You may often come across recommendations not to consume egg yolks, because they are harmful to our body - they have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system and make us fat.
The potential harm of egg yolks is related to their composition.
The yolks have a lot of cholesterol
It's true. One yolk weighs about 20 g and contains up to 300 mg of cholesterol (for comparison: 20 g of beef has less than 20 mg of cholesterol).
Until recently, it was believed that no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day should be consumed without harm to he alth. And for people who have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, doctors even recommend limiting dietary cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day.
On the other hand, experts from the American Heart Association advised eating no more than three eggs per week.
They are high in saturated fat
This is also a fact. Up to 2g per yolk is quite an impressive amount.
Saturated fat can really lead to heart disease and weight gain. Therefore, WHO recommends not to abuse them.
Cholesterol in food has little effect on its blood level
In 2016, the restriction on the consumption of no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day was removed. In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (a set of he althy eating guidelines regularly published by the US Department of He alth), for the first time in many decades, experts do not specify a maximum daily limit for dietary cholesterol intake.
And all this because scientists have better understood the essence of this substance. And they came to the conclusion that the cholesterol we get from food, in most cases, does not affect its level in the blood.
The fact is that cholesterol itself is vital for our body. It participates in a huge number of processes: the synthesis of vitamin D, the production of steroid hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone), of bile acids, without which he althy digestion is impossible. Therefore, our body carefully monitors its level so that it does not change. If you get too little of it from food, the liver starts producing more cholesterol.
On the other hand, if you eat a lot of cholesterol-containing foods, the liver reduces its production.
So, consumption of eggs, in general, and egg yolks in particular, does not affect blood cholesterol levels and does not increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Also: eggs in the diet are not harmful even for those who already have cardiovascular diseases.
Saturated fat is not that much
WHO recommends reducing saturated fat intake to 10% of total calories. If the daily intake is 2000 calories, you can get about 20 grams of saturated fat without harming your he alth. In the yolk, remember, there is only 2 g - 10 times less than the permissible value.
For comparison, a piece of bacon contains up to 9 grams. The cheeseburger - about 10 grams. If you want to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet, it's better to skip fast food than the nutrient-packed yolk.
In general, the harm of saturated fat is often exaggerated. Much more dangerous are trans fats, which are found in fast food, confectionery, and fried foods. They are really worth giving up.
Contain many vitamins and trace elements
The yolks contain all the vitamins except ascorbic acid. It is enough to eat a few yolks to overlap the daily norm of vitamins from 10 to 30%.
In addition, this product contains a lot of selenium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc and other nutrients. For example, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Yolks help you eat less
To be more precise, the effect of yolks has not been studied separately. But eating whole eggs really does help you feel fuller longer. Egg consumption for breakfast affects plasma glucose and ghrelin while reducing subsequent 24-h energy intake in older adults. This means that eggs can be recommended to those who want to control their weight.
Support brain he alth
The yolk contains choline (vitamin B4), which is crucial for the functioning of the brain and nervous system in general. On its basis, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is produced, which is responsible for the correct transmission of nerve impulses in the body.
There is so much choline in yolks that eggs are considered the main source of choline in the diet of US residents.
How many yolks can you eat per day?
In the majority of studies, people were given no more than 3 eggs per day. This dose can be considered unequivocally he althy. But anything above it is still uncharted territory for science.
However, there is a curious thematic work in which scientists studied an 88-year-old man who ate 25 eggs a day. He had normal cholesterol levels and overall good he alth.