The egg has been considered a symbol of life for centuries. There is a reason – considering its composition, you can safely call it a miracle of nature. Full-value protein, numerous vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 and omega-6 are a real health bomb. However, eggs for many years have been crossed out for serious offenses – contributing to raising the level of “bad” cholesterol. Only recently, thanks to numerous scientific studies, they began to come out of the shadows and show their true, wonderful nature. How much cholesterol in an egg then?
Everyone has heard about cholesterol. Information is beating from all sides about its adverse effects on the body and contributing to cardiovascular disease. Until quite recently, doctors, nutritionists and other specialists warned about cholesterol-rich products, including eggs, ordering them to be eliminated from the diet as much as possible. Today things are (fortunately) slightly different.
What about cholesterol in an egg?
Cholesterol is a substance that occurs in every cell of our body, so it is not difficult to conclude that it is necessary for our health and life. It has a number of functions – it helps in the formation of vitamin D, bile acids and also sex hormones. Its transport in the body is carried out using lipoproteins (proteins) and due to this cholesterol is divided into two fractions:
- LDL – referred to as “bad” cholesterol, which in this form is transported to the cells of our body, where it is used in an appropriate way (eg for the production of hormones); unfortunately, it is also delivered to the cells of blood vessels, where – if it is too much – it begins to accumulate in the arteries, becoming the most important cause of atherosclerosis;
- HDL – the so-called “good” cholesterol, is designed to clean the cells of its excess, transporting it to the liver, which in turn protects against the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.
For many years, there was a belief that a diet rich in this substance is responsible for the increase in cholesterol in the body. Today, thanks to numerous studies, it has been shown that dietary cholesterol plays a small role, because from this source it is only 20-30% in our body, while our liver produces it in 70-80%.
Does this mean that diet is not important? No! Lipid disorders (including inappropriate HDL and LDL levels) result from an unhealthy lifestyle – a diet rich in saturated and trans fats, and low in mono- and polyunsaturated, the consumption of highly processed products, alcohol and cigarettes, as well as the lack of physical activity.
In the mind of the average person, cholesterol only occurs in a bad form – after all, on each side they sound an alarm about its negative effect, resulting in cardiovascular disease. From information published in the press or on the Internet, we only learn that you have to be afraid of cholesterol, and at the same time help us “medications” from ubiquitous ads, guaranteeing effective fight this substance. No wonder cholesterol is associated with insecurity.
At the same time, doctors and nutritionists began to warn about cholesterol-rich foods. There are rumors that this kind of phobia against cholesterol was widespread by the pharmaceutical industry in the 1960s in order to best sell anti-cholesterol preparations. It is difficult to say how much truth is in it, but one thing is certain – the egg began to appear on the list of “prohibited products” and even today, when numerous scientific studies confirm its pro-health effects, we still very often approach it with caution, eliminating it for safety from our diet.
Fortunately, many scientists have taken up the subject of cholesterol and the impact of products rich in it on its level in the body. Because of that, no we know how much cholesterol in an egg is. The results of these studies shed a completely different light, showing that eggs – until now our enemy No. 1 – are a real “miracle of nature”. To be able to fully understand their health-promoting effects and convince them to eat them, it is worth analyzing the composition of the egg.