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Do you always toss out the yolks when you make an omelette? If studies are to be believed, avoiding egg yolks could mean you are missing out on good nutrition. Whole eggs don’t raise your risk of heart disease – in fact, according to nutrition coach Liz Wolfe, it may be worse for your health to not eat them,
Egg yolks, along with other sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, came under fire in the wake of research by Nikolai Anichkov at the turn of the 20th century. Anichkov tested on rabbits and found that cholesterol promotes heart disease.
Wolfe counters: ‘Rabbits have nothing in common with human bodies … and cholesterol isn’t part of their diet anyway.’ Researcher Ancel Keys made headlines in the 1950s with his Seven Countries’ Study, which almost single-handedly set the line of thinking on saturated fat that prevails today.
Keys claimed that after looking at the average diets of populations in seven different countries, he was able to determine that those who ate the most animal fat had the highest rates of heart disease. But his analysis was flawed.
Although Keys’ data did show a connection between fat and heart disease, he couldn’t demonstrate that the relationship was causal.
Furthermore, while mortality rates for heart disease were higher in the countries that consumed the most animal fat, deaths from nearly ever other cause were lower — and overall life expectancy was higher. In 2010, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis — the collected findings of 21 different studies — which stated that ‘saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease’.
Earlier this year, Time magazine reversed the argument it made in a 1984 cover story claiming eggs and other high-fat foods were dangerous. Wolfe suggests the real cause of heart disease lies in the inflammation caused by ‘chronic stress levels, and the overconsumption of vegetable oils and processed carbohydrates.’
According to Wolfe, egg yolks are ‘a great source of vitamin A, which is good for skin, B vitamins for energy and choline, which supports brain health, muscles and is necessary for a healthy pregnancy’. The saturated fat in yolks is also necessary for hormone production and the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals. If you control your overall calories, whole egg consumption won’t cause weight gain, despite its fat content.
Here are some health benefits of egg
Eggs are the cheapest source of high quality protein. They provide you with good amounts of complete protein which is required to build muscles, repair tissues and responsible for other bodily functions. Eggs fulfil about 11% and 14% of men’s and women’s daily requirement of protein respectively. A single egg yields over 6g of protein.
Yolk full of goodness
The yolk of an egg is loaded with nutrients like zinc, iron, vitamins A, B and D, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorous, lutein (a phytochemical that researchers say is good for the eyes), choline (needed for brain development) and cholesterol. This makes it highly nutritious.
A single egg contains only 5g of fat and about 85 calories. It does not have any carbohydrates either. Also, the amino acid composition of egg is exactly like the human muscle amino acid structure which makes it one of the favourites among gym goers because it helps in quick recovery and muscle building.