For years, eggs have had a bad rap because of concerns that they are high in cholesterol — 186 milligrams in one egg yolk, which is 62 percent of the recommended daily allowance. For most people, that’s not a bad thing. Here’s why: Cholesterol in the diet isn’t the same as the cholesterol in the blood that leads to heart disease.
“The cholesterol we eat goes to the liver to be pre-packaged along with what the body makes, then is delivered through the body,” said Lizette DuBay Courtney, Salem Health dietitian. “The HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ takes what isn’t used back to the liver. The cholesterol we eat does not dramatically raise the cholesterol in the blood for most people.”
Five reasons to eat eggs
The benefits of eating eggs are egg-straordinary:
1. They are filling.
Eggs are a fabulous source of protein, with a typical egg containing 6 grams. Protein helps you feel full. So, start your day with a high-protein food and eat fewer calories thereafter.
2. They are packed with nutrients.
Vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, E, and K plus calcium, folate, phosphorus, selenium, iron and zinc. Omega-3 enriched eggs are even better with more vitamin A and E. There are not many foods that pack this much punch for your health.
3. They are low-calorie.
An egg has a whopping 78 calories. That’s it.
4. They help your eyes.
Eggs contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
5. They help your brain.
Choline is a nutrient found in eggs that helps liver function and brain development. It is important to your nervous system and eating more of it may mean less depression, memory loss, dementia, inflammation, and more.
Still concerned about cholesterol? Consuming an egg per day is still within the American Heart Association’s recommended daily cholesterol maximum of 300 milligrams. However, if you have heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes, the National Cholesterol Education Program recommends less than 200 milligrams per day and no more than two eggs per week. Check with your doctor if you have concerns.
Eggs have multiple beneficial effects when included in a regular diet. So, eat your eggs!