Here's the truth about eggs and cholesterol that's worth a read

  • 1 Minute Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

If you love eggs, you might want the straight-up truth about eggs and cholesterol. They are inexpensive and nutritious. So, is it OK to eat them regularly, or not? Read on to see if the rumors are true.

The truth about eggs and cholesterol

What is the truth about eggs and cholesterol?

One large egg contains about 80 calories and 6 grams of protein. It is also an excellent source of other nutrients that we need in our diet-vitamin B12, choline, riboflavin, and selenium.

In addition to being very nutritious, eggs (or, more specifically, egg yolks) are very high in dietary cholesterol. Only liver and giblets beat out egg yolks for cholesterol content. Each yolk contains 186-212 mg cholesterol. However, evidence does not support that dietary cholesterol turns into blood cholesterol. Studies do show a strong relationship between high consumption of saturated and trans fats with increased LDL blood cholesterol levels (the worst type). This means it is important to limit the fatty meat that is often eaten with the eggs. However, the relationship between dietary cholesterol intake and LDL levels shows little correlation. Because eggs are so nutritious and affordable, I hesitate to recommend limiting eggs unless the evidence clearly points to a direct link between egg consumption and higher risk.

"Up to one egg a day". Read the fine print!

One meta-analysis study looked at egg intake and coronary heart disease. In their extensive review of multiple studies, the authors did not find a link between consuming eggs and heart disease risk. The authors concluded that "moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) is not associated with cardiovascular disease risk overall, and is associated with potentially lower cardiovascular disease risk in Asian populations." Take note-this study does not support the daily intake of multiple eggs. Therefore, do not make the assumption that 3-6 eggs daily is safe.

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises that "healthy individuals can include up to a whole egg or equivalent daily." The AHA also makes these exceptions for the following subgroups:

How much cholesterol does an egg white contain?

Don't worry about the whites! All of the dietary cholesterol is in the egg yolk; egg whites are cholesterol-free, protein-rich, and just fine to eat liberally. Many people enjoy egg whites alone or combine two egg whites with one whole egg to keep the daily cholesterol intake in check. You can also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made from egg whites.

Try one of our MyNetDiary Premium egg recipes

Spiced Hard-Boiled Egg
Breakfast Egg Muffins
Simple Egg White Omelet with Veggies & Cheese

Adapted from original content by Kathy Isacks MPS, RDN, CDCES

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Foods & Recipes->Dairy Foods Meal Planning & Diets->Breakfast Other Health Issues->Cardiovascular Disease
Mar 19, 2021

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