My name is Li Yuanyuan and I am one of the first certified nutritionists at Sina. Today I will share with you knowledge about eggs and the benefits of them.
Eggs are rich in nutrients. Not only high quality protein and lecithin. They also contain all the vitamins except vitamin C. Many people like to eat eggs for breakfast: it’s nutritious and convenient. They can be taken with you if there is no time at home, and boiled eggs are not easy to break even with the shell. Therefore, they once won the title of “the most nutritious breakfast in the world.”
But now more and more people “when looking at eggs change in the face” – they believe that these foods increase blood lipid levels and therefore refuse them. Do eggs really increase blood fat?
This is not true! And even vice versa, they contribute to a decrease in this indicator. Here is the evidence.
New China-PAR Study: Eating Three to Six Eggs a Week May Improve Blood Lipid Levels
In 2021, Academician Gu Dongfeng’s group at Fuwai Hospital published the China Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk Study (China-PAR). During the experiment, participants ate eggs every day. It was concluded that excessive consumption of eggs (six or more per week) negatively affects the increase in blood lipid markers. And too little has no effect. Based on these results, it is clear that in fact the statement that the fewer eggs you eat per week, the better, is not true. The key to a healthy diet is the right amount – three to six eggs per week, no more than one each day.
Moderate Egg Eating May Improve Blood Lipid Levels
It is impossible to hide the beneficial properties of these “nutritional treasures”.
Although egg yolk contains a large amount of cholesterol (a 50-gram peeled egg contains about 290 mg), in fact, cholesterol in the human body is mainly synthesized by itself (about 60-70% in our body is produced by our own forces) and only a small amount of it amount comes with food. In people with a normal blood fat metabolism, lipid levels will not rise sharply just because they ate a little more eggs.
On the contrary, egg yolk is rich in phospholipids (it consists of 9.4% lecithin), and phospholipids are not only components of biological membranes, but also one of the important constituents of lipoproteins, which can contribute to the rational distribution and metabolism of fat and cholesterol and prevent the deposition of cholesterol. on the walls of blood vessels.
Moreover, eggs contain a relatively high proportion of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as a small amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, one of the most important omega-3 acids), which are also useful in the regulation of blood fat, promoting the formation of cholesterol esters from cholesterol and ensuring normal metabolism. substances.
In addition, the betaine, lutein, zeaxanthin, and various B vitamins found in eggs are also beneficial in protecting the cardiovascular system.
Learn these four points and eat eggs correctly
1. On average, one egg per day is enough
In recent years, there have been many studies on the amount of eggs consumed and its correlation with cardiovascular disease, and the conclusions are quite similar. Judging by these studies, moderate egg consumption in Asian populations may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
For example, in 2018, a study published in the journal Heart found that when Chinese adults consumed a moderate amount of eggs (no more than one per day), their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease dropped by 18%; the risk of heart attack is 26%, and the risk of coronary heart disease is 12%. However, eating six to 12 eggs a week did not show any improvement.
In 2020, a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that eating one egg a day did not increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease.
In 2021, the China-PAR study found that for adults, eating three to six eggs per week reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
So how many eggs should you eat?
Currently, the Chinese Society of Dietetics recommends that healthy people consume 280-350 grams of eggs per week in terms of dietary balance, that is, an average of 40-50 grams per day (equivalent to one egg per day).
The Chinese Association of Preventive Medicine, in “Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiometabolic Diseases in a Healthy Lifestyle in China” (2020), suggested that three to six eggs per week should be consumed to prevent cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
However, for people with hypercholesterolemia and a high risk of cardiovascular disease, the intake of cholesterol from food should be limited. It is recommended that the daily dose of cholesterol be less than 300 mg (about one egg yolk).
If you eat animal by-products, red meat, shrimp, and other high-cholesterol foods, you should reduce your intake of eggs at the same time.
2. If blood lipids are normal, there is no need to eat more eggs from time to time
Much of the research on egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk is based on long-term dietary outcomes, and occasional dietary changes have little effect. For example, if you had a boiled egg for breakfast and an omelet with tomatoes at noon, don’t worry.
Because if cholesterol metabolism is normal, even in the case of a temporary increase in its intake from food, this will not lead to an overall increase in blood cholesterol levels. The human body itself maintains its normal level by regulating its own cholesterol synthesis, so if healthy people sometimes eat more than one egg a day, this will not bring any problems.
In addition, if on any given day you reduce the amount of meat, poultry, fish, shrimp and seafood eaten, there is definitely no danger in eating an extra egg.
3. Cook eggs longer – but do not overcook
In terms of nutrient retention, boiled, poached, egg soup, and steamed eggs are relatively healthy ways to prepare these foods. Best of all, of course, boiled eggs. Fried eggs and baked egg yolks are the most unhealthy cooking methods.
The general rule is that the higher the temperature and the longer the heating time, the more the contents of the egg are exposed to external influences, the less useful substances remain in it. Neglecting these two points will lead not only to a decrease in the nutritional value of eggs, but also to the fact that fat and cholesterol in eggs are oxidized to varying degrees, and oxidized elements are not useful for the metabolism of blood lipids, but, on the contrary, are quite harmful.
Even when boiling eggs, pay attention to time and temperature. Whether they are boiled in cold water or hot, it is usually ideal to keep them in boiling water for three to five minutes. During this time, the egg yolk hardens slightly and acquires a golden color, and will not be dry and loose, and the nutrients will be preserved to the maximum. Eating such an egg is safe and healthy. Oxidation and loss of nutrients only increase with cooking time.
4. Eat Plant-Based Eggs to Lower Cholesterol
For example, eggs and soy products make a great pairing. Soy products not only supplement them with dietary fiber, soy oligosaccharides and isoflavones, which are not found in eggs, but also contain phytosterols and dietary fiber, which are useful in inhibiting excessive absorption of cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Eggs are also good to eat with legumes. Whole grain legumes such as quinoa, oats, peas and beans as a main meal will not only make up for the lack of carbohydrates in eggs, but also contain dietary fiber and phytochemicals that help balance the risks associated with cholesterol.
In addition, dark green vegetables and fruits, mushrooms and algae and other greens are also good to eat with eggs – they supplement them with dietary fiber and various antioxidants, and also help reduce the effect of cholesterol on blood lipids and protect the cardiovascular system.