Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eggs in a Healthy Diet

Eggs in a Healthy Diet

By Shereen Jegtvig, Guide to Nutrition since 2004
Thursday October 2, 2008

Eggs were taken off of many people's diet food lists because they contain a lot of cholesterol. That's unfortunate, because eggs also contain lots of important nutrients. Actually, there are plenty of studies showing that eating one egg each day will not raise your cholesterol or lower your HDL, so almost everyone can enjoy eggs as part of a healthy diet.
Eggs are one of nature's near-perfect foods. They contain an easily digestible form of protein, plus loads of other valuable compounds and nutrients. With rare exceptions, there isn't any reason to avoid them, despite what you may have heard.

The reasons dietitians and traditional medical experts have recommended avoiding eggs in the past is because of two substances in eggs that continue to suffer from a terrible reputation: cholesterol and fat. Fat is a subject worth a column all its own, so we'll save that for another time. Right now, let's look closely at cholesterol.

Cholesterol is crucial for every cell in the body, and around 80 percent of cholesterol in the body is produced by the body itself, regardless of how much of it you eat or don't eat.

Most of your body's cholesterol is found within the cells, where it has all kinds of positive effects. Only about 7 percent of the body's store of cholesterol is in the blood, and even then it doesn't do any real damage until it oxidises and begins to stick to our arterial walls. Nature, in her infinite wisdom, also created the egg complete with its own built-in antioxidant. It's called lecithin, and it helps prevent egg cholesterol from becoming a problem. Interestingly, lecithin is found in the yolk, which many people mistakenly discard because it contains cholesterol.

The real point is this: Dietary cholesterol has virtually no effect on serum cholesterol (in our blood). Even Dr. Ancel Keys, author of the famous 'Seven Countries' study that gave rise to the whole fat/cholesterol/heart disease madness in the first place, has said: 'There's no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the bloo d. None. And we've known that all along.'

The points is whatever you take in your diet, you need to do some exercise to maintain your health.

Source: © 2008, a part of The New York Times Company.

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