Well, not eggs per se more cholesterol.
I was asked any one of my clients an alternative to eggs because she was worried about the effects they might have on her cholesterol levels.
And I’ll be honest in the past this is definitely something I’ve been concerned with. I remember seeing the push for people to cap their egg intake, or cut them out altogether. And now I’ve witnessed the push for eggs to be back in, with a “hands up, sorry guys we got it wrong” explanation.
So what is the deal when it comes to our favorite fry up friends?
In the past, it was thought that total Cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol were the main indicators when it came to heart disease.
However now it seems to have flip-flopped the other way and here’s the reason why.
LDL Cholesterol isn’t the main marker that gives the heart disease indication. What do are the app B containing lipoproteins (stay with me here).
Cholesterol needs a friend fro it to be able to travel through the bloodstream, it’s friend happens to be apolipoproteins. By joining forces they create what we know as lipoproteins.
Lipo – Fat
Off they go on a trip through your arteries and it’s the apolipoprotein B who wants to start all the trouble and starts “sticking” to the inside of the blood vessels. AKA atherosclerosis.
It’s not the cholesterol that’s the trouble maker but his friend. It sounds like a night out in my youth.
When you get tested they usually only look at the concentrations of Low-density lipoproteins (LDL-C). Which can only really give an estimation of the app B particles.
LDL C is affectionally known as the “bad” cholesterol because it can help estimate the risk by giving a rough idea of apo B.
To go a stage further they can also look at Non-HDL Cholesterol (High-density Lipoproteins) or apo A particles, which do not cause atherosclerosis and can be protective, hence the good guys.
If you subtract the HDL from Total Cholesterol if will give you an even better idea of the apo B particles.
Advanced testing now looks at the amount of apo B and the particle numbers. This is important because some health conditions such as insulin resistance can mask the truth. Giving a false reading of low LDL Cholesterol but a high LDL particle number.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, cholesterol is not the enemy it’s his dodgy mate apo B.
So, where does this leave the poor egg and are they still healthy to consume?
Well, don’t go throwing out the Egg Banjos just yet as there are a whole host of health benefits that come from consuming eggs, especially as part of an overall healthy, nutritional diet. And here is the key – it’s in the context of a person’s overall diet and lifestyle. For example, if someone drinks and smokes heavily, but is concerned about their weekly egg consumption, they might need to reevaluate their approach.
Eggs can provide us with high-quality protein alongside B and D Vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and copper. And, in this era of austerity, they are super cheap cheap (we made it this far without any egg puns!).
Yes, they are high in Cholesterol but this doesn’t seem to have any effect on a person’s blood Cholesterol, for the majority of people. And, when eaten in the context of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, eggs are great!
If however, you are one of those who do respond and your Non-HDL Cholesterol increases, then limiting egg consumption could be a beneficial option.