Jared loved eggs. In fact, he loved them so much that he had one in his sandwich every day. It made his sandwiches taste just that much better. But then he read an article that said eggs were a high cholesterol food that could contribute to higher cholesterol and heart disease. Since his father died of a heart attack a few months back, he took that information to heart. His dad had just turned 50 and he ate a lot of eggs. So, after reading that article, Jared just wasn’t sure about eggs anymore. Should he stop eating them altogether?
Jared is not the only one that is confused about whether eggs are healthy to eat or not. The health information over the years has been confusing. Are eggs healthy or not? And how many eggs can we safely consume?
Are eggs good for us?
Eggs are not just tasty, they are also loaded with nutritional value. After all an egg needs to hold all the necessary nourishment for a developing chick. So, it is not surprising that they are a good source of protein, selenium, iron, iodine, phosphorus, vitamin D and B vitamins (B2, B5, B9, B12 and choline). Plus they are a low calorie food (70- 80 calories) and not very high in fat. Unfortunately, they are also a concentrated source of cholesterol. A large egg contains about 213mg of cholesterol, all of which is contained in the yolk. So, it is important not to eat too many eggs.
Now, there is a debate about how much dietary cholesterol affects your cholesterol levels in comparison to saturated and trans fats. Since the science isn’t clear yet, the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic both recommend that you watch the cholesterol content of your foods, including eggs.
How many eggs can I eat in a week?
How many eggs you can eat in a week depends on your health and what other items you eat in a day. Keep these 2 things in mind:
- If you are in good health: Limit your intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg a day from all sources. So, you can have an egg daily, as long as you limit other foods that contain cholesterol.
- If you have high cholesterol, diabetes or cardiovascular disease: Limit your intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day from all sources. So, if you are going to have an egg, choose a smaller egg, which has less cholesterol than a larger one. Or better yet, eat only the egg whites or egg substitutes. They have no cholesterol at all.
The bottom line:
Eggs are loaded with many valuable vitamins and minerals that can contribute to a healthy diet. So, most people can have an egg a day as long as they watch the other foods that they eat the rest of the day. It’s all about being reasonable and eating foods with cholesterol in moderation.