OT: The dangers of eggs aren't all they're cracked up to be...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kjfms, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    I received this in my e-newsletter from Harvard Health Publications thought I would share with you all :)

    To make an omelet, you have to break some eggs

    The dangers of eggs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be — avoid them if you want, but it isn’t necessary.

    Consider the egg: Is it a dietary demon chock-full of artery-clogging cholesterol, or a perfect food, rich in healthful nutrients?

    Put to a vote, American Idol style, “dietary demon” would probably come out on top, even though “perfect food” is closer to the truth.

    Let’s unscramble the egg facts and myths first.

    Fact: An egg is a good source of nutrients. For about 15 cents, you get 6 grams of protein, some healthful unsaturated fats, and a smattering of vitamins and minerals.

    Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss.

    Fact: Eggs have a lot of cholesterol. The average large egg contains 212 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol.

    As foods go, that’s quite a bit, rivaled only by single servings of liver, shrimp, and duck meat.

    Myth: All of that cholesterol goes straight to your bloodstream and then into your arteries.

    Not so. In the average person (we’ll come back to this later), only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes directly into the blood.

    The liver makes most of the cholesterol that circulates in the bloodstream, largely in response to saturated and trans fats in the diet.

    Studies dating back to a classic 1950 experiment carried out by pioneering Harvard cardiologist Paul Dudley White and colleagues show that the amount of cholesterol in food generally has a small impact on cholesterol in the blood.

    Myth: Eating eggs is bad for your heart. The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease — not on cholesterol levels or other intermediaries — found no connection between the two.

    In this study of nearly 120,000 initially healthy men and women, those who ate one or more eggs a day were no more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke or to have died of cardiovascular disease over a 14-year study period than those who ate fewer than one egg per week.

    In people with diabetes, though, egg-a-day eaters were a bit more likely to have developed heart disease than those who ate eggs rarely.

    Reputation rehabilitation
    Eggs’ reputation as good food took a tumble in the 1960s when researchers first made the connection between heart disease and high cholesterol levels in the blood.

    The American Heart Association (AHA) and other influential groups set an upper limit for daily cholesterol intake at 300 mg a day (200 mg if you have heart disease) and warned Americans to avoid eating egg yolks.

    There were two big problems with these recommendations. The upper limit of 300 mg a day seems to have been chosen not for a specific scientific reason but because it was half of the average American’s daily cholesterol intake at the time.

    And the warning on egg consumption was based on the logical — but incorrect — assumption that cholesterol in food translated directly into cholesterol levels in the blood.

    Eggs’ fall from grace may be ending. In 2000, the AHA eased up on eggs. Instead of specifically recommending that we avoid or limit eggs to a certain number per week, the association’s dietary guidelines focused on limiting foods high in saturated fat and keeping cholesterol intake under 300 mg a day.

    The AHA acknowledges that you can hit this target “even with periodic consumption of eggs and shellfish.”

    Heart associations in Canada and Australia go even further. Both include eggs in their respective Health Check and Heart Tick programs.

    These use checkmarks on foods or food packaging to help shoppers recognize healthier food choices quickly and easily.

    A similar Heart Check Mark program endorsed by the AHA doesn’t include eggs.

    What’s in an egg
    Amount in one large egg
    Percent of daily value*


    6 g

    Total fat
    5 g

    Saturated fat
    1.5 g

    Monounsaturated fat
    2 g
    not set

    Polyunsaturated fat
    0.6 g
    not set

    212 mg

    0.4 g

    96 mg

    0.6 mg

    0.24 mg

    Vitamin B6
    0.07 mg

    24 mcg

    Vitamin B12
    0.65 mcg

    Vitamin A
    244 IU

    Vitamin D
    18 IU

    125 mg

    Lutein + zeaxanthin
    166 mcg
    not set

    *Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet

    USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18 (2005)

    Eggs and you
    Guidelines, unfortunately, aren’t aimed at the individual. That’s a problem when it comes to dietary cholesterol in general and eggs in particular.

    In many people, cholesterol in food barely affects the amount of cholesterol in the blood. In some, though, it has a substantial effect.

    The trouble is there’s no easy way to tell if you are a “responder” or a “nonresponder” to dietary cholesterol. You could, of course, have your cholesterol checked after staying away from eggs for a month or so, then eat an egg a day for a few weeks and have your cholesterol checked again.

    That’s overkill for most people with normal levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. If you enjoy eggs, eating one a day should be okay, especially if you compensate in other ways:

    Weed out other bad actors. Cutting back even further on saturated and trans fats will have noticeable and positive effects on your cholesterol.

    Skip around. If a single fried egg looks too lonely on your plate, or a one-egg vegetable omelet doesn’t fill you up, have two eggs one day and none the next.

    Keep tabs. Have your cholesterol checked in two or three months to see if it has changed.

    No yolking. All of an egg’s cholesterol is in the yolk. If you are making scrambled eggs, use one whole egg and just the white from another.

    When baking, you can sometimes substitute two egg whites for one egg. Most grocery stores carry pourable egg whites or yolk-free egg substitutes.

    Do you need eggs in your diet? Not at all — you can get along just fine without them. But they are an excellent source of complete protein, have other healthful nutrients, are easy to fix and easy to chew, and don’t cost much.

    The latest work on the health effects of eggs doesn’t give us the green light for daily three-egg omelets with sausages and home fries.

    But eggs are a good alternative to doughnuts fried in oil, sugary cereals, or snacks laden with saturated fat.

    All rights reserved.
    Harvard Heart Letter
    Volume 16 - Number 11 - July 2006

    Harvard Health Publications e-Newsletter is published monthly by the Harvard Health Publications division of the Harvard Medical School. Copyright © 2006 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

    This information is for educational purposes only. For personal medical advice, please contact your physician.

    Thanks for reading,

    Karen :)

  2. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    I love eggs. I knew there must be something good about them, I just never realized how much.

    Thanks for posting this.

    God Bless.
  3. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Thanks Karen!

    Funny they put liver and duck in there for cholesteral. My DH refers to duck meat as flying liver! He used to hunt and quit because I wouldn't eat it and refused to cook it after 7 or 8 recipes he didn't like.

    Besides, the dog is getting too old to hunt, makes her hurt!

    I love my eggs, scrambled, fried, omelets, scrambled egg sandwich, deviled, egg salad sandwich, man, I'm getting hungry!!


    Stop and smell the puppies!
  4. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    unicornk- I like eggs too. Thank you so much for reading.

    greenbeen- Have you tried giving you dog Hartz Joint Maintenance it has really help our 12-year-old Norwegian Elk Hound.

    She was getting where she could hardly move because of arthritis in her hip joints. She has been on it for a few months and we have seen a big improvement.

    It hav Glucosamine HCL, Manganese, and Vitamin E in it I highly recommend it for older dogs.


    Karen :)
  5. crossword

    crossword New Member

    Because I am unable to chew meats such as beef, chicken and etc. I now eat two eggs every day plus cheese and usually soft foods. Just had my colestral (spelling?) checked and it could not be better. I am 72 years old
  6. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    One thing I wish they'd touched on about the cholesterol in eggs is ratio. It's not about the amount of cholesterol in a food so much, as its about the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol. We know we should limit our LDL (bad cholesterol), and we are told that egg yolks are high in it. But what no one seems to talk about is how high in HDL are the egg whites, which means the yolks and whites balance each other out and a whole egg shouldn't put your LDL up. Hope that's clearer than mud.

    I also think it's important to get pure eggs from hens that aren't boosted in steroids and abx. I feel better when I do. I thought I was sensitive to eggs until I switched. They don't even cost much more.

  7. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Thanks, Karen.

    Aster was 9 in May and has had hip problems most of her life. She gets a supplement from the vet that has about the same ingredients as the Hartz one, a few other things added.

    She also gets Zuke's Joint Health (I think that's the right name, Zuke's is all I remember for sure!) twice a day. Also has all the joint stuff in it. She gets those because she says they are really yummy and she has been a good good girl!

    I feed both dogs (I call it the "old dog" food) Flint River Senior Plus which also has the some of the same ingredients.

    I'll check and compare with the Hartz one.

    Aster is good now, but if she over works it really flares up. I still throw the ball for her, but not overly long. She won't stop until she can't move so I have to limit her time!


    Stop and smell the puppies!
  8. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    to read and respond to my thread.

    Karen :)

[ advertisement ]