing, the risk of eye disease, cataracts, blindness and macular degeneration related to advanced age is greatly reduced.
- Healthy Pregnancy OutcomesEggs are one of the best sources of choline, a nutrient thataids foetal brain development and prevents birth defects. In addition, eggs contain B-vitamins necessary for nerve tissue development and the prevention of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
- Weight managementEggs are the preferred source of breakfast protein. According to the National Weight Loss Registry (USA), people who consume breakfast everyday have a greater chance of losing weight and keeping it off over time. In addition, studies show that adding protein foods to breakfast can reduce overall caloric intakes for the rest of the day and promote satiety.
- Strong bones Eggs provide a little over 10% of the daily recommended intakes ofVitamin D. From improved immunity to blood sugar control, vitamin D has a myriad of functions in the body, but it’s most common benefit is the formation of strong bones. Unfortunately for most people of African descent, due to the melanin found in dark skin, our bodies do no readily absorb Vitamin D from the sun. We consequently have to rely on our diet to provide it. With a little over 10% of the daily recommended intakes of Vitamin D, eggs are an excellent, healthy addition to any healthy eating plan.
While eggs now contain less cholesterol than previously believed, there is a very small percentage of people who suffer from high cholesterol brought on by the foods that they eat. If you fall in this group, take control by:
- Cutting back on saturated fat found in meat, dairy,palm oil, coconut oil , commercially prepared baked goods and fried foods
- Eating one whole egg and, if needed, adding egg white for more protein
- Not consuming more than 4 eggs per week.
Here’s to your health!