Eggs haven’t always had such a good rap. For many years, there was a common misconception that eating a certain number of eggs everyday can actually contribute to poor heart health due to their cholesterol content. Seriously, how many of you have ditched the yolk and eaten only the egg whites for this very reason?!
Either way, you’d be happy to know that this certainly isn’t the case. In fact, new research has even linked regular egg consumption with a lowered risk of high blood pressure (by 21% to be exact) which gives you even more of a reason to plate up daily.
Currently, over 1 in 3 Australians report to have blood pressure, and in light of these recent stats, here’s what Sydney-based GP, Dr. Ginni Mansberg wants you to know:
#1 You don’t need to be worried about eggs and cholesterol
“We used to believe that because eggs contain cholesterol, eating them would lead to increased cholesterol, however, we now know that the relationship is actually far more complex than that,” explains Dr. Mansberg.
“In fact, the cholesterol found in eggs, and particularly the yolk, has almost no impact on your cholesterol, and that your cholesterol levels are influenced far more by the consumption of saturated and unsaturated fats.”
“So, if you’re worried about your cholesterol, pay more attention to what you’re eating with your eggs rather than the eggs or yolk themselves. In other words, keep the eggs, ditch the bacon. There is also no scientific evidence to suggest that eating two eggs is too many, so whether you’re a single or a double serve person, I’d encourage you to keep eating your daily eggs.”
#2 Eggs can help reduce high blood pressure
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), over 34% of Australians aged 18 and over have high bloodpressure. The condition can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and kidney disease.
“People often associate eggs as a food that is bad for bloodpressure, when the reality is that the protein found in eggs can reduce the risk of high bloodpressure,” says Dr. Mansberg. “This is a massive game changer for those at risk of high bloodpressure as it comes with a reduced risk of heart disease too!”
#3 Adopt The DASH Diet
“There are a number of foods that we know to be beneficial for those at risk of high blood pressure,” explains Dr. Mansberg. “Specifically, we encourage anyone at risk of high blood pressure to stick to a dietary scheme known as The DASH Diet. This involves reducing foods containing sodium, such as all your processed foods, increasing your intake of foods containing potassium, such as fruits and vegetables, and also eating plenty of foods containing calcium, such as dairy products.”
#4 Make lifestyle changes
“High blood pressure is often associated with unhealthy habits in several areas of your life, so in order to minimise your risk of high blood pressure you need a combination of things,” advises Dr. Mansberg. “I always recommend increasing your exercise so that you’re getting as close to 30 minutes of exercise daily as possible.”
“You should also quit smoking and excessive alcohol, as well as reducing your salt intake. This can be done by minimising your consumption of breads, muesli bars, condiments such as tomato sauce, and any other processed foods. Another helpful tip is to make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. The exact amount of hours required for a good sleep varies from person to person, but I recommend no less than 6 hours each night.”
How do you know if you’re at risk of high blood pressure?
“There’s no way of knowing if you’re at risk of high blood pressure without getting it checked,” says Dr. Mansberg. “So, the best thing you can do is check your hereditary history for any signs of blood pressure issues and get a quick blood pressure test at your local doctor, pharmacy or gym.”
“The test takes less than a minute, sometimes even as little as 10 seconds, so it’s one of the easiest tests you can do and very worthwhile in terms of being informed about your own health and diet.”