Hello everybody! Welcome back to my blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people find their way to a healthier lifestyle. I mostly talk about exercise, nutrition and the science behind them, which are my areas of expertise, but I also talk about sleeping habits, minimalism and many other subjects related to wellbeing and healthy lifestyle.
Today I want to give you some good news. We all have heard that eggs are not healthy because they are very high in cholesterol and therefore, consumption of eggs increases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. A recent study has shown that the effects of eggs on blood pressure are not at all that conclusive. Previous studies proposed the old fashioned theory based on the results from people who already had high blood pressure, but little difference did they see for those who ate one egg per day.
Unless you’re allergic or intolerant, or vegan, including eggs in your diet has a lot of benefits. Keep reading to find out more!
What is it in an egg?
Eggs are the perfect food. They provide a balance amount of protein as well as omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain antioxidants such as lutein. Essentially, eggs contain almost every essential mineral and vitamins, except vitamins B3 and C.
Eggs are divided in two different parts: the egg white and the yolk. The egg white is also known as the albumen and it contains 90% of the egg’s water and half of the total protein. Perhaps this is why some people prefer to eat just the egg white, but what they don’t realise is that the most nutritious part of the egg is the yolk.
As you can see in the picture, the yolk contains the minerals iron, selenium, potassium, zinc and magnesium, the water soluble vitamins (not represented) B group except B3, and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. There’s also fat in the egg yolk, but as many studies have shown, fat is not necessarily the main reason why we put on weight. Check out my post on fats!
Health benefits of eggs.
Thanks to the many healthy components of the eggs, people who eat eggs regularly get the nutritional benefits from it. In future posts I will get into much more detail about vitamins and what they’re for, as every single vitamin has a different role in our bodily functions.
As I mentioned before, despite the amount of cholesterol in eggs, this does not adversely affect blood pressure. The reason behind this is the following: our liver produces cholesterol daily as an important part of its functions, as we need cholesterol to stay healthy. When we eat eggs, our liver simply does not produce as much cholesterol because we are already supplying it. So at the end of the day, a reasonable amount of eggs does not alter the total cholesterol in our body.
Eggs raise HDL cholesterol (known as the “good” cholesterol) which has health benefits such as reducing heart disease and the risk of suffering from a stroke or other diseases. They also contain LDL cholesterol, which is known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL is subdivided into two categories, small LDL particles and large LDL particles. Large LDL particles are the ones more present in eggs, and are linked to people who have a lower risk to suffer from heart disease compared to those who have larger amounts of small LDL particles. In summary, despite the bad fame of eggs and cholesterol, they’re actually an ally to fight heart disease and stroke.
Eggs are packed with antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants accumulate in the retina, which is a part of the eye, reducing the risk of suffering age-related eye disease such as cataracts, which is a very common eye disease that we’re all prone to suffer at some stage.
Last but not least, because eggs contain protein and fat they assist in weight loss thanks to their satiation powers. Foods high in protein and fats are more satiating, making us eat less and at the end of the day to lose weight we need to eat less calories than we burn.
How many eggs can we eat?
As any other food or drink, the amount of eggs we can eat depend entirely on the person (gender, age, race, body composition, physical activity levels) so it makes it difficult to set a number. There’s absolutely no harm on eating one or two eggs per day (unless discouraged by an appropriate professional), in fact, it makes a wonderful breakfast, a much better option than sugary breakfast cereals or a piece of cake. If you want to find out how many eggs you can eat, ask a Nutritional Advisor or Dietitian.
Eggs your way!
Eggs are much better to eat when they’re fresh. The reason why is because the shell is very porous, meaning that the moisture may escape overtime. This dryness makes the eggs more alkaline (higher pH). This alkalisation makes the egg white runnier and the yolk weaker, perhaps the reason why your eggs break when you fry them. The main protein present on the eggs is the ovalbumin, which hardens when we heat or beat the egg, making this ingredient very versatile for cooking.
Eggs can be cooked in different ways (fried, boiled, scrambled, poached, in an omelette) and they can be an amazing ingredient for healthy baking such as healthy homemade oat biscuits, or healthy pancakes. They go well with any vegetable or, why not, fruit!
Whether you like your eggs fried, boiled, scrambled or poached, make sure you use a good quality olive oil extra virgin and don’t worry about adding a pinch of salt. Salt is a great ingredient if used correctly, with some health benefits, but that’s a subject for another post.
To do this post, I have used a very useful book called “How food works”. It’s part of a collection that I love. You can check it out on Amazon!
That’s it for today! I really hope that you enjoy it. If you like what I do and you want to support this project, follow me on Instagram and Facebook, like the post and comment! Should you have feedback you’d like to leave, a comment to share with me, or a cool idea for a post, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org