Eat Eggs and Lower Cholesterol
If you are looking for a diet plan to lower cholesterol you may be assuming that it will not include the consumption of eggs, but is this really necessary and healthy? High cholesterol is more the result of the types of fats that we eat as well as the lack of fruits, vegetables, fiber and other cholesterol-lowering foods that we don’t. When eating a balanced, healthy diet cholesterol intake from dietary sources has very little influence on cholesterol levels.
Where does cholesterol come from?
About 75% of the cholesterol in our body is made by the liver. The other 25% comes from dietary sources. Dietary cholesterol comes from meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs. There is no cholesterol in fruits and vegetables. Since the body produces most of our cholesterol, cholesterol from dietary sources has little, if any, impact on cholesterol levels. Studies also show that the cholesterol in eggs specifically is poorly absorbed. Other studies also show that eating up to 7 eggs per week had no effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease. The nutrient benefits of eggs far outweigh the risks of cholesterol absorption and heart disease.
Health benefits of eating eggs
Eggs contain many vital nutrients. Cutting them completely out of your diet because of their cholesterol content is taking a very myopic view of things. The whole nutrition benefits of eggs far outweighs the risks of the minimal cholesterol that may be absorbed. Here are the healthy nutrients that eggs provide:
- Choline: This essential nutrient may lower blood levels of homocysteine, an independent risk factor for heart disease. Choline also protects the liver. Low levels of Choline have been associated with fatty liver disease and increased liver enzymes. Choline is also an essential component of cell membranes.
- Eggs are also a significant source of vitamins A, E,D, B-6, B-12 and folate, which are known to lower blood levels of homocysteine and may lower the risk of heart disease.
- Eggs are a great source of highly absorbable essential protein.
- Eggs also contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may play a role in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration.
Egg type matters
You are what you eat and so are chickens. What they consume has a large impact on the nutrient content of their eggs. Next week I will talk about how to choose the most nutritious eggs and discuss why you want to choose free range, pasture-raised organic eggs for both health and humane reasons.
In conclusion, eggs are a healthy part of a balanced diet and provide many nutritional benefits. They contain essential protein, vitamins and anti-oxidants. These nutrients have been shown to be beneficial for heart, liver and eye health. Eggs and dietary cholesterol are not your enemy, but inflammation is. Controlling inflammation with the right anti-inflammatory foods should be your diet plan to lower cholesterol. This is what will keep your cholesterol levels in check. Running away from a highly nutritious egg yolk, not so much.