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Love eggs? Take care of linked risks if diabetic, obese or heart patient

Updated on April 20, 2015

Chicken egg, typically unfertilized, is the most commonly consumed by human beings among the eggs laid by different creatures. Due to the presence of high protein content in the eggs, USDA lists them under the category 'Meats' in the Food Guide Pyramid. Chicken eggs supply almost all the essential amino acids and hence referred as source of complete protein.

In fact, eggs are considered relatively inexpensive source of high quality protein compared to other foods. In addition to being a good source of protein and selenium, eggs also contain several vitamins (Riboflavin, Vitamin B12) and minerals (phosphorus). Despite the nutritional value of eggs, there are some potential health issues arising from egg consumption due to high content of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Health benefits:
Cholesterol is found in abundance in the egg yolks. Concerns about risks of heart disease compelled people to use egg whites as substitute, though many of the vitamins and nutrients are found in egg yolks. It is a known fact that blood cholesterol is related with increased risk of heart attack/stroke. In spite of it, heart patients are often recommended by experts to use white portion of the egg (called albumin) and discard the yolk (Yellow part). However, egg whites are a low fat and low calorie source of high quality protein.

Research studies suggest that dietary cholesterol is not directly related to heart disease and eggs do not appear to promote heart disease risk. Contrary to confusing dietary advice, studies suggest that eating whole egg improves good cholesterol (HDL).

Even though research supports egg yolk to be a healthy food, researchers recommend limited use of eggs (4 or less eggs/week). Diabetics are advised by the experts not to consume more than one egg a day as more consumption than it may show an increase in the cholesterol level in the blood.Nutrition experts suggest to use egg whites if one has craving for more eggs. Diabetics also having heart disease should refrain from consuming more than three (3) yolks per week.

Choline, B-complex Vitamin, is found in good amounts in egg yolks. It is linked with reduced inflammation and efficient neurological function. Sulfur, an essential nutrient, helps in liver function and absorption of vitamins (B ) is also present in eggs in high quantities.

Presence of sulfur in the eggs help maintain strong nails, glowing skin and shiny hair.Eggs are good choice food for the people trying to loose weight reducing intake of carbohydrates.

Boiled or poached egg is best option than other egg preparations for those worried to maintain their body weight.Research finding showed that consumption of six eggs per week lowered risk of breast cancer in women by 44%.

Nutritional properties: Eggs are a good source of the numerous vitamins (A, B) and minerals such as potassium and many of minerals and vitamins found in eggs are needed for a healthy brain and nervous system. Eggs are considered one of the best sources (others being beef and cow's milk) of high quality protein for its essential amino acid profile and high digestibility

Eggs contain good amount of iodine (used for thyroid hormone formation), and 'Selenium' (antioxidant). Eggs are good for bone and teeth heath since phosphorus and Vitamin D are present in good amounts in the eggs

Eggs are rich in iron that keeps blood healthy and contain zinc that makes immune system strong and helps in fighting infection. Lutein and Xeaxanthin are useful for maintenance of good vision, protection of eyes from UV rays and reducing cataract development. An egg a day may help prevent 'Macular degeneration' since it includes carotenoid in its chemical composition.


  • Allergies to eggs and egg plant (brinjal) are common among people who have sensitivity towards various allergies.
  • Egg allergies appear in very young children (below 5 years) and become unnoticed when they attain the age of five years
  • Allergies to eggs are believed to be due to the proteins in the egg whites (albumin). Rashes, cramps, redness, swelling, nausea, running nose, asthma, sneezing, watery eyes etc are the symptoms of egg allergy noticed in the affected people and last for a day.

Health related issues

Salmonella Eating eggs infected with the bacterium Salmonella can cause illness.Symptoms include a fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea (12-72 hours later) and may last 4 to 7 days. Refrigeration prevents proliferation of Salmonella. Hence eggs must be refrigerated adequately.Lightly cooked eggs pose the risks of infection. Hence eggs should be cooked firmly and consumed promptly after cooking.Avoid use of cracked and dirty eggs.

Serum Cholesterol American Heart Association recommends to limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg per day. Amount of cholesterol supplied by an egg is about 213 mg. Eating one boiled or poached egg is well within prescribed limits. However, cooking of eggs (frying/ omelette) in butter or saturated fat may increase intake of saturated fat for the eaters of such egg preparations.

There is no denial that lot of cholesterol is present in egg yolks but eggs also contain protein, vitamins (B12, D, riboflavin and folate) and nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease.There are evidences that dietary cholesterol has less influence on serum cholesterol levels (total cholesterol & LDL) compared to food fat. Even then, it may be advised to those who find it difficult to maintain their total cholesterol and LDL level within the normal range to avoid yolks and prefer foods prepared with egg whites.

A new study from Yale university revealed that consumption of whole eggs may be beneficial even for those who already have coronary heart disease. A positive effect of daily whole egg consumption on the function and composition of HDL was observed in a research study by the University of Connecticut.

Hyper-immune eggs Eggs produced by a hen vaccinated against certain infectious disease are termed Hyperimmune eggs. Antibodies developed by hen pass to the egg and removed by people later on to treat diarrhea, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol and stimulate immune system. However, this is still under research and most of the research is being carried out by a manufacture who owns the proprietary ingredient Egcell (hyperimmune egg extract). Side effects etc. are still being studied.

© 2013 crusador


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      crusador 2 years ago

      Advice on eggs is provided in the hub. Low LDL is a good indicator for healthy heart but low HDL is very bad because HDL helps in dissolving the LDL. Many oils with low cholesterol levels helps in reducing LDL but reduce HDL also. Best way to maintain high HDL is to use different type of oils on rotational basis. Walnuts, almonds, olive oil etc. are useful in improving HDL.

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      James 3 years ago

      really confused, I've undergone the angioplasty and following the dietary schedule. My LDL is very low even below normal but HDL is also low. May I go for whole egg to improve my good cholesterol. Anyone with a good advice?