New Delhi: Eggs have been a taboo food for decades since they are high in cholesterol but the latest science suggests that eating an egg a day may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Daily egg eaters had an 18% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, which manifests as heart attacks and strokes, compared with adults who avoided eggs. Commonly called heart disease, cardiovascular disease includes heart failure, arrhythmias and heart valve problems in addition to strokes and attacks.
Raised blood pressure, carrying too much weight or obesity, and elevated blood sugar all contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is triggered by unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, smoking and harmful use of alcohol.
While eggs may be high in total cholesterol but that is due to their High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol. HDL can combat the process of atherosclerosis — a buildup of fat in blood vessel walls — and therefore lower the risk of heart disease. However, the heart-healthy components of eggs may be even more important than the cholesterol it contains.
More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.
Eggs also contain all nine essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet. They are also a good source of protein, which can help satiety and reduce the risk of obesity, another risk factor for heart problems.
They contain important nutrients such as betaine and choline that can reduce the risk of inflammation, another dangerous process that can put the heart at risk. Even during pregnancy and breastfeeding, an adequate supply of choline is particularly important, since choline is essential for normal brain development.