Over the years, Americans have unnecessarily shied away from eggs despite their taste, value, convenience and nutrition for fear of dietary cholesterol. However, more than 40 years of research have demonstrated that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.
"My research focuses on ways to optimize diet quality, and I have long suspected that eliminating eggs from the diet generally has the opposite effect. In our own studies of egg intake, we have seen no harmful effects, even in people with high blood cholesterol," says Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.
Enjoying an egg a day can fall within current cholesterol guidelines, particularly if individuals opt for low-cholesterol foods throughout the day. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that eating one whole egg per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels and recommend that individuals consume, on average, less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. A single large egg contains 185 mg cholesterol.
Some researchers believe the natural decrease in the cholesterol level of eggs could be related to the improvements farmers have made to the hens' feed. Hens are fed a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet of feed made up mostly of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals. Poultry nutrition specialists analyze the feed to ensure that the natural nutrients hens need to stay healthy are included in their diets. Nutrition researchers at Iowa State University are compiling a report to outline potential reasons for the natural decrease in cholesterol in eggs.
Eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, which is an increase of 64 percent from 2002. Eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, meaning that one egg provides at least 10 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Vitamin D plays an im
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