My 16 year old niece finished eating a plate of Java noodle, leaving the hard boiled egg yolk untouched. I asked her why. She said egg yolk was high in cholesterol. So I asked if she would dig out the egg yolk and discard in the case of fried egg. She was surprised at the question and replied no.

Some cancer survivors often ask, “Can we eat egg yolks?” My reply is always YES. The next question will be, “but egg yolk is high in cholesterol.”

The level of cholesterol lies in the way we cook. If we fry high heat in oil, which most of us love, we will be taking in oily food. But if we eat hard-boiled egg or steamed egg, it is not a problem. Having a half boiled egg in the morning as part of my breakfast is a blessed moment and give me energy for the day. It is quite filling too. All natural food given to us has its nutritional value. Let’s consume them in whole and with gratitude.

High cholesterol in egg yolk

British Heart Foundation “One of the causes of high blood cholesterol levels among people in the UK is eating too much saturated fat. The cholesterol which is found in some foods such as eggs, liver, kidneys and some types of seafood eg prawns, does not usually make a great contribution to the level of cholesterol in your blood. It is much more important that you eat foods that are low in saturated fat.”

Cholesterol is necessary for life. There are two types – Good cholesterol HDL and bad cholesterol LDL. Eating eggs enriched with Omega-3 might actually help to lower LDL levels. Our body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to keep skin healthy and to support cell membranes.

A high level of blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. It is saturated fat that adversely affects our blood cholesterol levels. The fatty acids contained in eggs are polyunsaturated (17%), monounsaturated (44%) and saturated (32%). An egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol. People with healthy cholesterol levels can consume 1 egg yolk daily. Egg yolk contains so many nutrients that the benefits outweigh the harm when eaten in moderation. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods. This is especially so for me when I reduce meat intake and depend on eggs as one of the sources of proteins.

Nutrition Value of hard boiled egg

Protein is essential when we want to increase weight, build muscles and rebuild tissue. Eggs contain all the amino acids necessary for body metabolism.


Vitamin A is needed for the development of all cells in the body, for normal skin and for the function of the immune system. It is also important for vision.

Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones and teeth. It is also essential for the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Vitamin E protects the cells from free radicals and oxidation.

Vitamin B12 is needed for the formation of nerves and fibres and red blood cells. It is also important for the function of the immune system.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is needed for releasing the energy from food. It is important for healthy skin, eyes and nervous system.

​Vitamin B6 promotes the metabolism of protein.

Folate is essential for the development of new cells. It is also needed for normal blood formation and for the immune system.

Biotin is needed for the release of energy from food, for maintaining normal skin and hair and for the functioning of the nervous system.

Pantothenic acid is needed for the release of energy from food, for mental performance and for making vitamin D and some hormones.

Choline is part of the vitamin B complex. Eating an egg helps our neurons accept, process and store information quickly and efficiently.​


Iron is good for the formation of red blood cells.

Zinc is required for stability of enzyme in the body.

Calcium is essential for strengthening bones and teeth.

Phosphorus is essential to the structure of bones and teeth. It is also important for the normal function of cell membranes and for pathways that generate energy from food.

Potassium deficiency can increase the risk of high blood pressure.

Iodine is needed for production of thyroid hormones and therefore is vital for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which is involved in energy generation and in the maintenance of normal skin.

Selenium is needed for protecting the DNA, proteins and fats in cells against oxidative damage. It is also important for a healthy immune system and for the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Fat and cholesterol

The good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) in eggs outweigh the unhealthy fat. Another important constituent of egg yolk is omega-3 essential fatty acids that ensure a healthy heart.

Anti-oxidant Lutein in eggs stops any inflammation of the macular pigment, which is what protects the retina from harmful light rays. Lutein caratenoid helps in preventing macular degeneration and cataract development due to age.

Overall Benefits

  1. Foster healthy growth of hair and nails due to high sulphur content, vitamins and minerals.
  2. Strengthens the immune system.
  3. Good for eyes and prevent macular degeneration.
  4. Naturally occurring vitamin D and are beneficial for eyes and skin
  5. Choline is useful in the regulation of the nervous system, brain and cardiovascular system.

Where to buy eggs?

My aunt prefers to buy eggs from the market whereby she can choose. It is also cheaper. However, the eggs may not be fresh and the expiry date not stated. The eggs are exposed in hot and humid wet market condition, and hence the quality is not assured. Therefore, I still prefer to buy from the supermarket. Any brand will do.

Storage of eggs

I learned this on TV in Japan. Place the pointer end of the egg downward. I cannot recall the reason. Probably it is due to how the embryo sits inside. Do not place it on the tray of the fridge door, as the opening and closing of the door will be too disturbing. Eggs have life too.

Egg Recipe

Half- boiled egg is one of my favorite breakfast items. It can be boiled according to one’s preference. If one is not comfortable with “half-boiled”, go for hard boiled. I love hard boiled eggs on mee-siam and mee-rebus!

Steam Egg is also one of my favorite egg dishes. Add 200 ml of no-sugar fresh soya milk from Mr Bean to 2 medium size egg mixture. Season with a little sea salt. Soak and rinse a handful of wolfberries, and add them to the egg mixture. When the water boils, steam the egg mixture for 5-8 minutes under medium low heat. The timing is trial and error and depends on individual liking. Garnish with spring onion and a drizzle of soya sauce and sesame oil when served. This is so simple yet so healthy, incorporating nutrition from soya beans and wolfberries!

Fried egg is always the perennial choice, especially with fried bee-hoon and fried rice. No harm eating once in a while. I love that too.

Raw egg is part of the sukiyaki sauce. It makes the dipping sauce so smooth and yummy. But that is only when the egg is very fresh, and when one is not worried of the risk of salmonella infection.

My take home message

My take home message is that egg is a good choice of nutrition and I am so blessed to be able to have it. The nutrients stated above encompasses all that we need, as cancer survivors. After treatment, many of us realized our vision deteriorate, memory getting shorter, skin getting dry, hair not growing much, bones and teeth degener​ating, etc. Egg is also essential for rebuilding tissue, building muscles and gaining weight, especially when so much damage is done after RT. So, don’t miss out on the EGG-cellent nutrition!

Contributed by: Lim Wai Cheng/ NPC survivor
Dated 3 April 2011
Survivor since 2005

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