Eggs are part of a balanced diet, but over time there has been controversy about their benefits. The reason is that many people suffer from high cholesterol levels, which are found in this product.
Do eggs affect our health? If so, is it worth reducing their consumption or completely abandoning them? Let’s figure it out in our article.
- 1 Do Eggs Raise Cholesterol levels? How To Consume Eggs Without Rising The Cholesterol Level?
- 2 What is Cholesterol?
- 3 Measures For High Cholesterol
- 4 Recommendations For The Consumption Of Eggs
- 5 Role of cholesterol
- 6 ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’ Cholesterol
- 7 Basic principles of a diet to lower blood cholesterol levels.
- 8 How Many Eggs Can You Eat Per Week To Prevent Cholesterol Levels From Rising?
- 9 How Do Eggs Play A Pivotal Role In Cholesterol Levels?
- 10 Egg Yolks Contain Too Much Protein
Do Eggs Raise Cholesterol levels? How To Consume Eggs Without Rising The Cholesterol Level?
Eggs contain high-quality protein, many vitamins, and minerals. There is indeed a lot of cholesterol in their yolk. Mainly in medium-sized ones, about 230 mg, in larger ones – up to 270 mg. Is it dangerous? To answer this question, first, let’s see what cholesterol is needed for and what its level in our body depends on.
What is Cholesterol?
By its biological nature, cholesterol is a structural molecule that participates in the cell membrane structure. In addition, its presence is a necessary part of the synthesis of steroid hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol.
Without it, bile acids and vitamins of group D are not formed. Without going into details, we can say that its function in the body is irreplaceable.
Naturally, such a complex system as the human body had an essential element of biological processes available. In simple terms, the body has tuned its processes always to have enough cholesterol for smooth operation. The liver has become the main participant in the production of missing cholesterol.
The liver synthesizes the lack of cholesterol from the diet to meet the needs of our body. In consuming foods rich in cholesterol, the liver reduces the amount of functional work, which prevents an excessive increase in cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a lipid that is used to build all cells in the body.
It is necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous and immune systems, for vitamin D production, and production of hormones. Hence, the body needs cholesterol! The only thing to be ken about is its quantity.
Normal blood cholesterol is considered to be up to 5 mmol / l. And if cholesterol becomes more, then it settles on the walls of the vessel and leads to atherosclerotic plaques. And, as you know, vascular atherosclerosis is the cause of coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, and many other diseases.
In our body, cholesterol is responsible for building cells and nerve pathways and participates in the formation of many hormones and vitamin D. A fascinating fact is that there is no need to compensate for this substance through nutrition since the body produces it in sufficient quantities.
At the same time, a complex regulation mechanism controls the level of cholesterol in the blood.
For example, if it is ingested through food, then its production is reduced to maintain balance. However, if the regulation is not done due to illness or a hereditary predisposition, cholesterol levels may be elevated. In this case, it is necessary to take action and revise the diet.
Measures For High Cholesterol
High blood cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart disease, so eating a healthy diet is essential. It is worth noting that the quality and quantity of fats consumed have a greater effect on the body than the cholesterol found in foods. For example, if you’re overweight, you need to focus on low-calorie foods, get enough exercise, and quit bad habits.
Reducing the total amount of fat in your diet is good for your health and controlling cholesterol. In addition, the menu should be dominated by dishes made from healthy unsaturated fats, which are found in linseed and sesame oils, tuna, salmon, trout, salmon, flax, and chia seeds.
Cholesterol from food also affects the regulatory mechanism. Therefore, in this case, it is required to monitor the consumption of eggs.
Recommendations For The Consumption Of Eggs
People with normal cholesterol levels do not have to worry about how many eggs they consume, and those with high cholesterol levels should make sure that their number does not exceed three per week. In this case, they will provide the body with vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein.
Many have heard statements that eggs are harmful because they are rich in cholesterol. This opinion arose and gained popularity in the 1960s. It was believed that excess cholesterol in food increases its level in the blood and leads to cardiovascular diseases. Cholesterol-rich eggs immediately came under suspicion, and generations have grown up on the myth that eggs lead to cholesterol.
Research in recent years has clarified how things are. On the other hand, Eggs can be categorized as a superfood, as they contain high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, lecithin, and other substances the body needs.
Eggs are relatively cheap, tasty, and can be eaten even by toothless people, toddlers, or older people, making eggs a recommended food for people of all ages. But, consuming a small number of eggs is advisable to prevent raising cholesterol levels.
Role of cholesterol
It helps in the formation of cell membranes and is used to synthesize hormones, bile components, and vitamin D. The largest amount of cholesterol is found in the brain, followed by the liver.
Cholesterol is a fat-like organic substance found in the cell membranes of all animals, and it plays an essential role in biochemical processes in the body. Most of it is synthesized by the body itself – in the liver and the brain, and a relatively small amount comes with food.
‘Bad’ and ‘Good’ Cholesterol
Because it is a fatty substance, it doesn’t dissolve in water and cannot move freely with the blood. To gain mobility, it must combine with special proteins, thus forming the LDL (so-called “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (so-called “good” cholesterol) compounds.
LDL is necessary, it carries cholesterol from the liver to the organs ad cells that require it, and HDL returns the excess to the liver. In recent years, it has been established that a high HDL level is not always positive; several additional factors must be considered.
Basic principles of a diet to lower blood cholesterol levels.
The goal of this diet is to lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels. Diets are selected individually, but there are some general principles:
- Avoid animal fat.
- Include vegetable oils in the diet – olive, canola, and other foods containing monounsaturated fatty acids: avocados, all kinds of nuts, tahini, etc.
- Exercise regularly to improve HDL levels.
- Do not eat many eggs.
Factors that increase blood cholesterol levels are saturated animal fats found in fatty meats, lamb, sausages, butter, and coconut and palm oil, which have become fashionable in the food industry in recent years.
Eggs can be eaten in various ways, including fried eggs fried in olive oil or canola oil. If you fry in these oils, the blood cholesterol level will not rise. But if you fry in butter, then it may well grow.
How Many Eggs Can You Eat Per Week To Prevent Cholesterol Levels From Rising?
As always, moderation is the crucial thing. It is recommended to eat one egg a day, not fried in butter. But even scrambled eggs from two eggs from time to time will not harm most people. But to be on the safest side, do not eat more than four eggs per week.
How Do Eggs Play A Pivotal Role In Cholesterol Levels?
Eggs can be found in every kitchen in the world. The Chinese use them to prepare the well-known egg noodles, while the Australians use them in desserts and pastries. Finns add a hard-boiled and finely chopped egg to nettle soup, while Chileans add empanadas to their favorite meat dish.
Boiled and fried eggs are one of the most popular breakfast dishes in many countries. Eggs contain the essential eight amino acids, protein, and vitamins. However, despite such a rich composition, their usefulness is often questioned.
This is due to the high concentration of cholesterol they contain. This, of course, cannot be denied, but to understand how much such harm is, it is necessary to understand this issue in more detail. Few people know what cholesterol is. However, ignorance does not prevent the majority from considering it an extremely harmful and hazardous substance to health.
Cholesterol is significant for our body. It is a part of cell membranes, ensuring their density and thereby;
- protecting intracellular structures from the effects of free radicals;
- participates in the process of digestion,
- without it the entire functioning of the liver, the formation of bile is not possible;
- involved in the synthesis of male and female sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone);
- helps the adrenal glands produce cortisol;
- ensures the normal functioning of the serotonin receptors in the brain.
Tampering with the concentration of cholesterol in the blood leads to a weakening of the immune system. The body produces most cholesterol on its own (about 75-80%). The remaining 20-25% comes with food. Therefore the cholesterol level may deviate in one direction or another, depending on the diet.
Conventionally, “bad” (in combination with low-density lipoprotein) and “good” (in combination with high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol are distinguished. Still, it has a single composition and a single structure, and its properties are determined by the protein to which it will attach.
With an increased concentration of low-density lipoproteins, there is a risk of cholesterol deposition on the walls of blood vessels and the formation of so-called plaques. They can close the lumen of a blood vessel, increasing the risk of developing related diseases. High-density lipoproteins cleanse the walls of blood vessels from “bad” cholesterol and send it to the liver for processing.
It should be noted that individual genetic characteristics, lifestyle, and diet significantly affect the behavior of the body, and it begins to adjust the synthesis of cholesterol, depending on how much of it comes from the outside.
Although nutrition does not play a key role in blood cholesterol dynamics, it still significantly affects it. The type of lipoprotein into which it goes depends on the foods eaten in parallel and the characteristics of metabolism.
So, for example, a product itself rich in cholesterol (egg, shrimp), eaten with fatty foods (mayonnaise, sausages, etc.) is more likely to cause an increase in LDL levels. The same effect will be if a person has inherited a defective gene, in the presence of which the same result will occur, even if nothing fat was used along the way.
Thus, cholesterol by itself does not cause serious concern until it accumulates in the body in high concentrations. The consumption of foods containing much cholesterol automatically reduces its production to compensate for the incoming one.
Egg Yolks Contain Too Much Protein
Despite a significant amount of cholesterol in the yolk, eggs contain a lot of protein (about 5.5 g in one egg). The high nutritional value of eggs is due to the presence of amino acids necessary for implementing various biological processes, which play an essential role in maintaining the body’s normal functioning.
The presence of provitamin A, vitamins B2, B5; B12, E, D, folic acid, phosphorus, lecithin, choline, lutein, iodine, biotin, iron, selenium makes them useful.
So, considering all the pros and cons of this product, it is not recommended to include more than one egg per day in the diet. If the cholesterol level in the body is elevated, it is better to limit yourself to 2-3 eggs per week or avoid eating yolks.
Eating many eggs is harmful since it leads to excessive cholesterol in the blood and an allergic reaction, especially in children. And remember, a balanced diet combined with adequate physical activity is the key to health and longevity.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Nature provides that one egg contains enough nutrients to form a chicken. For years, nutritionists and scientists have discriminated against eggs due to the high cholesterol in the yolk.
Eggs are an affordable source of quality vitamins D and A, magnesium and potassium, and lutein, which help maintain healthy skin, vision, and blood vessels. They help prevent osteoporosis and reduce inflammation. But, they do raise cholesterol levels if taken in much quantity. As such, you should consume no more than 3-4 eggs weekly.
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