Eggs, once considered one of the most nutritious
foods available, are avoided by many because of their high fat and
cholesterol content. The fat and cholesterol, however, are present in
the yolk only. Consequently, egg whites have become a staple of the
bodybuilding diet. Nutrition-conscious bodybuilders know that egg white
is one of the best sources of protein; however, not many know of its
potential benefits to the cardiovascular system.
Findings in rodent studies suggest that consuming
egg-white protein has favorable effects on serum total cholesterol and
high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. Researchers at the University of
Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, and Providence University of Taiwan wanted to
determine whether such beneficial effects could be reproduced in humans.
They placed volunteer female subjects from
Providence University into 3 groups. The subjects were healthy but had
relatively high serum cholesterol levels (224mg/dl). Subjects consumed
dietitian-prepared meals that provided approximately 1750 calories per
day, with about 70 grams of protein (adequate protein for these
subjects, who on average weighed about 119 pounds, or about 54
Lipid (fat) intake, the same for each subject,
comprised about 20% of total calories. Approximately 30% of each group's
total protein was supplied in the form of either egg white, cheese or
tofu. The experiment was conducted over a complete menstrual cycle of
each subject. Bodyweight and daily activities were constant throughout
the experimental period.
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