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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I eat eggs if I have high cholesterol?

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  • 6

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    Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    As the Heart Foundation has nicely put it - YES YOU CAN! :-)

    Eggs are highly nutritious, and a part from milk, is the only other natural ‘quality’ source of protein (meaning that it provides your body with all the essential proteins). Unfortunately, eggs have been given a bad wrap in the media over the years regarding its' cholesterol content, so it's fantastic to see research backing up the consumption of eggs!

    Eggs do contain cholesterol - but they are VERY low in a type of bad fat known as ‘saturated fat’ which has the most effect on increasing cholesterol levels. Due to this, it is perfectly safe and healthy to include eggs in your diet as part of a healthy lifestyle, whether you have high cholesterol or not. A maximum of 6 eggs per week is recommended in Australia.

    Samantha Ling
    Rostant Nutrition
    (Find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/RostantNutrition)

  • 3

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    Nicole Senior

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, consultant, author, speaker and food and health enthusiast. I love talking and writing about food and health.(please note, … View Profile

    Happily, we are all agreed- don't you love that? Yep you can enjoy eggs even if you have high cholesterol. The average Australian eats 3 eggs a week so if you're average in this regard you don't have to worry. Importantly though, you need to ensure you enjoy those eggs in a healthy, balanced, heart-friendly diet. Think poached eggs with a side of wilted spinach, roasted tomato and wholegrain sourdough toast rather than an egg and bacon muffin. Eggs are versatile, tasty and nutritious and you don't need to miss out- isn't that great? 

  • 4

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    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Why People Say Eating Lots of Eggs is Unhealthy. Eggs contain high amounts of cholesterol. 1 large egg has about 200mg cholesterol and 5g of fat. Almost half of that fat is saturated fat.
    The logic is that since eggs are high in cholesterol, a high egg consumption will increase your blood cholesterol. So by cutting eggs from your diet, your blood cholesterol will decrease. This, however, isn't how your body works. Blood cholesterol levels are more influenced by the saturated and trans fat we eat than the cholesterol in foods? That's why it's OK to eat eggs - you can enjoy up to six eggs each week as part of a healthy balanced diet.

    Facts on Cholesterol. You can find studies showing that normal cholesterol levels will make you live longer and more immune to infections & diseases than low cholesterol levels. More facts:
    Your Body Makes Cholesterol. Your liver makes 3-6x more cholesterol than you can get eating eggs and other animal products.
    Cholesterol is Vital To Your Body. You need it for the production of steroid hormones like Testosterone and to build & repair cells.
    Dietary Cholesterol Isn't Bound to Blood Cholesterol. There's no relation to cholesterol  intake to higher cholesterol levels. You should be more aware of your intake of trans fats and saturated fats.
    Benefits of Eating The Egg Yolk. Eating the yolk makes your life easier since you don't have to separate it from the egg white each time. Eating the yolk is also healthier for 3 reasons:
    More Vitamins. The yolk is full of vitamins A, D, E. Vitamin D is especially important since most people lack vitamin D.
    Twice The Protein. Eating whole eggs doubles the protein intake you'd get eating egg whites only: the yolk contains half the protein.
    Increased Testosterone Levels. Saturated fat and cholesterol increase testosterone production. Both are heavily present in the egg yolk.
    How to Protect Yourself Against Heart Diseases. This is the real concern people have regarding cholesterol. Some things you can do:
    Lose Fat. People with high cholesterol usually have excess body fat.
    Exercise. This will make you lose fat and improve your health.
    Eat Healthy. No more junk food, sodas, artificial trans-fats and refined sugars.
    Get Antioxidants. Like berries, fruit vegetables and salads. These keep your LDL particles acting normal, preventing blockage in arteries.
    Relax. Stress can negatively influence your cholesterol levels. Relax, take breaks, exercise, think positive, …
    Avoid Drugs. Cholesterol lowering drugs are harmful to your liver in the long-term and useless if you don't eat healthier, exercise and lose fat. If you cannot reduce your cholesterol naturally you will have to resort to cholesterol lowering drugs.
    If you tried the above and your cholesterol levels haven't improved, then MAYBE you're part of the minority of the population who's genetically predisposed.
     

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