The Poor Misunderstood Egg

An egg yolk surrounded by the egg white
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The Poor Misunderstood Egg

Let me be perfectly clear: Eggs are one of the most perfect foods on the planet. I eat a lot of eggs and my cholesterol is way low…even a little too low, but that’s another story. I’m a big egg white fan but should I omit the yolk?

Yup, the yolk — that poor, misunderstood, but essential component of the egg that too often gets thrown out in a misguided attempt to avoid cholesterol and fat. So let’s clear a few things up about eggs, cholesterol, fat and health.

Number One: The cholesterol in eggs has virtually no effect on the cholesterol in your blood.

Number Two: The fat in the egg yolk is mostly monounsaturated fat, the same kind found in olive oil. Yes, you heard that right. Of the 5.3 grams of total fat in one large egg, only 1.6 grams are saturated.

Number Three: Many of the nutrients that make eggs so incredibly healthy are found in the yolk. Examples: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two members of the carotenoid family that are beneficial for eye health. The yolk also contains choline, which is important for brain health — and vitamin D.

The idea that eating eggs is bad for your heart is a myth. No study has linked egg eating to greater risk of heart disease. In fact, quite the opposite. According to an article from Harvard Health (a publication of Harvard Medical School), “The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease … found no connection between the two.”

Research has also shown that eggs eaten at the start of the day can reduce your daily calorie intake, prevent snacking between meals and keep you satisfied.

However, not all eggs are created equal. Stay away from scrambled eggs at open buffets. While the cholesterol in eggs poses no real harm to you, when that cholesterol is “scrambled” and then exposed to air and oxygen for a long time (like on an open buffet), it becomes damaged. That’s not something you really want in your body. Better to poach, soft or hard boil. If you do scramble eggs, eat them quickly and don’t let them sit around all day long.

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