Remember seeing the ad on television saying ‘Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande’? It was an initiative taken by the government to bring about awareness about the health benefits of egg which is a cheap and complete source of protein.
Eggs have always been known as the perfect way to start your day because of it near perfect dietary composition of nutrients. However, off late there have been a lot of debates about the health benefits of eggs because of the cholesterol content in the yolk.
The daily requirement of cholesterol is around 300 mg for a healthy individual and less than 200 mg for those with diabetes. A large egg contains around 186 mg of cholesterol, most of which is in the yolk. Cholesterol in increased amounts is known to be harmful for cardiac health.
Cholesterol needs proteins called lipoproteins to move around in blood, and on ingesting eggs concentration of cholesterol in blood increases, especially circulating low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) which are bad cholesterol. However, it's been seen that eating eggs can be beneficial as they increase the amount of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs)—the good cholesterol. People eating three or more eggs per day made bigger LDL- and HDL-lipoprotein particles. These larger LDL shave lesser chances than the smaller ones to enter the artery walls and contribute to the cholesterol load that causes artery-clogging plaque. In the same way, larger HDLs are stronger than smaller ones in the process of removing cholesterol from the bloodstream and, ultimately, from the body.
It also depends on person’s body and how it reacts to consumption of eggs. Most of us react to it in a positive way that has least chances of harming the heart.
There are individuals known as ‘hyper responders’ who on consuming eggs showed an increase in the amount of cholesterol circulating with lipoproteins, but they were all via large lipoprotein particles. Hence, it turned out to be beneficial for the heart.
Eggs are also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are responsible for much of an egg yolk's color. Both of these carotenoids diminish the macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65. Also, lutein seems to inhibit the processes that cause development of atherosclerosis. Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week with no increase in their risk of heart disease. Also, studies suggest that this level of egg consumption may actually prevent some types of strokes. Eggs do increase the cholesterol levels but in such a way that it is beneficial for the body.