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Eggs: Are they good or really bad?

Zubin Dsouza

Being a chef is really a great career choice if you love working long hours and losing out on a social life, all for a meagre pay check. It makes up in terms of job satisfaction and social equity when people come up to you and say “Oooooh! You are a chef?! That must be so exciting?!”

Of course it is exciting. I get to meet so many smart and intelligent people. These people take one look at my uniform and embroidered name and designation, see that I am sweating over a stove whilst cooking something off the menu in a display kitchen for them and are quick to come up with the brilliant deduction that I am a chef!

I shouldn’t complain too much. This is much better and a far cry from the days when I started when people used to say “So why do you want to be a cook?” At that time, arguing with them that I was aiming to be a chef and wasn’t graduating to cook in their homes was the last thing on my mind.

Anyway, I meet a lot of people, feed even more than that number and am always amused as to what people believe to be the truth about food.

The simplest example for this could be the general notion about eggs.

People either opt for absolutely no eggs in their diet or they want eggs without yolks.

I get so many breakfast orders for egg white omelettes that I just feel like crying out in anguish because there are so many people out there who are missing out on the good thing.

Are eggs really as bad as they are painted out to be?

Many ancient cultures which would include Indian, Greek, Chinese and Japanese place a surprisingly large emphasis on egg as the source of all creation. Most pagans also held them as symbols of fertility and so it is really surprising to see the massive turnaround that we have had with regards to eggs.

Eggs owe their portrayal as vile and evil to a series of ill-timed and ill-fated scientific discoveries.

Several decades ago, a group of enterprising young doctor-scientists stumbled upon a vague relationship between cholesterol and heart disease. Immediately, the jaws of the world ceased to chomp on egg yolks because the American Heart Association or the AHA recommended not more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day. An egg yolk contains roughly 185 milligrams of cholesterol which was half of the daily recommended allowance and this was the death knell for an ingredient that people loved the world over.

People started shunning eggs and the few that ate them ensured they discarded the yolks and contended themselves with the fact that they were now eating healthy.

What was missed out at that point in time and has since been accepted by a majority of doctors around has been that cholesterol is a very important part of our being.

It is one of the most important nutrients in one’s body.

It is present in the cell membrane, is important for growth in children and infants and helps the body produce hormones like testosterone and oestrogen.

In fact even you do not get cholesterol from food, your body produces it on its own. If you do eat foods high in cholesterol, the body automatically adjusts itself and limits the production of cholesterol.

Doctors are in no rush to admit that they have been wrong all along. And we keep living and propagating the lie in hope that one day it will turn into the truth!

So eating the yolk within limits will do absolutely nothing wrong to the cholesterol levels in your blood.

But the benefits that can be had, now that is an entirely different story.

Egg yolks of all the food available to us on the planet are by far the most nutrient packed, vitamin rich and antioxidant filled foods.

Eating egg yolk has been linked to weight loss, decreased inflammation and drop in cholesterol levels.

Eggs specifically the yolk also have some other exciting stuff like choline which is very important for heart and brain functioning and even for staving off Alzheimer’s.

Eggs also have lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the eyes and prevent cataracts from forming. Not bad for something that is also the cheapest source of animal protein in the world.

Are eggs bad? Well, they are for some of people who have a genetic predisposition to getting shafted by egg consumption or those suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Other than that, we are all in the safe zone.

Of course if you surround your eggs with crisp rashers of bacon and white bread and butter, things are going to get a bit messy, but otherwise you should get your omelette pan out!

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