The Pecking Order: Benefits of Eggs

By Anthoney J. Andersen – Steroidal.com

Over the years, eggs have received negative press, due to the allegations of being high in cholesterol.

Now, why some of the reports may stand true, eggs do possess many health benefits for the human body.

BAD EGG?

Egg yolks are primarily associated with high cholesterol levels. However, experts have found that dietary cholesterol is a different measure than blood level cholesterol, which is what causes increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, 115 healthy adults showed no signs of elevated blood cholesterol levels when consuming eggs.

The study also concluded that eating whole eggs actually increased a person’s HDL levels (the ‘good’ cholesterol).

“There are much bigger problems in the American diet than cholesterol,” says Drew Ramsey, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College Physicians and Surgeons, who studies the connection between lifestyle behaviors like diet and psychological health.

“There’s no data to suggest it [cholesterol] should be at the top of people’s worries about food choices,” Ramsey, continues, “The real problem with diabetes and obesity stems from eating too many processed foods.”

LDL CHOLESTEROL (BAD)

According to Heart.org, physicians classify LDL cholesterol as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. This is simply due to the fact that LDL contributes to the build up of plaque in the arteries.

When a person’s LDL gets too high, the thick, hard deposit of plaque builds up and encumbers the arteries, making them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

When atherosclerosis occurs, the blockage within the arteries can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

HDL CHOLESTEROL (GOOD)

HDL cholesterol is referred to as the ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps stave off LDL cholesterol from the arteries.

Experts like to think of HDL as a sort of forager – seeking out LDL in the arteries, and bringing it to the liver where it can eventually be broken down and disposed of in the body.

Healthy HDL levels can help ward off heart disease and stroke. However, low HDL cholesterol has also been known to increase the risk of heart disease.

eggs2EGG BENEFITS

Aside from contributing to the rise in LDL cholesterol, egg yolks have many nutritional benefits.

According to the American Heart Association, egg yolks are flushed with the essential B-complex vitamin choline – which is affiliated with the increase in neurological function and reduced inflammation in the brain.

Choline is also beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders looking to delay muscle fatigue during endurance sports.

Consuming choline can also help the fetal brain develop during pregnancy.

Eggs are also high in sulfur, a vital nutrient that helps with the absorption of B vitamins and liver function.

Sulfur is part of the chain of amino acids in the body and is involved in protein synthesis and the production of collagen – which is a substance responsible for the formation of connective tissues, cell structure and artery walls.

Egg yolk health benefits should not outshine the benefits of egg whites, which are a low-calorie, low-fat source of protein. Eggs are actually considered to be the ‘perfect protein’ because their amino acids are the most digestible to humans.

According to experts at Yale University, people with coronary heart disease can safely consume two whole eggs a day for six weeks without experiencing any negative repercussions to their blood pressure, cholesterol, or body weight.

“Overall, the research has gone a very long way to exonerating the egg,” says Dr. David Katz, MD, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.

“The evidence is really overwhelming that dietary cholesterol exerts minimal effects on blood cholesterol levels,” Dr. Katz explains.

This evidence should be comforting news for many, since cholesterol is the main reason why people decide to eliminate eggs from their diet.

Research at the University of Connecticut also concluded that adults with metabolic syndrome – a cluster of conditions that include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level and excess body fat around the waist – could eat three eggs a day when on a carb-restricted diet without any problems.

CONCLUSION

Eggs are a very vital commodity for the human diet, and can provide many essential nutrients for individuals experiencing high cholesterol levels, or for those who are at risk for heart disease.

Like with most things, however, as long as eggs are consumed in moderation, then there is no reason why they should create negative side effects on the body.

Scramble away.