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Is egg yolk bad for health?

Q: These days there is so much hype in the fitness community over the consumption of egg yolks. It is said that egg yolks are useless and should be avoided. Is it true? If yes, then what should be the way to eat eggs? If there are benefits of eating yolks, then please illustrate.

A:This is a debate going on for quite sometime whether the yolk is bad or not. Many diet freaks avoid them like the plague. But I say eat the yolk. It all depends on how many you are eating. It is not necessary to have cholesterol free diets. We do need some cholesterol. It is produced naturally in the body and forms a basic part of our cells. Cholesterol helps to regulate our hormones, helps us utilize Vitamin D and helps us digest food. Healthy adults with normal cholesterol levels, who exercise regularly and who follow a low fat, least junk and a healthy high fiber diet can safely eat eggs. Eggs are rich in choline which is a memory vitamin and also in lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants. One medium sized egg gives about 180-190 mg of cholesterol and our requirements are below 300 mg/day. Hence it is quite safe to eat an egg daily. But if you do have a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol levels or are already overweight with high cholesterol levels, then the intake of egg yolks should be reduced to not more than 3 eggs per week. It is not always cholesterol alone that causes problems. It is the oxygenation of cholesterol that causes the damage. Oxygenation, or free radical development, is the process that changes the composition of this essential nutrient, turning it into a destructive compound. Oxidation of cholesterol is formed when it is exposed to air. This happens during the many stages of processing meat, milk, eggs, butter, and cheese products. Added to this is the means of processing — firing, smoking, curing, aging, and packaging all contribute further to the oxygenation of cholesterol-containing foods. Such fast foods as fried chicken, fish, hamburgers; as well as dried and packaged foods, are some of the greatest sources of free radicals. So if you just eat eggs, you cannot end up with high cholesterol problems. But regular intake of egg yolks plus junk food can increase your cholesterol problems. Children who are active and within the weight for their age and height can be given one egg daily. Egg whites can trigger allergies in children but not egg yolks, hence if you want to start eggs for your 9 month old baby, first start with a teaspoon of well cooked yolk and then after checking for allergies, progress further with the whole egg. Eggs are very nutritious so do not omit them. Chuck the junk out of your diet and enjoy the benefits of healthy food.


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