This is Nothing to Yolk About

Cholesterol is a substance that is not only produced by our liver, but also found in many food sources. Cholesterol is essential to a variety of  important functions in our bodies. It serves as an important precursor (building block) to Vitamin D, hormones (i.e estrogen and testosterone) and bile acids (aids in the breakdown  and absorption of dietary fats). There are two types of cholesterol characterized by their function. “Good” cholesterol or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) carries cholesterol away from arteries and back to the liver.  “Bad” cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) carries cholesterol away from the liver to the arteries. Too much cholesterol in our blood stream, especially LDL  or “bad” cholesterol, can deposit and harden on the walls of our arteries. The hardening of arteries leads to cardiovascular issues like atherosclerosis, which limits the flow of blood from our heart to our other vital organs. While the connection between cardiovascular risk and cholesterol holds true, in the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for American, a key recommendation about dietary cholesterol was removed. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are a set of guidelines published every 5 years by the United States Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services to promote health and decrease the risk of chronic disease. Americans are no longer recommended to limit dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day. While they are not suggesting that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider when building healthy eating patterns, new research has led experts to believe that our genetics and the amount of fat and carbohydrates in our diets, not dietary cholesterol, can alter the amount of cholesterol in our blood. Foods high in dietary cholesterol, like eggs, had once been linked to an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, in a recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013, this common myth was debunked. When compared for cardiovascular risk (overall cardiovascular disease, stroke, ischemic heart disease and mortality), heavy egg consumers (≥1 egg/day) did not differ significantly from that of low egg consumers (<1 egg/week or never). What does this mean for us? 1 large egg packs 6 grams of protein and excellent sources of Vitamin D and B-vitamins. In addition, the yolk has additional vitamins like Vitamin A and E. Goodbye to the days of avoiding eggs. Pair with a piece of whole wheat toast or a piece of fruit for an egg-cellent breakfast or easy snacks on the go.