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Fear oil not omelette, says new study

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 01:28 IST

FAR FROM choking your arteries with bad cholesterol and triggering a heart attack, egg is superfood, say nutritionists. It can protect against heart diseases, cancer and eye problems.

Egg yolks have long been damned because they contain bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein). But nutritionists now say blood-cholesterol levels are raised by saturated fats found in processed food than by dietary cholesterol in eggs.

Bruce Griffin of the University of Surrey, who analysed 30 egg studies, says people who consume one or more eggs a day are at no more risk of having heart disease than non-egg eaters. Dietary cholesterol, he says, has virtually no effect on blood cholesterol.

Griffin says viewing eggs solely in terms of their dietary-cholesterol content is to ignore their potential benefits on coronary-risk factors, including obesity and diabetes.

An egg provides 13 essential nutrients, all in the yolk. Eggs are an excellent source of Vitamin B and A. Its Vitamin E content protects against heart disease and some cancers, while Vitamin D promotes bone health. Girls who eat an egg a day in their teens give themselves additional protection against breast cancer in later life because of high amino acids, vitamins and mineral content.

"Eggs are also low in calories," says nutritionist Ishi Khosla of WholeFoods.

Britain's Foods Standards Agency says there is no limit to eating eggs if they are part of a balanced diet Cardiologists still advise caution. "I will not advise heart patients to feast on them, because we have them fried," says Dr R.R. Kasliwal of non-invasive cardiology, Escorts hospital. But even he swears by egg whites -- no fat and rich in albumen, a source of protein.