First eggs were good, then they were bad, now they are good again
By John Toth
Just when I thought I had my slightly high cholesterol problem resolved by making a few important changes in my diet, I found out that the key item I cut out, which I thought was the culprit, is actually not that bad at all.
The USDA announced last week that eggs are significantly lower in cholesterol than previously thought. And, by the way, they are also quite a bit higher in vitamin D. I wish they would make up their minds.
When I was a kid, they said eggs were good. So I ate eggs. Ten years later, they said they were bad, so stopped eating eggs. Ten years later they said they were good again. Well, then I ate them again, and then they said they were bad again. Now they are good again. It’s breakfast time.
By the way, the reason eggs are now lower in cholesterol likely relates to changes in the diets of hens. We are what we eat, and so are chickens ... and their eggs.
Why couldn’t we feed these hens some good food to begin with? I love eggs for breakfast, but ever since my latest checkup I have been eating Egg Beaters (which really don’t taste that bad, but it’s not the real thing).
The newly released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a limit of 300mg of cholesterol per day for healthy adults, and 200mg per day for adults with, or at high risk for heart disease. The new, lower cholesterol content of eggs means that these guidelines could be met if healthy adults average between one and two eggs per day. Even adults with heart disease can come in under the guideline consuming one egg daily.
But if it’s not eggs causing my cholesterol problem, then what is? Now I have to start all over and even resume my gym attendance, which has been slacking.
One of the culprits of high cholesterol is partially hydrogenated oils getting blocked up in the arteries causing the blood to stop flowing. Try this. Get your favorite margarine that has partially hydrogenated oils in it, put a small amount on a knife, and run it under water. The water beads off it, and it does not wash off very easily. It barely melts under hot water. Now, what do you think that does in your body?
But I have cut that stuff out, too. Maybe I should just go eat grass in a pasture. But, back to eggs.
From what I’ve found in researching eggs is that it’s better to buy organic, and it’s better to cook the yolk. The only warmed yolk, as in sunny side up, can help raise cholesterol, but the cooked yolk actually helps to reduce it. Yes, I did egg research on a rainy afternoon (we’ve had a bunch of those).
If the cholesterol in eggs is a factor of the diet of chickens, doesn’t that depend on the choices of those feeding the chickens? Backyard chickens surely must eat differently than those on the big egg farms. In Mexico, for example, the color of the yolks is dark, almost orange, while those in the States are pale yellow (because their hens are pale and sick). Those are the eggs featured in the Wednesday grocery promotions. Stay away from them.
Here is the latest from David Katz, M.D., Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.
“We have long had cause to reconsider the harms of dietary cholesterol; they are, at most, feeble and uncommon -- and there is a good chance they are truly negligible, or simply don’t exist. We have also long known that eggs, other than their cholesterol content, are extremely nutritious overall -- rich in top quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients such as biotin and choline. As of today, we also know that eggs are a less concentrated source of cholesterol than they once were into the bargain.”
As of now, we can all resume eating eggs, although its better to buy organic or from the farm (if you have access to a farm), until the next study comes out saying something totally different. My wife thinks cage-free are the best because happy chickens make good eggs. But, it’s back to the gym anyway, just to make sure. Now, where are those delicious eggs I bought for the family? I’m about to have a real breakfast.