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Yolk matter

Recent studies have negated the previous belief that consumption of eggs affects the cholesterol level among humans. Chesta Wadhwani breaks the egg myth.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2009 17:01 IST

Recent studies have negated the previous belief that consumption of eggs affects the cholesterol level among humans. It has also been proved that eggs do not increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes. In fact, the American Heart Association now recommends its consumption.

The study, conducted by the Association, follows the long-running debate surrounding consumption of eggs among health freaks and body builders, who continue to chomp egg whites and overlook the yolk owing to its fat content.

Extra fat
The practice is rampant in India as well. Nutritionist Sujata Udeshi often recommends pulses, greens and an egg a day to patients seeking a healthy diet. But her patients do not approve of the egg because “it adds extra fat.”

The truth, however, is different. Eggs provide more protein than any vegetable. They are rich in Vitamin A and E and also contain minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, which are known to keep coronary heart diseases and other illnesses at bay. “Two-third of cholesterol is produced in the body itself. Trans fats, sugar, refined food, saturated oils and stress bring about an increase in the cholesterol level in the body.

“Eggs on the contrary develop brain cells and are a good substitute to milk too,” says Udeshi.

White issue
A cause of concern, though, is people eating too much whites. “Even athletes working out for four hours a day don’t need so much protein. The body then ends up flushing out the excess amount.. as they do more harm than good,” says Udeshi. She feels that the problem is psychological. “People tend to make extreme choices. Nuts were considered to be fattening.. but after discovering their anti-ageing qualities, it’s a different scene now.”

Raw talk
Hygiene level at poultry farms is another cause of worry as they are the breeding ground for infected chickens. It is, therefore advised that eggs should be always cooked, boiled or poached but never eaten raw. Even while buying them, one should ensure that the egg is firm. And if the whites mix with the yellow, it should not be eaten.

Today, eggs are widely used in sauces, bakery products, ice creams, sorbets and cocktails. Chef Chetan Seth, owner of Zaffran, says, “Food tastes ten times better with eggs in it.”

In fact, the yummiest of dishes like spaghettis are whipped up after adding eggs into them. Seth believes that the world is slowly shunning red meat and moving towards vegetarianism.

He says, “Red meat is high in saturated fats. Eggs, on the other hand, are delicious and high on nutrition”.