Healthy eaters and that one vegetarian fried have been telling you that egg whites are what you need to be eating to have a proper breakfast, but you also know the yolks are a great source of vitamin A and B. Egg yolks are high in saturated fats, which you've been told are also a no-no. So who do you listen to? Daily Burn has an answer for you.
The Scrambled Facts
Egg yolks, along with other sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, came under fire in the wake of research by Nikolaj Anitschkow at the turn of the 20th century. Anitschkow fed rabbits pure cholesterol and noted that their arteries clogged up with plaque, leading to a hypothesis that cholesterol promotes heart disease. But since then, there have been questions raised about how closely the two are related. Wolfe counters, “rabbits have nothing in common with human bodies… and cholesterol isn’t part of their diet anyway.”
Nevertheless, the findings gave rise to a witch hunt that demonized foods high in fat and cholesterol. Researcher Ancel Keys made headlines in the 1950s with his Seven Countries’ Study, which almost single handedly set the line of thinking on saturated fat that prevails today. Keys claimed that after looking at the average diets of populations in seven different countries, he was able to determine that those who ate the most animal fat had the highest rates of heart disease. But his analysis was flawed. Although Keys’ data did show a connection between fat and heart disease, he couldn’t demonstrate that the relationship was causal. Furthermore, while mortality rates for heart disease were higher in the countries that consumed the most animal fat, deaths from nearly ever other cause were lower — and overall life expectancy was higher.
The Sunny Side of Things
Thankfully, more concrete findings have come to light in the years since. In 2010, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis — the collected findings of 21 different studies — which stated that “saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease.”
Earlier this year, Time Magazine reversed the argument it made in a 1984 cover story claiming eggs and other high-fat foods were dangerous, and even encouraged readers to eat butter over margarine.
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>>Read more: 10 Ways To Reinvent Your Breakfast Eggs. Sick of eggs? Check out 50 Fast and Easy Breakfast Ideas.