Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eggs and Cholesterol

Many people seem to not eat eggs because they are "high in cholesterol" and "bad for you."  Well, I'm convinced eggs got a bad wrap several years ago so lets do a little myth busting.

Here's what Harvard Health has to say about the situation (highlighting is mine):
Fact: Eggs are a good source of nutrients. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and some healthful unsaturated fats. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss.
Fact: Eggs have a lot of cholesterol. The average large egg contains 212 milligrams of cholesterol. As foods go, that’s quite a bit, rivaled only by single servings of liver, shrimp, and duck meat.

Myth: All that cholesterol goes straight to your bloodstream and then into your arteries. Not so. For most people, only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes into the blood. Saturated and trans fats have much bigger effects on blood cholesterol levels.
Myth: Eating eggs is bad for your heart. The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease—not on cholesterol levels or other intermediaries—found no connection between the two. In people with diabetes, though, egg-a-day eaters were a bit more likely to have developed heart disease than those who rarely ate eggs.
If you like eggs, eating one a day should be okay, especially if you cut back on saturated and trans fats. 

When I researched the Mayo Clinic site I found this:

How much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person.
When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:
  • If you are healthy, it's recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
  • If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 213 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it's important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.

Mother Earth News compared small farmer’s eggs with commercial store-bought eggs and found differences in everything from cholesterol amount, ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats, and vitamin content.  Go home grown eggs!

Here's my conclusion, it's not that eggs are evil it's just that most Americans have so much fat and cholesterol in their diet that they start to point fingers at eggs.  We know that eggs contain LOTS of good nutrients so why don't we point fingers at chips, fast food burgers, processed food, etc?
Don't blame eggs for high cholesterol! 

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