When is egg not good for your heart?

  • By Dr. Shalini Kapoor
Eggs have long been advised by healthcare providers as a highly nutritious food, however recent researches point out otherwise. Eggs contain vitamins D and B12, protein, folate and riboflavin which help in reducing the risk of heart disease. However, the egg yolk is known to heavily affect the levels of blood cholesterols in the body. No Egg Yolk, Only Egg White A research conducted recently shows that although the yolk of eggs has high cholesterols they are not as harmful as the fat content in the diet. Hence, consuming egg in moderate amount (one per day) does not cause any harmful effect. You can make your egg consumption a healthy breakfast option by omitting the egg yolk or using only half of it to prepare any of the egg-dish. People who are trying to control their LDL and total cholesterol, or suffering from diabetes should definitely take this precaution. Such people should instead opt for dishes with more of egg white than egg yolk. According to a follow up study conducted by the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals in diabetic patients, it showed increased risk for heart disease when they ate one or more eggs with their yolk. To avoid increase in blood cholesterol, it is better to use only whites of the eggs that are only full of proteins and enjoy your daily meal. Moderate Egg Consumption is good for Health Although one report conducted by Physicians Health Study in 2008 supports that eating one egg a day could not be hazardous, they also warn people vulnerable to heart disease to keep the consumption under control to avoid the risk of heart failure in the later part of their lives. How you eat the egg and what are the additions or accompaniments also decide whether you should eat the egg dish or not. For example, a combination of whole wheat English muffin, scrambled eggs and salsa is much better for your heart and cholesterol than scrambled eggs with home fries, sausages, cheese and white toast. Chicken eggs have high cholesterol and hence you should instead replace these eggs with other variety of eggs to continue eating them daily. Although it is an established fact that cholesterol in the blood increase with eggs, the amount of increase is not constant and can vary from individual to individual. Hereditary factors also play an important role in increasing the cholesterol levels in the blood. Recommendations to Include Egg If you do not have any disease or health condition and are healthy and fit, you should limit your daily cholesterol to 300 mg per day. In case you are suffering from LDL or low-density lipoprotein, diabetes or cardiovascular disease then you should limit your cholesterol intake to 200 mg or less per day. If you want to eat egg in your daily diet but still keep the heart disease risk under control, you should not cross the daily recommendations for inclusion of eggs. So, how much eggs should you really eat? One large sized egg contains 186 mg cholesterol all of which is present in the egg yolk. So, if you eat one egg daily, you can still limit your cholesterol. However, it is also important to watch whether you are also eating foods that can add cholesterol in your blood. If yes, then your daily intake of cholesterol can go above the limit that can be dangerous.