Are Eggs Bad For Your Cholesterol Levels?

Melanie Thomassian Health Pro
  • Years ago it was thought the cholesterol in eggs translated into artery-clogging cholesterol in the blood, and much of that confusion still remains today.

     

    However, as research has developed down through the years, we've come to understand that foods containing cholesterol aren't so dangerous for heart health after all.

     

    Studies indicate there is in fact, no difference in heart disease risk between healthy individuals who eat one egg per week, and those who eat more than one egg per day. The study, published in JAMA, concluded:

     

    "These findings suggest that consumption of up to 1 egg per day is unlikely to have substantial overall impact on the risk of CHD or stroke among healthy men and women. The apparent increased risk of CHD associated with higher egg consumption among diabetic participants warrants further research."

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    For most people, eating foods which contain cholesterol will not have an impact on blood cholesterol levels. So, unless you have been advised to avoid eggs by your doctor or dietitian, eggs can certainly be included as part of a balanced, healthy diet.

     

    Eggs Are Nutritious

    One of the best thing about eggs is that they are an excellent quality protein source, and so they make you feel more satisfied than a breakfast of cereal or bread, for example.

     

    They are actually part of the protein-rich food group alongside meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts. And, they contain only 80 calories each, which means they are also a really great choice when you are trying to cut your calorie intake.

     

    When you are counting how many eggs you eat per day or week, remember to include the eggs in any baked goods you are consuming, since these also count. 

     

    One egg contains around 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol (from the yolk). The current daily recommended cholesterol limit is less than 300 milligrams for most of the population. 

     

    However, if you have heart disease, diabetes, or a high LDL cholesterol, it is recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day as a precautionary measure.

     

    The American Heart Association have stated that eating one egg per day is acceptable, as long as the overall balance of your diet is good, with no excess in any one area. 

     

    So, which eggs are best?

    With so much choice available at the supermarkets these days you may be wondering which eggs are the best option. Well, free-range eggs are always going to be a good bet, but if you don't mind paying a little extra, omega-3 eggs are a great choice.

     

    Also, some people think the color of the egg shell relates to how nutritious the egg is, however this has nothing to do with how nutritious the contents are — it simply relates to the different variety of hen. For example, white-shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes.

     

    Melanie Thomassian, registered dietitian, online health coach, and author of Dietriffic.com, cuts through the misconceptions about diet and fitness to help you transform your health for life. Visit her website to learn more, or check out her new healthy eating guide.

Published On: February 03, 2011