It still surprises me how many people are so misinformed about eggs and their nutritional value. The majority of the population believe that eggs cause high bad cholesterol levels. This belief is based on outdated and flawed science. Eggs are actually one of the healthiest and most nutrient rich foods, in particular the yolk, eggs are a super food!
Let’s look at the Nutritional Highlights:
One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, six grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids in the right ratio for humans (the building blocks of protein) and only 70 calories! Here are the stand-out nutrients found in egg, particularly the yolks:
Choline: Plays an essential role in fetal and infant brain development. Adequate choline during pregnancy also may prevent neural tube defects.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Phytochemicals that play a role in eye health and the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Vitamin D: Is essential for bone health by supporting the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because the most natural way to get vitamin D is through your skin from the sun. There aren’t many foods that naturally contain vitamin D, but egg yolks contain a lot!
Protein: Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein (one egg has around 6 grams), with 60 percent coming from the whites and 40 percent from the yolks. Protein is satiating, which helps with appetite and blood sugar control, both of which are important for weight maintenance and diabetes prevention.
Leucine: An essential amino acid that plays a unique role in muscle protein synthesis.
The Cholesterol Question:
Cholesterol contained in eggs are not the cause of high (bad) LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. The real cause for high LDL levels are sugar and carbs. Carbs are converted to glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream and of course consumed sugar is sugar. Consuming large amounts of carbs and sugar will make your blood “sticky”. We know sugar is sticky in itself, so the more sugar is consumed from carbs or sugar, the stickier your bloodstream will become. Along with oxidation and inflammation of the bloodstream, these are the true risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
The actual heart disease process occurs as follows:
Excess consumption of processed carbohydrates (grains or carbs and sugars) promotes excess insulin production and high triglycerides in the bloodstream. Along with consumption of easily oxidized polyunsaturated oils and a lifestyle of excessive stress (not enough sleep, not enough sun, chronic exercise), this dietary pattern promotes a state of oxidation and inflammation in the bloodstream. Under these circumstances, cholesterol in the bloodstream can then turn dangerous, with small, dense LDL molecules becoming lodged on artery walls and sustaining oxidative damage. This elicits an immune system response that leads to further inflammation, the formation of plaque on the artery walls, and an eventual heart attack or stroke.
Saturated fat is an excellent source of energy and supports healthy cellular function, since our cell membranes are comprised mainly of saturated fat and many hormonal and metabolic processes utilize saturated fat. There has never been any scientific evidence presented to confirm that consuming saturated fat by itself is unhealthy.
Saturated fat, primarily from animal products, has been a dominant source of calories for humans throughout evolution.
Conventional wisdom has promoted a false association between high levels of fat in the diet, and high levels of fat in the blood (aka, high triglycerides). High triglycerides in a fasted state are confirmed to be unhealthy but are associated with excess carbohydrate intake, not fat intake.
LDL converts from VLDL into either small, dense LDL or large, fluffy LDL. Small, dense LDL is more inclined to be dangerous, because it can lodge in the artery wall and become oxidized and inflamed. Traditional blood readings for total LDL are of little to no value when assessing heart disease risk. The majority of heart attack victims have a “safe” LDL value, which confirms that readings for total LDL levels are inaccurate.
HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by cleansing the bloodstream of potentially damaging small, dense LDL molecules. Consuming saturated fat helps elevate HDL levels, since HDL is used to digest fat. A sensible exercise program also helps elevate HDL levels.
I consume an average of 2 to 4 eggs a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. If I’m traveling I will bring 10 hard-boiled eggs with me, on which I will snack throughout the day, ideally accompanied by crispy bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. This way I can avoid all the nasty food options in airports or gas stations and enjoy my nutrient rich food no matter where I am. My HDL values are double the ideal value, my LDL levels are 50% below the ideally recommended LDL levels.
One very important thing to remember is to source your foods correctly. I cannot stress this enough, as if you buy conventional, or factory produced eggs and bacon, you are going to be ingesting antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides into your bloodstream. Not particularly appetizing or healthy, and these products have a much lower nutritional value.
Always make sure your eggs and bacon come from 100% Organic, Free Range Pasture Raised animals that are not fed any grains or chemicals. Look out for the USDA sticker, confirming the brands you are buying are certified by the USDA.
Please contact me with questions: