THERE has been a lot of discussion as to whether or not eggs are healthy, and if you should go by scientists' studies, one day you'd be excluding them from your diet, and the next you'd be consuming them every chance you get. Much of the confusion stems from the notion that individuals, especially women, should stay away from eggs because they are high in cholesterol, which can have adverse effects on heart health, leading to heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in women.
Some have gone even further to suggest that people should eat only the whites of eggs and discard the yolk, but Dr Alfred Dawes, general laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, said eggs are a healthy source of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
“Two eggs can give you half of your daily requirements of protein and half of this protein is found in the yolk, so discarding the yolk because of the cholesterol found there is counterproductive,” he assured.
“The truth is, it's OK to eat eggs including the yolk if you don't suffer from high cholesterol,” he added, explaining that what really raises blood cholesterol is saturated fats.
“Even though the yolk might have cholesterol you don't necessarily have to stop eating it. If you have high cholesterol it is best to be guided by your physician. But getting rid of the yolk because of the higher fat content is eliminating a good portion of the vitamins and minerals as well as the protein content of the egg.”
Dr Dawes added that two eggs will supply individuals with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B as well as some minerals that are needed for healthy heart and muscle function.
For women on a low carbohydrate diet, Dr Dawes said eggs are an excellent way of getting in calories, as eggs are very low in carbohydrates, while pointing out that most of the calories from eggs come from fat and protein.
He explained that egg protein has all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make and that we get solely from our diet, eliminating the need for supplements.
Further, he explained that the fats in eggs and other nutrients dissolved in the fats such as vitamins and choline are useful during pregnancy as they help to develop the neurological system of the foetus.
Dr Dawes also pointed out that other vitamins in eggs are essential for good heart health as well as the functioning of the nerves.
Overall, he said eggs are an excellent source of protein in a low-calorie meal once they are prepared in a healthy way. Eggs are also a complete source of all the vitamins we need while at the same time being low in carbohydrates.