The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol

Article posted in: Nutrition

In years past, eggs got a bit of a bad wrap among healthy eaters. That’s because eating eggs means eating cholesterol, which was essentially a four-letter word for the health-conscious crowd.

But, according to the recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, cholesterol is no longer listed as a nutrient of concern, meaning there is no longer a recommended daily maximum.* That’s right: The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reported that the “available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and the [cholesterol levels in your blood].” Of course this isn’t license to go chow down on your favorite high cholesterol foods. The guidelines still note that there is strong evidence to suggest that eating patterns that include lower intake of dietary cholesterol are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. And moderate evidence indicates that these eating patterns are associated with a reduced risk of obesity.

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Some experts contend that this may be because the diet is composed of multiple, interacting nutrients—not just a reduction in cholesterol. And, most foods high in cholesterol, like meat and cheese, are also high in saturated fats.

So what’s the take-away? By choosing a diet that is lower in cholesterol, you are typically choosing foods that are lower in saturated fats, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. But (forgive the pun) here’s the “egg-cellent” news: While high in cholesterol, eggs are lower in saturated fat compared to other protein choices, which is why the new guidelines recommend including them in your diet.

This is great news for egg-lovers, who’ve been conditioned to skip the cholesterol-containing food. It’s also good news for anyone pursuing a healthy diet plan, since eggs are something of a nutritional superstar. One large egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals, a whopping six grams of protein, and all nine essential amino acids—the building blocks of protein… all for just 70 calories.

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Here are four fresh ways to enjoy eggs:

Omelet Muffins
Combine eggs with your favorite veggies and cook them in muffin tins for loaded omelet muffins that make it easy to get in some “good-for-you” when you’re on the go.

Chopped Salads
Add some protein to simple chopped salads by topping them with a hardboiled egg. Time-saving tip: Boil up a batch of eggs on Sunday evenings to have with your salad all week long.

Egg Salad Sandwiches
Mix hardboiled eggs with mashed avocado, a little mustard  and some paprika, then roll the mixture up in a lettuce leaf for a tasty sandwich that goes light on carbs… not on flavor.

Scramble up an egg and add it to your veggie stir-fry with two tablespoons of chopped peanuts and some low-sodium soy sauce, then serve over a half cup of cauliflower rice for a delicious and healthy meal even the kiddies will love.

*Note: Cholesterol is still a nutrient of concern for individuals with diabetes.