As a health maniac, you try really hard to stay healthy and in shape. You watch the calories that you consume, you exercise on a regular basis – and you always throw out that tasty-looking yolk when you make yourself a nice veggie omelet. Let me tell you that you might be doing it all wrong (at least when it comes to the eggs). You won’t be at a higher risk of heart disease if you consume the whole egg. Nutrition experts say that it’s exactly the opposite: it could be worse for you if you actually DON’T eat them. You’ll see why.
Egg and cholesterol
The egg yolk, along with various other sources of cholesterol and saturated fats, came into the field of research at the beginning of the 20th century. Scientists would feed pure cholesterol to rabbits, and they found out that their arteries started clogging up, supposedly promoting heart disease. But here’s the trick: there are many question marks to this theory. First of all, rabbits and humans have nothing in common when it comes to body construction. Secondly, and perhaps the most important aspect – cholesterol doesn’t have a part in the rabbit’s diet anyway. They’re vegetarians!
Even so, researchers are obviously stubborn – and tried to prove whatever they believed to be true. In 1950, one researcher (Ancel Keys) made a survey of the average population diet, and came to the conclusion that those who ingest more animal fats become susceptible to developing heart disease. However, the flaw of this research was that keys could not prove how casual this relationship was. Plus, while the mortality rate due to heart disease was bumped up by animal fat consumption, the fact remained that death by other causes was lower – improving your overall life expectancy.
The sunny side of the yolk
One research led to another, and scientists found even more concrete evidence evr since that moment – and it wasn’t all bad at all. In a fairly recent study (2010) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of researchers found out that saturated fats were not actually associated in any way with increased risks of strokes, coronary heart disease, and vascular diseases. Moreover, it even countered studies made in the 20th century which claim that foods high in fats are the most dangerous – they even encouraged people that for a healthier lifestyle, they should eat butter instead of margarine.
So what’s actually causing these heart diseases? Nutritionists claim that the problem is due to inflammation which was ironically caused by “chronic stress levels along with the excessive consumption of processed carbohydrates and vegetable oils.” Long story short: Cut down on the foods that come in bags and boxes.
Hard boiled facts
So, if you’ve been spending your life avoiding egg yolks, let me tell you that you have been missing out on some great natural nutrition. Here’s what egg yolks can do for you:
- They make your skin glow due to the fact that they’re rich in vitamin A.
- They provide a daily dose of energy from the B vitamins.
- They allow good brain health, strong muscles and healthy pregnancies due to the choline.
Therefore, not only are the saturated fats in the egg yolks crucial for hormone production, but they also represent a great aid for your body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Hitting the frying pan
Whenever you fry your food, the chemical composition will change, and some of the nutrients may be lost. With eggs, depending on your frying technique, you may still retain some of the nutrients. The healthiest option, however, would be to simply crack the egg into a glass and swallow it just like that. I know it sounds disgusting, and your stomach may be repulsed by it at first – but you’ll eventually get used to it. It would be easier for your system to digest raw eggs simply because they did not go through any processing. If you DO decide that raw eggs are not for you, opt for hard-boiling or frying them with a few drops of healthy oils (for example, coconut oil). Try not to burn them or make them ‘extra crispy.’ The less cooked they are, the more nutrients they will offer.
As long as you keep your calories in check, eating the whole egg won’t make you gain weight – regardless of the fat content. However, if your goal is to hit a certain nutrient number or to simply restrict calories, it may not be a bad idea to add a few white-only eggs in your diet every once in a while. If you’re still in doubt, you may want to talk with a nutritionist about your food choices. They’ll know best what you should eat based on your health and fitness goals.