Protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids that is essential to repairing and building bones and muscles in the body, energy and your heart. Healthy proteins from animal and plants can be included as part of a balanced diet. Opting for healthier proteins can help minimise your risk of heart disease. When choosing protein foods, include a variety of sources. Protein can be plant or animal based. They all provide different nutrients for your body. Each source of protein can have a beneficial, neutral or potentially harmful effect on your heart health and risk of heart disease. Legumes also known as pulses, are plant-based sources of protein. Legumes are great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians but can benefit everyone. Legumes include. Legumes contain soluble fibre, micro-nutrients, healthy fats and have a low glycaemic index GI.
At just 78 calories each, eggs are an efficient, rich source of protein and vitamins. A large egg contains about 6 grams of protein. Eggs also are a good source of other nutrients, including vitamin D which aids bone health and the immune system and choline which helps metabolism and liver function, as well as fetal brain development. Egg yolks also can be good for the eyes; they are significant sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been found to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people 55 and older. But egg yolks are also known for their cholesterol. A typical large egg contains mg of cholesterol, more than half the amount previously recommended for daily consumption before federal dietary guidelines link opens in new window dropped the numerical goal in , citing a lack of scientific evidence for a specific limit. A study published in May in the journal Heart link opens in new window found that an egg a day just may keep the doctor away.
As many countries urge populations to stay at home, many of us are paying more attention to our diets and how the food we eat can support our health. To help sort out the fact from the fiction, BBC Future is updating some of our most popular nutrition stories from our archive. Our colleagues at BBC Good Food are focusing on practical solutions for ingredient swaps, nutritious storecupboard recipes and all aspects of cooking and eating during lockdown. If there was such a thing as a perfect food, eggs would be a contender. Eating eggs alongside other food can help our bodies absorb more vitamins, too. For example, one study found that adding an egg to salad can increase how much vitamin E we get from the salad. But for decades, eating eggs has also been controversial due to their high cholesterol content — which some studies have linked to an increased risk of heart disease. One egg yolk contains around milligrams of cholesterol, which is more than half of the mg daily amount of cholesterol that the US dietary guidelines recommended until recently. Additionally, there have been scientifically unsupported claims the eggs can guard against coronavirus, or that they have even been responsible for its outbreak. There has even been one outlandish theory that spitting in an egg before cooking it creates antibodies which can guard against the disease. There’s no evidence to support this.