Egg lovers listen up - it's time to start boiling and poaching again without the fear of heart disease.
A new Australian report has examined the scientific research around the nutritional qualities of eggs and addresses the misconceptions around eggs and serum cholesterol. The group of healthcare professionals included a cardiologist, general practitioner, nutrition researchers, an endocrinologist and a dietitian.
ENC member and leading lipidologist and cardiologist, Dr Karam Kostner, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Mater Hospital, Brisbane says some people have been avoiding eggs due to the cholesterol they contain. But new research has found we can eat up to six eggs a week.
"In the setting of a normal healthy diet eggs don't play a big role in increasing cardiovascular disease and stroke," said Dr Kostner.
"While eggs do contain some cholesterol, the body is very clever at reducing cholesterol production when it gets more ... from products like eggs, milk and cheese."
But Dr Kostner warns against over-indulging or adding fatty foods like bacon to eggs, and says not everyone can indulge. "Diabetics research has always indicated that a higher intake of dietary cholesterol... may actually increase your cardiovascular risk."
Dr Kostner says people needn't be concerned if they have more than one egg in a sitting. "You can have two or three eggs on one or two days a week, or you can eat an egg a day and it's not going to make a big difference."
He also says eggs have many health benefits. "They're very high in protein but they also contain a lot of things like vitamins and nutraceuticals that are beneficial for the body, especially in the older population."
Dr Kostner says it's important to view eggs as simply one part of a well-balanced diet. "I tell a lot of my patients that kangaroos can get fat on grass but that doesn't mean that grass is bad, it just means that if you have too much of a good thing it is basically bad."
And Dr Kostner admits he is an egg fan. "I'm addicted to chocolate pancakes, which I have rarely... but I do have a boiled egg a couple of times a week."
RECIPE: HEALTHY ASPARAGUS, CORN & COTTAGE CHEESE OMELETTE
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup corn kernels (canned and drained or frozen and defrosted)
250g low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta
Salt and pepper to taste
Crack the eggs into bowl, season and whisk.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, spray with oil.
Snap the bottom part of the asparagus off and discard, wash the top part and place into the pan. Cook lightly, set aside.
Wipe the pan clean with kitchen towel, set back onto the heat, spray with oil and pour in half of the egg mixture, tilting the pan to cover the base.
Cook lightly while lifting and moving the egg around to cook more evenly.
Just before the omelette is cooked, add half the asparagus, corn and cottage cheese.
Fold the omelette in half and slide onto a plate. Repeat the process for the second omelette.
Serve with toasted wholemeal bread.
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