The poor old egg has been subject to a great deal of poor press over that past few decades. Wrongly maligned and accused of all sort of misdemeanours!
The egg is one of the most nutritious foods we have. (It does after all, contain all the ingredients necessary to make a chicken!). It has a superb balance of amino acids, a plentiful supply on linoleic acid (Omega 6), as well as several minerals, most vitamins and two important amino acids, lutein and zeaxanthin. The egg is a powerful package indeed!
One large egg contains around 215 milligrams of cholesterol, which is quite sizable.
This is because cholesterol is an essential component of cell membranes, of which the chicken embryo must construct many millions before it hatches.
Since high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, many health associations have recommended limiting our yolk consumption to 2–3 per week.
However, studies have shown that moderate egg consumption has little influence on blood cholesterol. This is partly due to the fact that blood cholesterol is raised far more powerfully by saturated fats in the diet than by cholesterol itself, and most of the fat in the egg yolk in unsaturated. The phospholipids in the yolk also interfere with our absorption of the yolk cholesterol.
Be aware however that raw egg whites should NEVER be consumed. Avidin, a protein in raw egg white, latches onto biotin (a B group vitamin), making it unavailable. A biotin deficiency may therefore occur which can cause eczema, scaly lips, nausea, poor appetite, depression, muscle pain, raised cholesterol, and a greyish pallor. Not nice! (Powdered raw egg whites are sometimes found in protein shakes, raw whites in mayonnaise, some dips and coleslaw dressings and chocolate mousse).
So let’s stop all this fussy yolk counting, and enjoy the benefits of the occasional egg. (Up to six per week is fine). One of my favourite snacks, (don’t laugh) is a boiled egg with a thin smear of vegemite, topped with a generous teaspoon of avocado, a touch of Dijon mustard and freshly ground pepper. It delivers a powerfully delicious protein punch!