With Easter just around the corner this Sunday, odds are you’ve picked up an extra carton or two of eggs – after all, the average American consumes two dozen eggs around Easter! Over time, eggs have come in and out of fashion almost as quickly as runway styles – nutrition experts have labeled eggs (and especially the yolks) both taboo and optimally healthy through the years.
Part of the reason why eggs have been shunned is their high cholesterol content. A single egg yolk contains around 200 mg of cholesterol, which is two-thirds of the 300 mg maximum recommended for healthy adults and the entire daily allowance for those with health risk factors. Recent studies, however, show that blood cholesterol is only minimally impacted by dietary cholesterol. Current wisdom calls for eggs in moderation – no more than seven eggs per week for a healthy adult. Consider that a single large egg has:
- Around 77 calories
- 6 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 22% RDA of Selenium
- 15% RDA Vitamin B12 (Riboflavin)
- 9% RDA Vitamin B12
- Small amounts of nearly every vitamin and mineral required by the human body
Most people can eat an egg a day (keeping in mind all sources, including baked goods) and reap the health benefits of this nutrient and protein packed food. However, those with diabetes or the 30% of the population who are “cholesterol sensitive” put themselves at greater risk for heart disease even with a single egg daily. These individuals should reduce or eliminate egg consumption, or eat only the protein-rich whites.
To answer the question posed in this article’s title, we think eggs are a friend to health and have a place in every diet – with or without yolks. Easter is here only once a year, so enjoy a deviled egg or two, and if you’re watching dietary cholesterol, try one of the many avocado-stuffed egg recipes you’ll find online.
Resources:egg, healthy diet