No doubt you?ve heard that eating eggs is bad for you - especially if you have high cholesterol.
Yes, it?s true that eggs are high in cholesterol. But cholesterol levels do not appear to cause heart disease. If you?re not convinced, I urge you to read my article on statins and heart disease in the October 2006 issue of my newsletter. It?s available online at no cost to all newsletter subscribers. And there?s no proof that eggs contribute to heart disease.
However, there?s a lot of research that show eggs are good for you. In fact, if you?re not eating eggs regularly, you?re missing out on an essential nutrient that supports good heart health and brain function. What?s more, several studies found this nutrient protects you from breast cancer.
The nutrient I?m talking about is choline.
A recent study of more than 3,000 women found that those with the highest intake of choline (around 455 mg daily) had a 24% lower risk of getting breast cancer than those with the lowest intake (196 mg daily).
But most people don?t get nearly enough choline. In fact, if you don?t eat eggs, you?re probably not getting enough choline - unless you eat beef liver every day. Eggs are higher in this nutrient than any other food except beef liver. Even multivitamins don?t have much. Most don?t have any more than 150 mg per day.
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So it?s vital you eat eggs regularly. And I?m not talking about the egg whites. Choline is in the fatty part of eggs - the yolk. The whites don?t have any. Other foods have smaller amounts of choline. These include tofu, beans, and cauliflower. But to get protective amounts, you?d be wise to consider eating eggs more regularly. Or take choline in supplemental form. Here?s why:
Phosphatidylcholine and lecithin are two other names for choline. A teaspoonful of lecithin contains around 130 mg and can be added to smoothies or sprinkled on soups, salads, or cereals.
If you?re eating a low-fat diet, you?re putting their health at risk. We all need sufficient choline for good memory and brain function, a healthy heart, and to reduce our risk for breast cancer.
Can you get too much choline? Of course. You can overdo any nutrient. But choline is safe up to 3,500 mg daily - and it?s unlikely you?ll ever get that much. So start eating eggs again. Not only are they safe, they?re very healthy.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand