Should I Be Eating Eggs?
The egg controversy continues. It seems that there are so many different opinions on whether to eat eggs or not, now many you can have, whether to eat the yolks or just the whites.
Are eggs good for you or are they bad for you? Or are they good for you in small amounts and bad when you eat lots?
Often you will hear people say they don’t eat eggs because they’re bad for the heart, yet the same people will eat high amounts of processed foods, alcohol and other heart-stopping foods and drinks! Is this you? As I have said many times, get the basics right first, then worry about the smaller details.
But back to the egg controversy:
Older research suggested that eggs cause high cholesterol levels and blocked arteries which we know leads to heart problems sooner or later.
In 2005, the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggested that no more than 300mg of dietary cholesterol should be consumed each day. With an average egg containing around 220mg of cholesterol it seems logical that the fewer eggs you eat the better.
Before we take this advice to heart, we should consider that there are different types of cholesterol.
First there are Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL’s) which clog arteries by carrying cholesterol to the sites of fatty deposits. Then we have High Density Lipoproteins (HDL’s) which are the good guys as they clean up LDL’s floating in the blood and transport them to the liver for eventual excretion.
I’m sure you’ve all heard that we should check levels of both types, and that it is important that you keep the levels of LDL’s down and HDL’s up.
Now cholesterol usually gets a bad rap, but is required for cell function, nerve function and hormone function. Trying to eradicate cholesterol completely is therefore an inaccurate and misinformed idea. The less cholesterol you consume, the more your body will produce to serve these vital functions. Cholesterol is required by your body!
So what else do eggs contain?
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B2 and iodine. These substances have many, many uses in the body but I want to focus on their benefits for those looking to lose body fat.
As I recommend in all FitterFaster Nutrition Programs, you must consume lean, complete proteins 5-6 times per day to maintain / build muscle, to remain satisfied without eating high levels of carbohydrates and to increase the thermic effect of what you eat which helps burn calories by eating! All of these elements are essential ingredients of a fat loss program.
Vitamin A aids bone growth and helps regulate your immune system both of which are necessary if you want to be able to train regularly which as we know is essential for creating your best body ever.
Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium which again ensures strong bones for weight bearing activities and general health.
Vitamin B2 not only helps process amino acids (from proteins) and fats but it also helps convert carbohydrates to ATP which is used by the body for energy during intense exercise. And we know the benefits of intense exercise, don’t we?
Finally iodine helps regulate the hormones responsible for your metabolism ensuring you’re always burning calories efficiently.
As you can see eggs provide a range of benefits for fat loss and maintenance or growth of muscles.
The truth is that it is saturated fats which cause the increasing heart problems in Western society. Eggs therefore should be a main element of any fat loss plan with all other sources of saturated fat being minimised.
If you are worried, you could always reduce the amount of yolks that you eat, and just consume a few whole eggs with eggs whites and combine them. But don’t avoid the yolks altogether. They hold the most goodness!
When you hard boil an egg it becomes easy to separate the yolks making this process very easy!
Some studies suggest that eating 3-4 whole eggs every day had no effect at all on blood cholesterol but if you are still paranoid, get your cholesterol tested. You might even conduct an experiment of your own by eating 3-4 eggs per day for 2 weeks then having your cholesterol re-tested to see if there is any effect.
To sum up, don’t believe everything you read or hear in the media as everything will be hyped up and made to sound like the end of the world. Take time to research the truth and you will generally find that there is no need to panic!