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Eating an egg a day does not appear to increase your risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a recent study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
You can see the results in The BMJ.
The relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk is still a topic of intense debate in the scientific community. The new findings update a 1999 study — the first major analysis of eggs and cardiovascular disease — that found no association between eggs and an increased risk of heart disease.
Because there are some misconceptions about eggs, you may avoid eating them. But it’s important to note that they do contain many nutrients that are beneficial to your health. So, should eggs be considered as part of a healthy diet?
You will have a better idea after you learn a dozen dietary facts about eggs.
Eggs are an excellent source of health-boosting nutrients. There are 6 grams of protein and all nine “essential” amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. That’s important because those are the ones your body can’t make by itself.
Eggs also contain choline, which can help preserve memory, and zeaxanthin and lutein, which provide protection against vision loss. The choline in eggs also plays an important part in breaking down the amino acid homocysteine, which may contribute to heart disease.
The vitamins B12 and D, folate, and riboflavin that are found in eggs may help reduce heart disease risk, too.
An average-sized egg has 212 milligrams of cholesterol, which is a lot compared to other foods. However, only a small percentage of the cholesterol will pass into the bloodstream. Saturated fats and trans fats have a much greater effect on cholesterol levels.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium boiled or poached egg weighing 44 g can provide the following nutrients:
Eggs are also a source of vitamins A, B, E and K.
Eggs also contain a crucial chemical compound known as carotenoids that are normally found in fruits and vegetables — and these nutrients can help boost the immune system over time.
The lutein and zeaxanthin found in eggs play a role in maintaining eye health; research published in 2019 shows that lutein, in particular, may impact cognition in both children and adults.
Swapping in egg whites in place of whole eggs could be a great way to enjoy their flavor profile while dodging extra cholesterol. The egg white holds about half that protein and only a small portion of the fat and cholesterol.
There’s also a fair amount of healthy unsaturated fats in one egg.
Research indicates that eating 20-30 grams of protein from foods that include leucine, such as eggs, may promote muscle repair after exercise.
According to The Egg Nutrition Center, eggs are one of the only natural food sources of vitamin D, with one large egg containing 6% of the daily value.
If you like to eat eggs, it is perfectly fine to have one egg per day. However, the science is clear that up to three whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people. But you have to try to reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. If you are worried about cholesterol, you can avoid eating the yolk.
If you’re interested in learning more about eating healthy, especially if you’re on a busy schedule, check out our guide “Eating Healthy on a Busy Schedule.” Inside you’ll find tips for eating better at home and on the road.