Nutritional Debate: Is It The Beneficial Egg For Your Health?

Nutritional Debate: Is It The Beneficial Egg For Your Health?

Kobe versus Michael Jordan.

Angelina versus Jennifer.

Whole eggs versus egg whites?

In the world of nutrition, few debates have raised as much thorn as the egg. For almost 40 years, researchers have tried to determine if your omelets, scrambled eggs and tortillas are really healthy. The argument against has always revolved around two simple factors: the egg is high in fat and cholesterol. Thus, it would be easy to assume that removing the yolk or avoiding eggs altogether is part of any diet plan to get fit. However, a closer look at this research reveals that the real debate over the egg is in why there is any doubt about its health benefits. In fact, a quick look at the most common myths shows that making eggs a standard part of your diet is one of the best decisions you could make.

Myth: eggs make you fat. Fact: Eggs are an excellent food for weight loss

You may have heard that eating eggs will make you fat because 60 percent of the calories in this food come from fat. However, eating fats does not make you fat and the egg is a food with controlled calories, designed to maximize weight loss, not to prevent it. An egg has only about 70 calories, with an excellent balance of six grams of protein and five grams of fat. The combination of proteins and fats increases the satiety hormones (the ones that tell your brain that you are full). Egg protein also causes your body to generate the hormone glucagon, which stimulates your body to release and use stored carbohydrates and fats.

To prove this, compare eggs with rice cakes, a classic "dietary" food. Two rice cakes contain 70 calories, but no protein or fat. These calories come from 14 grams of refined carbohydrates with fat cells and a high glycemic index, which makes these cakes a much less desirable option.

Myth: eggs increase your cholesterol. Fact: eggs do not affect cholesterol levels.

Reducing blood cholesterol levels has been a primary public health mission for decades. It would make a lot of sense that if you wanted to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream, you would decrease the amount of cholesterol you consume. It is for this reason that the eggs have been classified as dangerous, since they contain approximately 200 mg per serving.

The problem: dietary cholesterol does not actually raise cholesterol levels as much as you might think. In fact, only 30 percent of people experience significant increases in their cholesterol levels after following a diet with high contents of this compound.Harvard researchers studied the eating habits of more than 100,000 people, and concluded that daily egg consumption in healthy individuals did not increase the risk of coronary heart disease. What's more, a study from the University of Connecticut found that eating three eggs a day as part of a low-carb diet improved DHL ("good" cholesterol) levels without any negative health effects.

Myth: only egg white should be eaten. Fact: Enjoy the whole egg, with yolk included

The "just eat the egg white" movement was created from the massive initiative to eliminate all cholesterol and possible fats from the American diet, in order to combat heart disease and obesity. An egg white contains pure protein (3.5 grams per egg); the rest of the nutrients, proteins and fats are hidden in the yolk, which means that this is the most nutritious part. The egg yolks contain 240 mg of leucine, the only amino acid responsible for activating your genetic switch for muscle development.

But egg yolks are much more than just a nutrient for muscle development. They also include choline, essential for the functions of cell membranes; cholesterol, which serves as a molecular framework for multiple hormones in the body; and vitamins A, D and E. You can also consume eggs that come from chickens fed omega-3; the high content of this substance in the feed of these hens enriches the omega-3 fats of the yolk of the egg, also giving you 150 mg of long chain omega-3 DHA fat. Enjoy the whole egg to take advantage of all its nutritional benefits.

Myth: eating raw eggs gives you more nutrients. Reality: cook your eggs to ensure access to all their nutrients.

Since Rocky consumed raw eggs as part of his preparation to defeat Apollo Creed, the tradition of eating eggs in this way has attracted many nutritionists. However, studies claim that the only thing you will get from this eating style is a list of health problems, without the benefits. A highly-promoted benefit of eating raw eggs is that you digest cholesterol in its non-oxidized form. However, oxidation of egg cholesterol during cooking is minimal, and they are further reduced if you cook your eggs at a lower temperature. Eating raw eggs has also been recommended to prevent the degradation of the beneficial lutein and zeaxanthin. However, studies from the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" and the "Nutrition Magazine" show that consuming cooked eggs generates increases in the levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood.

On the other hand, raw eggs contain a compound called avidin, which binds and prevents the absorption of biotin, an essential nutrient.Cooking the eggs deactivates avidin, making it biochemically useless. Also, although only one in 10,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella, cooking them properly will effectively kill any salmonella bacteria present, and significantly reduce the risk of any foodborne disease that may exist.

Video Tutorial: Are Eggs Healthy or Unhealthy?.

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