Most physicians would agree that healthy eating incorporates moderation and enjoying a wide variety of foods or nutrients. Eating nutrient-rich foods, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is a healthy choice. Portion control is essential in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight.
Eggs are back in the news. Consumers and health care practitioners alike have been confused for years by the back-and-forth reporting on the benefits versus detriments of eating eggs. Do eggs provide nutritional benefits? Do eggs impact cholesterol and should they be avoided? One of the biggest questions has been: “yolk or no yolk?” Or is it okay to eat egg whites and skip the yolks?
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eggs have long been vilified by doctors and scientists. They contend that research has concluded that for most people, cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet. They show that moderate egg consumption, up to 1 per day, does not increase the risk for heart disease in healthy individuals. However, the published report does not give the green light to going full speed ahead in eating all the eggs you want, and defers to moderation.
Recently, egg producers funded a study confirming the health benefits of eggs. That’s correct, egg producers funded the study. The American Egg Board wants everyone to know that eggs are good for you. They are also reintroducing the egg as having 14% less cholesterol (185 mg down from 215 mg) and asserting that eggs can help maintain a healthy weight, give the brain a boost, and provide energy all day long.
Undeniably, eggs as a whole are a good source of protein, and they contain vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin B. However, there is a wide range of information and data supported on all sides of this ovum, so this debate will probably rage for decades more. For most people, eggs can probably be eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy balanced diet.
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- Egg nutrients. American Egg Board. http://www.incredibleegg.org/health-and-nutrition/egg-nutrients.
- Eggs and heart disease. Harvard School of Public Health. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/eggs/.
- Fernandez ML. Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006;9(1):8-12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16340654
- Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB, et al. A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. JAMA. 1999;281(15):1387-1394.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=10217054
- Weil A. New risks to eating eggs? Weill Lifestyle. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400406/New-Risks-to-Eating-Eggs.html