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Every few years, researchers come up with some new findings regarding eggs which ironically appear simultaneously on the list of ‘Power Foods’ and foods blacklisted as bad for the heart.

It was commonly accepted that eggs were high in cholesterol and harmful to the arteries and heart; then research found that the cholesterol was actually the good kind and so eggs were back in the good books.

This favourite breakfast food is now back in the headlines – this time the research claims that eggs are as bad for the heart as smoking.

So if you are wondering what the ‘eggs-act’ truth is, here’s the story in an egg shell if you will:

  • Despite the negative press, eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition; in addition to being rich in Vitamin A, E and K, they are a natural source of Vitamin D.
  • Eggs are an excellent source of folate, iron, Vitamin B12 and a host of amino acids essential for healthy development.
  • Choline, a unique nutrient found in eggs, aids growth and has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer (study at University of North Carolina, 2008).
  • In addition, it turns out that eggs have mostly unsaturated fat, contain no trans-fatty acids and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

However, it is important to remember that eggs are best eaten in moderation, and even more important, to check on how you prepare and serve them (no parathas please.)

As for the study that equates eating egg yolks to be as bad smoking, some loopholes in the research have led to the study being questioned by other researchers. So until something more concrete is found, eat an egg occasionally and skip the yolks if you have high cholesterol.

– Dr Samia Khan
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.

First published in the Health Advertiser of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 14, 2012.