The demise of egg cholesterol myth might just be in sight in Nigeria as top health professionals are now joining in the campaign to disabuse the minds of the populace on the misconception about cholesterol content of egg and its effect of the health of consumers.
Professor Adebayo Adetiloye, the Chief Medical Director of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State has advised Nigerians, including children and adults to include chicken and eggs in their diets regularly but in moderation. He said this while receiving crates of eggs donated to the hospital by Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ile-Ife chapter, in commemoration of the World Egg Day by the association on Friday 11th October 2019.
While encouraging people to eat eggs he said he also eat eggs. “I eat eggs and my blood cholesterol level has never been high even without taking any anti cholesterol drugs. We have perverted understanding of these nutritious foods, because of the controversy on their cholesterol content and the health implications”, said Professor Adetiloye.
He opined that ample research findings have shown that the egg cholesterol is mostly good for the body. However he advised that the keyword should be moderation because anything done in excess will have undesirable effects, even water when taken in excess. He also advised PAN members to reach out to people at the grassroot level with aggressive campaign because the unlearned people’s reason for not consuming chicken and eggs are more cultural than health concern.
‘Our people believes that chicken meat should be eaten only at festive occasions and even at that, you will see the father and mother eating the two big thighs and breast leaving the useless head and legs to the children who needs the nutritious protein most. They also think that giving the child egg to eat may just be a way to indoctrinate the child into stealing habit. All these beliefs need to change and I implore your association to work on it’.
Earlier in the day, a specialist public health physician, Dr Olaitan Oyedun also of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex had allayed the fears attached to eating of eggs. Dr Oyedun while making his presentation during the enlightenment seminar as part of the World Egg Day commemoration elaborated more on the egg cholesterol issue.
“Cholesterol in egg is confined to the egg yolk and is composed of the good (high density) and bad (low density) cholesterol. The good cholesterol is far more in the egg yolk than the bad cholesterol. Researches have proven that the human body requires substantial quantities of the good cholesterol to complement the bodily synthesized one. By eating at least one egg a day, one cannot consume enough bad cholesterol to cause any havoc in the body”. Said Dr Oyedun.
Dieticians and nutritionists also spoke in favour of chicken and egg consumption during the chicken and egg days commemoration. Mrs Olubukola Ogunba, a professor of human nutrition in the Department of Family, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in her presentation advised on the nutritional qualities of chicken meat and different ways of preparing it for food. On how to avoid the cholesterol content of chicken, she advised that the legs of the chicken could be discarded after slaughtering as research results have indicated that the legs contains more cholesterol than any other parts of the chicken’s body.
Dietician Adewuyi, who is the director of Dietetic Unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex led a team of dieticians to the seminar to demonstrate live, the various ways in which eggs could be prepared as food, other than as boiled and fried eggs.
Many of the participants disclosed to livestonews at the end of the seminar that they have been adequately informed on the nutritional importance of chicken meat and eggs and are ready to also act as change agents to convince others to change their orientation towards these nutritious foods.