Eggs: Friend or foe?

Breakfast for dinner is my favorite! But, should we eat eggs? One minute “They” say: eggs are bad; and, the next: eggs are the “perfect protein”. So, what’s the deal?!

Those claiming that eggs are unhealthy are referring to cholesterol. With the push towards “heart healthy” eating and the focus on blood cholesterol, it makes sense that foods containing dietary cholesterol might raise concern. But, there is a difference between cholesterol we eat (dietary) and blood cholesterol. Research says that dietary cholesterol isn’t the “bad guy” when it comes to blood cholesterol. Saturated fat and extra Calories are more to blame for high cholesterol.

Egg yolks have saturated fat (about 1.5 g per egg), but not as much as some of the more obvious culprits. 1 cup of 2% milk has 3 g, 1/2 of a chicken breast has 4 g, 1 slice of american cheese has 5 g, 6oz of steak sirloin has 10 g, and 1 bratwurst has 12.5 g. High blood cholesterol levels are concerning, but the negative focus on eggs might be misdirected; and, let’s not forget all of the good things eggs have!

Eggs are complete proteins and are easily digested, easing stomach discomfort. Eggs also have choline, a necessary nutrient not found in many other foods. Choline helps to: decrease inflammation, increase brain function, improve mood, protect the eyes, and improve health of hair, nails, and skin.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, remember: it is not ONE THING (ex: eating eggs) that causes high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes can improve lab values, and there are lots of things we can do/try. Avoiding eggs is not the only answer! The current recommendations are to limit dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg/day. One large egg has 187 mg; so, if you have high cholesterol and want to focus on eggs, consider limiting intake to one YOLK per day. Try scrambling one full egg with one or two egg whites to limit cholesterol intake.

BUT, if you love eggs and are interested in other options for improving your cholesterol levels and heart health, contact me!


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