Eggs: Are they good or bad for you?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • All right you have high cholesterol, so can you eat eggs or not? A little while ago, someone here on Health Central asked a question similar to this. I thought I'd expand on my answer and share it with everyone, so if you're confused about the whole cholesterol and egg issue you can better determine the right answer for your situation.

    To lower cholesterol, it's frequently recommended to limit egg intake, specifically the egg yolk. Egg yolks are a concentrated source of cholesterol, while egg whites contain primarily protein. Since eggs are high in cholesterol they can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels. However, while dietary cholesterol does impact cholesterol levels within the body, saturated fat and trans fats actually have a greater impact on LDL cholesterol levels.

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    A 1999 study found little impact of consuming one egg daily on blood cholesterol levels. It's currently recommended, for individuals with normal cholesterol levels, to limit dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg or less daily. One large egg approximately contains 210 mg of cholesterol within the egg yolk. If you have high LDL cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes, the current recommendations are to limit dietary cholesterol to 200 mg or less per day. It's best to limit eggs to 2-3 per week.

    If you enjoy eggs, there are alternatives, such as replacing the egg yolks with more egg whites or using products, such as Egg Beaters, which provide an excellent source of protein minus the cholesterol. You can substitute egg whites when cooking by replacing one whole egg with two egg whites or ΒΌ cup egg substitute.

    Be sure to sign up for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps.

Published On: August 26, 2009