“Eggs are an animal product, and they do contain cholesterol,” Lisa Cimperman, a registered dietician for UH Case Medical Center, told FoxNews.com. “But actually, cholesterol in foods doesn’t affect our blood cholesterol as much as saturated fat does. Cholesterol in food, in general you do want to avoid, but it’s not necessarily the main culprit of high cholesterol.”
Another week, another humiliating blow for the healthy eating lobby. Yet again, their advice on nutrition, delivered in those familiar authoritative, disapproving tones, has proved to be completely misleading.
For years, these self-styled experts have warned us against eating too many eggs. Despite the fact our ancestors happily consumed this natural food for centuries, not so long ago the finger-wagging professionals suddenly decided that they were public enemy number one.
Eggs promoted heart attacks, clogged arteries, caused high blood pressure and weight gain, they declared, adding that we should eat a maximum of no more than two or three a week.
Now, though, it turns out that their advice is not only false, but even counter-productive. Just as these experts have been shown to be wrong about the dangers of red meat, cheese, milk and butter, so they have been hopelessly wrong about eggs.
Contrary to their grim admonitions, this week, scientists have declared that eggs are, in fact, a health food, packed with nutrients and proteins. The more eggs we eat, the healthier we should feel.
This new research has comprehensively demolished the claims that eggs are bad for the heart and the circulatory system. Just the opposite is true. Scientists at the Jilin University in China have found that one of the key components of egg whites can be just as powerful as specialised medication in reducing blood pressure.
This component is a peptide — one of the building blocks of protein — which appears to have the ability to inhibit the action of substances in the body that raise blood pressure.
‘Our research suggests that there may be another reason to call it the incredible, edible egg,’ said Dr Zhipeng Yu, the scientist in charge of this project.
His findings back up a recent study from the University of Alberta in Canada, which revealed that proteins in eggs can prevent the narrowing of blood vessels in the body, while researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that eggs are the best way to control appetite.
Even more than meat, eggs are packed with the amino acids, minerals and high-quality proteins that are essential to our bodies’ continual process of regeneration. It is no exaggeration to say that every egg is an Aladdin’s cave of nutrients.
Indeed, except for Vitamin C, they contain every single vitamin that we need. They are especially useful as a source of Vitamin D, of which British people are often deficient because of the lack of sunshine in our climate.
Vitamin D can be consumed through oily fish such as herrings and sardines, but many people are not keen on such pungent dishes, so eggs are an attractive alternative.
Moreover, eggs also contain several vital antioxidants, which are essential for the prevention of disease, as well as the important nutrient choline, which helps with the development of the brain.
One of the many fallacies of the health promotion lobby is that the yolk is particularly unhealthy, a dogma that gave rise to the fashion for eating only egg whites.
The egg-white omelette, for instance, became a faddish statement of healthy eating in Hollywood circles. But it is just more nonsense. The yolk is the best part of the egg, not only delicious but full of all the right, health-giving ingredients.
No match for nourishment: If only the health lobby was not so blinded by dogma and commercial influences, they would recognise that eggs could be a vital weapon in the fight against obesity
In truth, there is no food that can match the egg in its nourishment, value and variety of uses. It is tremendously cheap. A box of half-a-dozen free-range eggs usually costs less than £2, much less than a sugar-packed, microwavable ready meal.
The purveyors of junk fast foods like to proclaim that they are providing convenience in our busy lives, but there has never been a better instant meal than a couple of eggs.
Indeed, the variety of dishes with eggs at their centre is almost infinite, from the sophistication of Eggs Benedict to that great Caledonian favourite of my homeland, the Scotch egg, which is a far healthier snack than any bag of crisps.
The only thing you need to worry about when buying your eggs is that they are free-range. Just as meat from organic and grass-fed livestock is far better than the produce of factory-farmed animals, so eggs from caged battery hens are nothing like free-range eggs.
If only the health lobby was not so blinded by dogma and commercial influences, they would recognise that eggs could be a vital weapon in the fight against obesity.
As I know from my own experience, an egg at breakfast wards off hunger pains right through until lunchtime, something that is never achieved by a couple of slices of toast or a bowl of muesli.
Any food agency that really cared about the nation’s health would be embracing egg consumption rather than frowning upon it. For, as we all knew before the arrival of the lobbyists and their commercial allies, we should all be going to work on an egg.
Eggs are packed full of nutrients
Limiting egg consumption has little effect on cholesterol levels, research has confirmed.
A University of Surrey team said their work suggested most people could eat as many eggs as they wanted without damaging their health.
The researchers, who analysed several studies of egg nutrition, said the idea that eating more than three eggs a week was bad for you was still widespread.
But they said that was a misconception based on out-of-date evidence.
There is cholesterol present in eggs but this does not usually make a great contribution to your level of blood cholesterol
British Heart Foundation
Writing in the British Nutrition Foundation's Nutrition Bulletin, they said eating saturated fats was far more likely to cause health problems.
Researcher Professor Bruce Griffin said eggs were actually a key part of a healthy diet, as they were particularly packed full of nutrients.
He said: "The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected.
"The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol.
"The UK public do not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat - indeed they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods."
While elevated blood cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease, only around a third of the cholesterol in the body comes from the diet.
Other factors such as smoking, being overweight and physical activity can influence blood fat and cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) dropped its advice to limit egg consumption to three a week in 2007 in light of new evidence.
However, research by the British Egg Information Service suggests 45% of consumers still believe it was sensible to limit consumption.
Victoria Taylor, a senior BHF dietician, said: "We recommend that eggs can be eaten as part of a balanced diet.
"There is cholesterol present in eggs but this does not usually make a great contribution to your level of blood cholesterol.
"If you need to reduce your cholesterol level it is more important that you cut down on the amount of saturated fat in your diet from foods like fatty meat, full fat dairy products and cakes, biscuits and pastries."
In 2007 the Egg Information Service was banned from re-running a television commercial from the 1950s which urged viewers to "go to work on an egg" to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre said the slogan went against the principle of eating a varied diet.
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