The poor maligned egg, villified as the source of artery-clogging cholesterol. Though to be too hign in cholesterol to be safely eaten unless consumed as an egg-white omelet. The usual result is a breakfast of excess carbohydrates: cereal, muffins and orange juice. Even the recommendation to eat oatmeal frequently translates into eating the 1-5 minute versions which are not much better. For most people the high carbohydrate load from these highly processsed and easily absorbed carbohydrates are a substantially greater risk to their health than the cholesteol they get from eggs. Oatmeal is good if it is the traditional steel-cut oats that are prepared on the stove in 30-40 minutes.
Most current recommendations suggest that healthy people limit their cholesterol intake to about 300 mg per day. Those with known heart disease are generally advised to keep their intake below 200 mg per day. Following those guidelines, it may be possible for a healthy person to eat an egg for breakfast and remain within the guideline by avoiding cholesterol the remainder of the day. A single large egg has approximately 80 calories with 6.5 grams of protein and trace amounts of carbohydrates. Fat content is 5.8 grams with a quarter of that total saturated. Average cholesterol content is 215 mg, all contained in the yolk.
Studies published last year in the the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the International Journal of Obesity reported on the benefits of including high quality proteins in your diet to promote weight loss and a healthy body composition, specifically citing the egg as an excellent source of high quality protein. Eating two eggs for breakfast helped overweight adults lose more weight and feel more energetic than eating a bagel breakfast with the same calorie content. The study, published August 2008 in the International Journal of Obesity, found that individuals that ate the egg breakfast lost 65% more body weight, had a 61% reduction in body mass index and reported greater level of energy than their counterparts that ate the bagel breakfast. Importantly, researchers found no change in serum cholesterol, LDL, HDL or triglycerides between the two groups.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition pubished a special edition in May 2008 containg nine separate articles demonstrating the improtance of high quality protein in the diet to maintain a healthy body composition. A major finding was that inadequate protein in the diet contributes to increased risks for obesity, muslce wasting (sarcopenia) and chronic diseases. Eggs are a source of all natural and very high quality protein that keeps you satisfied longer. More than half of the eggs protein is found in the yolk.
Another recent study reported in the European Journal of Nutrition followed a group of overweight but otherwise healthy adults given 2 eggs daily for 12 weeks while on a calorie resrticted diet. A control group followed the same diet but avoided eggs altogether. Both groups lost the same amount of weight and had drops in their blood cholesterol levels. Lead researcher, Dr. Bruce Griffen, stated, “There is no convincing evidence to link an increased intake of dietary cholesterol or eggs with coronary heart disease through raised cholesterol. Indeed, eggs make a nutritional contribution to a healthy, calorie restricted diet. We have shown that when two eggs a day are eaten by people who are actively losing weight on a calorie restricted diet, blood cholesterol can still be reduced”
These articles add to the nearly 30 years of research concluding that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease. It confirms thqt dietary cholesterol is only a minor contributor to blood cholesterol levels. Most of the cholesterol in the blood is produced in the liver. Cholesterol levels are more likely to be affected by other dietary and environmental factors, such as, a high intake of saturated fats, lack of exercise, and smoking than by dietary cholesterol. Even more improtenatly, the latest scientific information suggests that cholesterol may be a factor in heart disease, it is not the primarly causal factor, nor is it a good predictor of risk for having a heart attack. More than 60% of those that have a heart attack have a normal cholesterol profile. (see: https://alternityhealthcare.com/programs/advcardio.html)