Are Egg Yolks Actually Bad For You?
Eggs have been demonised by the health-food industry in the past. So are they harmful or healthy?
27 December 2018
Whether scrambled with avocado on toast, poached with asparagus or boiled with whole wheat soldiers...
It’s hard to resist the lure of a perfectly cooked egg for breakfast.
They’re easy to whip up, a tasty addition to lots of different dishes and – as an added bonus – they look great on Instagram.
But there’s still a lot of confusion about whether eggs are harmful or healthy.
Why do people think that eggs are bad for our health?
Eggs have got a bad rep in the past; namely, the golden yolks.
Fears around chicken eggs date back to the 1970s, during the so-called ‘low-cholesterol’ craze.
Current research shows that for most healthy people, cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the harmful type), especially when compared with saturated fatty acids found in food.
Eggs are, in fact, low in saturated fat and moderate egg consumption – up to one a day – does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals.
In fact, it’s the saturated fat in accompanying breakfast foods like cheese and bacon that we should actually be worried about.
What does a nutritionist say?
Health experts once recommended we limit our egg consumption because of their high cholesterol content, which is found in the yolk.
Eating naturally high-cholesterol foods such as eggs doesn’t mean you will have raised blood cholesterol.
Your liver produces cholesterol in large amounts as it is a necessary nutrient for the cells in your body (it’s also involved in producing vitamin D, steroid hormones and bile acids that digest fat).
Egg yolks are both high in protein and contain many micronutrients that are essential to good health. Even better?
Nutrients found in egg yolk include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Egg yolks also contain the antioxidant compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin that have been shown to be beneficial for eye health by reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
You will also find a source of choline in egg yolks which is important for brain health.
These spherical nutrient powerhouses are also one of the few foods that contain a natural source of vitamin D.
Enjoy your eggs.
They’re a good choice as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
However, it’s best to avoid frying them, as that can increase their fat content by 50%.
The healthiest choice would be to boil or poach them without added salt, and if you fancy them scrambled? Skip the butter and use low-fat milk instead of cream.