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Eggs-aggerated Health Myth Debunked

April 13, 2005 | 31,628 views
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Raw Eggs

Among numerous health myths, one particularly skewed belief is that eggs are bad for your heart; however, eating eggs on a daily basis may prove to hold numerous health benefits, especially a decreased risk of heart disease. Research showed that, in healthy adults, eating eggs every day did not produce:

  • A negative effect on endothelial function, an aggregate measure of cardiac risk.
  • An increase in cholesterol levels.

Additionally, in their effort to blow the "egg myth" out of the water, researchers assessed the effect both egg and oat ingestion had on endothelial function in 49 adults. Participants were assigned to eat two eggs or oats every day for six weeks.

Throughout the study period, researchers noted that flow-mediated dilation (FMD), which measures how well the endothelium acts to keep blood moving by widening the blood vessel, was stable in both groups and did not significantly differ between them.

Effects of Eggs/Oats on Cholesterol

Not only did the results prove that dietary cholesterol from eggs had a much smaller effect on cardiac risk than saturated fat, it also showed that six weeks of:

  • Egg consumption had no effect on total cholesterol or LDL.

  • Oat consumption significantly lowered levels of both total cholesterol and LDL (a finding that may perpetuate a flawed belief that oats may be better for you).

International Journal of Cardiology March 10, 2005; Volume 99, Issue 1, Pages 65-70

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This article is an excellent addition to the list of popular articles I've run that help debunk the risks of eating eggs--which I believe are one of the healthiest foods. This study provides solid scientific support to refute those who believe eggs are not healthy for you.

While eggs cast an extremely beneficial influence over your health, it is important to take great care in ...

Knowing What to Look For and Where to Find Healthy Eggs

Please choose the higher quality free-range organic varieties. Organic eggs are a great value and relatively inexpensive. They are an incredible source of high-quality nutrients that many of us are deficient in--especially high-quality protein and fat. It is my strong belief that they serve as an incredible nearly ideal fuel source for most of us. Additionally, they are incredibly inexpensive relative to other food options.

Aside from making sure you are purchasing free-range organic eggs, there are a number of additional guidelines you should follow to ensure your eggs are of the best quality:

  • If you can, contact the company providing your healthy eggs and find out what they are feeding their chickens. An egg is considered organic if the chicken was only fed organic food and will not have bioaccumulated high levels of pesticides from the grains (mostly bioengineered corn) fed to typical chickens. Many eggs are advertised as having omega-3 but it might not be as good as they are leading you to believe. If they are using flaxseed to increase the omega-3 fats they won't be as beneficial as if they feed the chickens seaweed or kelp, which have the far more beneficial DHA and EPA. The ALA in flaxseed is far inferior to the marine fats.

  • I recommend purchasing your eggs from the farmer directly if at all possible; this way you can be certain of the quality. If you cannot find a farmer to sell you eggs directly, then organic eggs from the store would be your next best option. It is also wise NOT to refrigerate your eggs. If you have ever been to Europe or South America and gone into the grocery stores you will know that this is commonly done in those countries.

Knowing How to Prepare Your Eggs

I personally consume at least three raw egg yolks every morning as part of my normal breakfast. It is my belief that consuming the yolk raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements of the most common cause of blindness, age-related macular degeneration. This also means there is no sense in taking supplements for these incredible antioxidants when you get the nutrients for free from eggs. I now am actually throwing the white away, but one could make an argument to cook and eat it.

Some of you may be concerned about the risk of salmonella from raw eggs; however, I analyzed the risk in a past article and found most people have a better chance of winning the lottery than contracting salmonella from eggs from healthy chickens.

To learn more about my reasoning on eating your egg yolks raw, you can review my latest updated recommendations. If you choose not to eat your egg yolks raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be the next best option.

Scrambling your eggs would be one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

If you are not used to eating fresh raw eggs, you should start by eating just a tiny bit of it on a daily basis, and then gradually increase the portions.  

For example, start by consuming only a few drops of raw egg yolk a day for the first three days. Gradually increase the amount that you consume in three-day increments. Try half a teaspoon for three days, then one teaspoon, then two teaspoons. When you are accustomed to that amount, increase it to one raw egg per day and subsequently to two raw eggs per day or more.  

One should not consume raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white the avidin is not an issue.  However if you consume them with raw egg yolk (whole egg) there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding. 

There is a potential problem with using the entire raw egg if you are pregnant. Biotin deficiency is a common concern in pregnancy and it is possible that consuming whole raw eggs would make it worse. If you are pregnant you have two options. The first is to actually measure for a biotin deficiency. This is best done through urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (3-HIA), which increases as a result of the decreased activity of the biotin-dependent enzyme methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase. 

Alternatively, you could take a biotin supplement, or consume only the yolk raw (and cook the whites). 

If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be the next best option.

Related Articles:

Another Reason to Ignore the Warnings About This Super Food

Another Reason Why Eggs Actually Lower the Risk of Heart Disease


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