Eggs: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, January 23, 2009

Over the years, eggs have gotten a bad rap as cholesterol no-nos. But should you totally ditch them in your diet?

The Nutrition Facts:
One large egg contains 210 milligrams of cholesterol, which is about two-thirds of your daily need (300 milligrams per day is the recommended maximum). Most of us have two or three eggs for breakfast, which means we’re topping out on cholesterol in one meal. What you may not realize, however, is that saturated and trans fats influence your cholesterol levels the most, according to research.

Although eggs do contain cholesterol, they also have other benefits that make them a good-for-you food. They’re are full of vitamin A and D, which are mostly found in the yolk, and have some omega-3 fats, which are good for your heart. Nowadays, there are even eggs with added omega-3 fats available at your supermarket (a heads up: they can be quite pricey).

Another plus for eggs is the antioxidant lutein (pronounced LOO-teen), which helps promote healthy eyes and skin. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found the blood more successfully absorbs egg-sourced lutein than lutein from other foods (i.e. spinach and corn).

Better still, eggs are a “perfect protein” because they contain all the essential amino acids needed for growth and your body’s maintenance. There is as much protein in an egg yolk as there is in the egg white.

And yes, you might wonder: what’s the difference between brown and white eggs? Nothing nutritionally. The color all has to do with the hens earlobes — hens with white earlobes lay white eggs and hens with red earlobes lay brown eggs.

The Bottomline:
The American Heart Association says an egg a day is fine for a healthy diet, and you should try to replace other high cholesterol foods such as dairy, meats and poultry. If you follow that one-a-day rule, keep in mind that many baked goods contain eggs and are a source of cholesterol and fat as well.

Of course, a plain egg isn’t the only option; there are low cholesterol alternatives available. Egg substitutes work well in recipes, and 1/4 cup is equivalent to a single egg. Using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites when prepping a dish can also help lower the overall cholesterol tally. Always avoid frying eggs or cooking with tons of butter. Try poaching them in water.

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Comments (58)

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  11. mschavi says:

    I would LOVE to find somebody like you in my area . . . boy, would I be happy to buys some of those yard eggs from you. We have looked and looked for a source for good, fresh eggs. No luck.

  12. paula says:

    google: mad city chickens! my mom started that movement, helped repealed the law and now everyone in the neighborhood has their own coops! they have annual parties where they show off their coops, gardens and variety of breeds! ironically, my mom doesn't eat eggs, but she barters them all the time.

  13. sherry h. says:

    Yes…chickens DO have ears..and white lobes DO equal white eggs…red lobes are brown eggs…I have one chicken who I honestly don't know what color her ears are (she is a very dark chicken and I just haven't noticed) and she lays green eggs. My chicks are happy, healthy and roam free during the day. In my city you can have hens even in the city limits, so check your local laws and see if you can have a couple if you are wanting fresh 'farm' eggs. I'm telling you, once you have eaten a free range happy chicken egg..the store bought eggs just won't do. Not to mention what lovable little creatures they are. I love my chicks.

  14. mignonne says:

    Yes they do, I have some Americanas and they have green earlobes and they lay light blue-green eggs! They are lovely!

  15. mignonne says:

    I had a friend who asked if I sold my eggs and I told her I had not done so yet. She wanted to know how much I would ask for them and I told her a lady at our office sold her farm fresh eggs for $3.00 per dozen. She said, "oh, that's too high!" I explained to her that chicken feed was not cheep!! Even though the chickens get out and scratch and eat in the yard they still like their chicken feed!!

  16. paula says:

    true grandpa, but its the quality of life we want to have as we get near that end of the tunnel!

  17. Sarah says:

    If you use this logic, you can also say that the point of a seed is to make a new plant. So… should you not eat seeds either? (Strawberries, corn kernals, sunflower seeds)

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