Cholesterol and Why Its Ok to Eat Your Eggs

Updated: May 16

Cholesterol is made up of a sterol and alcohol it is important for many essential body functions. It repairs damaged cell and maintains cell integrity. it transports nutrients to the brain, thus preventing dementia. It maintains the integrity of the guts. Most importantly it is needed for the formation of sex hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). It helps with serotonin, which helps us to feel happy and on top. It is essential for making healthy bones, muscle tone, fertility, insulin production and the immune system as it assists in vitamin D take up. It is not our enemy.

About 75% of the cholesterol we need is made indigenously, the remaining 25% is provided by the food we eat. When we eat more cholesterol than we need, the body produces less, when we are unable to meet dietary needs the body adapts by producing more. Eating more dietary cholesterol has little effect on our overall cholesterol. Foods that are higher in dietary cholesterol, such as fatty meats and high-fat dairy products (such as full cream milk and hard cheese), are also higher in saturated fats. It is recommended that saturated fats are limited to 10% of total calories per day. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommends dietary cholesterol be limited to about 100-300 mg across the various calorie levels.

What we should be bothered about is the ” bad fats”, saturated and trans fats and excessive sugar intake. An egg contains about 200mg of cholesterol. Thus, an egg a day as part of a limited daily cholesterol intake should not be a problem. So don’t be afraid to eat your eggs. It is a good source of pure proteins and essential nutrients.”

However, the cooking method may depend on a number of factors. Pasteurised eggs could be eaten fresh or partially cooked. Unpasteurised eggs, on the other hand, could be a source of bacterial contamination and as such should be cooked well. Boiling or poaching with water will not add any extra calories to the egg because water is calorie-free. Frying in oil, however, will add extra calories to the meal. If one is on a calorie-restricted diet, the extra oil may be a problem. The kind of oil used also matters, the pan should not be overheated to introduce trans fat. Since we all need a balance of all nutrients, a little oil could be factored into the meal plan and the egg could befriend sometimes if preferred. Watch out here for more information on all the different fats and how we can balance their intake to live well.

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