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5 +1 Myths and truths about Eggs

The egg is one of the most controversial foods. Much has been said and written about their consumption recommendations, but little is true.

Myth

 

Egg is responsible for raising cholesterol levels

In 1968, the American Heart Association recommended reducing cholesterol intake from food to 300 mg per day. Therefore, it was suggested to avoid consuming more than 3 egg yolks per week, as one yolk contains about 213 mg of cholesterol.

Over the years, increasing incidence of heart disease has led Doctors and Nutritionists to conduct many researches and studies. For at least two decades, eggs have been restricted or even excluded from the diet of patients with cardiovascular disease and hypercholesterolemia. Based on scientific research, this myth has been debunked.

According to an analysis published in 1997 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high intake of animal foods (red meat, whole milk butter) with saturated fats, high in “bad” cholesterol (LDL), is blamed for the rise in blood lipids and not the egg, that is rich in “good” cholesterol (HDL), which helps significantly the prevention of coronary heart disease.

In fact, it has been found that the levels of cholesterol in our blood are created only by 20% of the foods consumed with cholesterol. The remaining 80% of cholesterol in our blood is inextricably linked to lack of exercise, smoking, extra pounds and stress.

However, the daily intake of cholesterol by the body should not exceed 300 mg per day.

Therefore, for those who do not have elevated cholesterol levels, as well as for patients with cardiovascular disease or hypercholesterolemia, it is permissible to eat 1 or 2 eggs a day, provided that the rest of their diet does not include cholesterol-rich foods.

Truths

 

Eggs are rich in nutrients and contribute to weight loss

The egg has been described as a protein of high biological value, because the proteins, it contains, contain all the necessary amino acids in the right proportions. Eggs also contain valuable trace elements and vitamins, such as potassium, iron, Vitamins A, B12, B2, and D, folic acid, iodine and zinc.

The egg also contributes to the intensification of the feeling of satiety. In fact, lecithin, a protein contained in egg yolk, is high in phospholipids, which helps break down fat. According to studies, the right way to include eggs in the diet intensifies the rate of weight loss.

Eggs help improve vision

Egg yolk contains increased amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two carotenoids that ensure the protection of vision and help prevent macular degeneration and cataract.

 

Eggs protect the health of the heart and brain

Lecithin is the basic protein contained in egg. Choline, which is a component of lecithin, has been shown to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. A diet rich in choline can also help lower inflammatory markers in the blood, such as homocysteine.

Furthermore, high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are contained in eggs, prevent the oxidation of lipoproteins, preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. In addition, lecithin combined with minerals and vitamins, promotes proper cell function, nervous system and metabolism and enhances memory.

Eggs strengthen the immune and muscular systems

Vitamin A, B-complex vitamins and selenium strengthen the body’s defense against colds and viruses. Due to the fact that the egg is one of the richest sources of protein, its consumption also contributes to the strengthening of the muscles.

 

Eggs protect the skin and strengthen the bones

Vitamin A, contained in the egg, helps prevent the destruction of skin tissues. On the other hand, Vitamin D significantly helps in better absorption of calcium and promotes bone health.

 

The importance of medical guidance and the role of Functional Nutrition

Egg can provide multiple benefits to healthy people, as long as no more than 5 to 6 eggs are consumed per week. For vulnerable groups, such as patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases, it is important for the treating Physician or Nutritionist to provide appropriate dietary guidelines and recommendations in order to prevent or reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Functional nutrition is a kind of nutritional approach that focuses on the uniqueness of each organism and is based on the individualization of problems. Based on the individual genetic background, test scores, lifestyle and above all the bio-diversity of each, a fully personalized diet plan is provided, adapted to the needs of each individual that promotes the health of patients.

To achieve all this, Specialized diagnostic tests are performed, which investigate the hormonal and metabolic state of the body and identify deficiencies of the cell in nutrients. A genetic test can also be performed, which analyzes 384 genetic variants, in order to better understand the human body and how to provide the nutrients it really needs.

Based on the diagnostic findings, individualized nutritional treatment protocols are developed, which may include micronutrients and, if necessary, hormonal restoration with Bioidentical hormones, in order to restore the hormonal balance of the body and to correct any nutrient deficiencies.

 

 

Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.

Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).

 

Read more:


The role of Vitamin D in weight management

Lectins dietary intake and Autoimmune Diseases. Is there a link?

How harmful is Cholesterol after all?

 

References:

    1. “Full Report (All Nutrients): 01129, Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled”, USDA Branded Food Products Database
    2. Anderson KE (2011). “Comparison of fatty acid, cholesterol, and vitamin A and E composition in eggs from hens housed in conventional cage and range production facilities”. Poultry Science. 90 (7): 1600–1608. doi:10.3382/ps.2010-01289. PMID 21673178.
    3. Karsten HD; et al. (2010). “Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens”. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 25: 45–54. doi:10.1017/S1742170509990214. S2CID 33668490.
    4. “Egg Whites Nutrition: High in Protein, Low in Everything Else”. Healthline. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
    5. Shin JY, Xun P, Nakamura Y, He K (July 2013). “Egg consumption in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Am J Clin Nutr. 98 (1): 146–59. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.051318. PMC 3683816. PMID 23676423.
    6. Spence, J. David; Jenkins, David J. A.; Davignon, Jean; Sean Lucan; T Dylan Olver; et al. (1 March 2013). “Egg yolk consumption, smoking and carotid plaque: reply to letters to the editor”. Atherosclerosis. 227 (1): 189–191. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.10.075. ISSN 1879-1484. PMID 23177013.
    7. “No link between eggs and heart disease or stroke, says BMJ meta-analysis”. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
    8. Mah E, Chen CO, Liska DJ (October 2019). “The effect of egg consumption on cardiometabolic health outcomes: an umbrella review”. Public Health Nutr. 23 (5): 935–955. doi:10.1017/S1368980019002441. PMID 31599222.

     

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