Eggs and Cholesterol: The Lie That Link Eggs With High Cholesterol Has Been Busted
Eggs And Cholesterol: The Lie That Link Eggs With High Cholesterol Has Been Busted
For years health authorities have set limits on the maximum amount of eggs and cholesterol we can eat. The maximum was at about 300 mg a day. Considering that a single egg contains 186 mg eggs would fall right off the list of recommended foods, not only when someone had high cholesterol levels, but for anyone who wanted to keep their cholesterol at bay.
However, things are not so simple, and eggs are innocent.
All this is the long legacy of the seventies when the so-called lipid hypothesis was established in the medical community. It worked like this:
A diet high in cholesterol and saturated lipids raises cholesterol in blood
A high level of cholesterol in blood causes cardiovascular disease
It seems logical in principle, but the bad thing is that it does not work. Neither of the two premises is true:
Cholesterol in the diet does not determine cholesterol levels in blood
cholesterol levels in the blood do not determine the risk of cardiovascular disease
In fact, there is no relationship between total cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. It’s a pretty useless measure, and according to WHO data, just the opposite influences on mortality. More cholesterol, fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CVD AND HIGH CHOLESTEROL
This is where we need to stop and explain how cholesterol works in your body.
Cholesterol is a lipid that produces your own body. It is better because cholesterol is part of the membrane of all the cells of your body and is an essential ingredient for the synthesis of vitamin D and amorphous hormones, estrogens and testosterone, among other things.
Cholesterol is so important that your liver, your intestines and the rest of your body’s cells know how to make it, and make sure the level is stable. If you eat little cholesterol, the body makes whatever it takes. If you eat a lot of cholesterol, the body makes less. This is why the cholesterol you eat does not appreciably affect the cholesterol in your blood.
Cholesterol is so important that it has its own transport system. Cholesterol, a lipid, does not travel well through blood, which is aqueous. To carry it to the cells is wrapped in a network of proteins, like oranges in a basket.
Low-density proteins, LDL, are the ones that carry cholesterol to cells. The high density, HDL, are those that remove cholesterol. That’s why the distinction between good and bad cholesterol. If you have little HDL, there is not enough withdrawal service, and cholesterol builds up. This is why HDL is called the “good cholesterol”.
LDL AND HDL CHOLESTEROL
Cholesterol transported by LDL lipoproteins causes problems. There is a relationship between the high LDL cholesterol level and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
But not all LDL cholesterol is the same.
There are small and large LDL particles. More important than the level of LDL cholesterol, it is the number of particles: people who have many small particles of LDL are much more at risk than those who have few particles of large LDL.
BACK TO THE EGG
And the eggs? Surely, what you thought about eggs and cholesterol is wrong:
Comparing the data from 17 reports, no relationship was found between the consumption of one egg per day and the risk of coronary heart disease or infarction.
A study with more than 100,000 men and women for 14 years was also found.
There are people with a genetic variation Makes them especially sensitive to cholesterol. Not even these saw their risk increased by eggs.
Refined carbohydrates (flours, sugars) are those that influence the increase of small and dense LDL (dangerous) particles and lower the “good” HDL in addition to the high levels of triglycerides, which have the same effect.
Goodbye to breakfast with muffins. Hi, scrambled eggs. Specifically, three eggs.
But it does not end here. Not only are eggs not harmful, they recommend the cholesterol profile, which protects you from cardiovascular diseases. In one experiment, a group that ate three whole eggs a day was compared to one who took a non-yolk substitute. The experiences will surprise you:
Consuming three eggs a day converted small (dangerous) LDL proteins into larger particles (without risk)
The egg-eating group saw their levels of “good” cholesterol carried by HDL particles
Reduced insulin levels and insulin resistance, determinants of diabetes
THOSE WHO ATE EGGS LOWERED THEIR TRIGLYCERIDE LEVELS
That is, total cholesterol apart, which does not mean much, all risk factors for cardiovascular disease were reduced by eating three eggs a day.
Eggs provide large amounts of choline, a nutrient essential for the body to function, from the formation of new cells to the brain. Choline deficiency, very common, is believed to be behind atherosclerosis, liver and neuronal diseases.
Eggs also contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Forget the carrots, to protect your sight you have to lay eggs.
Finally, the eggs are a source of complete and bioavailable proteins, ie, they are absorbed almost 100%. In three whole eggs, there are 21 grams of protein, and you know you need more protein the day you think about it.
What eggs to eat?
Eggs from free-range hens have a nutritional profile that is recommended for caged hens fed with feed only, or so this study from the UK says. The difference is in the content of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and E, which they get from eating grass and insects. It is also true that you can get the same experience with caged hens that eat feed enriched with these nutrients.
WHAT ABOUT ECOLOGICAL EGGS?
The main difference with the eggs of free-range hens (code 1) raised in freedom is that according to the rules, for eggs to be organic (code 0) they must be fed exclusively from organic farming. But if the feed is not enriched, and both hens are raised free, there will be no recommendation on the nutritional quality of the egg. You can save money.