I love eggs. Scrambled, fried, boiled, deviled, baked in a cake, or whipped into a delicious meringue. Should I feel guilty? No! All good things in moderation!
According to Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, “an egg a day does not have a negative impact on health,” according to most studies so far.
My first thought on reading that: Who eats just one egg? But we are talking averages here. An average of one egg a day can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, particularly a healthy lifestyle including a good diet overall and regular exercise. Eggs are a very nutritious food, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and relatively low in calories and saturated fat.
The fear with eggs is that they are not part of a heart-healthy diet because of their cholesterol level. You particularly hear this in regards to men getting hen-pecked (forgive the pun!) by their wives to skip their beloved eggs and bacon at breakfast. It is generally recommended we stay below 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, and a single egg has just over half of that amount. Most of the cholesterol is in egg yolks, which is why many people aim for eating the egg whites only.
However, Rimm explains that “most of the cholesterol that circulates in our bodies is not from cholesterol in foods, but rather from our liver making cholesterol in response to high intake of saturated and trans fat.” Thus, unless you are eating an excessive number, the eggs are significantly increasing your cholesterol.
People eating an average of an egg a day have not been found to have an especially high risk of heart attach or stroke in long-term studies. If you struggle to control high cholesterol, then some doctors will recommend limiting yourself to three whole eggs a week, or sticking to egg whites.
Harvard Health Publications had some advice I found helpful:
Rather than fretting over whether particular foods are “good” or “bad” for you, it’s best to consider their nutritional value in the context of your entire diet. In moderation, eggs are a healthy food; eaten to excess, they may not be. So although eggs can tweak your cholesterol up a bit, they also contain valuable nutrients that could ultimately help to lower your risk for heart disease.
Further, let’s keep some perspective. On your average diner breakfast plate, the eggs are probably the healthiest item you ordered. The accompanying bacon, hash browns, and refined white-flour pancakes with butter and syrup are likely more to blame if you aren’t feeling well later.
To read more, check out the original article from Harvard Health Publications: Eggs and your health
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