The egg is one of the most standard things we eat for breakfast, but many people wonder whether eggs are healthy.
Each egg is around 75 calories and is an efficient source of rich protein and vitamins. A large egg contains about 6 grams of protein, vitamin D which helps the immune system, and choline that aids in liver function and metabolism.
Egg yolks are significant sources of lutein and zeaxanthin so are good for the eyes. Studies have shown that egg yolks can help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration which affects millions of people worldwide.
Egg yolks also contain cholesterol. A typical large egg has 187 mg of cholesterol and while the USDA recommends no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day, the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t have a significant effect on blood cholesterol so is really not an issue.
Jo Ann Carson, professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas tells us that “We are probably more embracing of eggs within a heart-healthy dietary pattern than we were 20 years ago, but it’s still a source of dietary cholesterol.” “Eating an egg a day as a part of a healthy diet for healthy individuals is a reasonable thing to do.”
Another study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that eating at a dozen eggs a week for three months did not increase cardiovascular risk factors for people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers followed nearly half a million Chinese adults over nine years and found up to one egg per day led to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. They also noted that this was not based on a traditional western diet.
The key, Carson said, is for people to know their risk factors. In general, people at risk for heart disease, who have diabetes or who have had a heart attack should pay close attention to the amount of cholesterol in their diet, she said.
But that’s not to say cholesterol makes eggs a harmful choice. Carson pointed out that if a person’s diet contains little other cholesterol, eggs may be considered less dangerous.
Eggs should be refrigerated and should be cooked fully because there’s an increased risk of salmonella with raw eggs.
The American Heart Association suggests that one egg, or 2 egg whites per day for people who eat them, is part of a healthy diet.
Egg whites provide plenty of protein without the cholesterol of the yolk if that is your concern.
So, if you decide that eggs are for you, like everything we put in our bodies, weigh the pro’s and con’s and make the best decision that you can for your health.
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