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Eggs don’t increase heart disease risk

“In the 1970s results from a major study led to the diet-heart hypothesis that eating dietary cholesterol caused blood cholesterol levels to rise, leading to heart disease,” says Victoria Tipper, a Dubai-based nutrition and life coach. “This theory prompted the members of the medical community to advise people to reduce or completely avoid dietary sources of saturated fat and cholesterol such as eggs and lower the risk of heart disease — and so began the low-fat revolution.

People cut out saturated fat and cholesterol but the incidence of heart disease did not fall as expected. In fact, this low-fat diet brought with it higher rates of chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”
Studies have shown there is no connection between eggs and the risks for heart disease.

“The Framingham Heart Study, a comprehensive study focusing on heart disease, was able to dispel the myth about the connection between cholesterol in food we eat and the incidence of heart disease, leading to many people returning to a breakfast of eggs.”

Ayla Coussa, Clinical Dietitian at Bareen International Hospital — MBZ City in Abu Dhabi, adds, “Studies have reported that 6 to 12 eggs a week have no impact on cholesterol level and when these are combined with a cardio-protective diet, the risk of major cardiovascular diseases is reduced in people at risk or with type-2 diabetes.”

They can maintain good cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is essential for the daily functioning of our bodies. “Studies have shown that eating eggs increases high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol,” explains Tipper.

“HDL cholesterol helps remove the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol from the arteries, carrying them back to the liver where they can be broken down and removed from the body. A key step in atherosclerosis or clogged arteries is the delivery of LDL cholesterol, so we need to ensure that the HDL levels are high enough to do its job.”

They’re a weight-loss tool

According a study, those eating egg-based breakfast along with a calorie-restricted, nutrient-balanced plan, show a loss of total body weight including a 16 per cent loss of body fat, a higher reduction in BMI and waist circumference, points out Zenia Menon, Nutritionist and Dietitian at Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre.

“Many studies have also demonstrated the effects of high-protein food on appetite and eggs are known for their protein content,” says Menon. “Owing to its satiating power, eggs can be linked with fat loss and reducing food cravings. Eggs also contain an ideal ratio of amino acids that can help use egg protein for improving metabolic rate.”

Eggs keep your eyes sharp

“Eggs are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin nutrients, helping reduce age-related macular degeneration,” says Menon.

“Several studies have highlighted that consumption of one egg every day can help increase lutein levels by 26 per cent and zeaxanthin levels by 38 per cent. Eating egg yolks of chickens supplies you with digestible lipids, containing lutein and zeaxanthin along with other fat-soluble micronutrients such as vitamin A, D, and E, which are good for eye health.”

Eggs help boost brain power

Eggs are rich in choline, a micronutrient that helps the body make acetylcholine. This helps in boosting our mood as well as memory. “Egg yolk is one of the most concentrated sources of choline so eating full eggs is a great way to boost our mental function,” says Tipper. “There are also other nutrients in eggs that help improve brain power. These include B6, B12 and folate. These B vitamins can slow the progression of brain disorders such as dementia. Deficiency in both folate and B12 is often seen in mood disturbances and depression.”