Hi, my name is Jessie Groth and I am a Registered Dietitian with Guckenheimer. Welcome to Food Myths Exposed where Guckenheimer’s dietitians deconstruct facts and debunk myths surrounding food, nutrition and health.
As a dietitian one of the foods I get asked most about is eggs. Should I be eating them or avoiding them? Are they good or bad for my health? Eggs have been one of the most heavily debated foods in the world of nutrition due to the concern that eating eggs raises blood cholesterol. But is the belief all that it’s cracked up to be?
Let’s take a look at the history and unscramble this question. In 1968, egg phobia swept the country when results from the Framingham Heart Study found that excess cholesterol in our blood predicts a higher risk of heart disease. By extension, the assumption was made that eating high-cholesterol foods had the greatest impact on a person’s blood cholesterol. Because eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol, in 1970 the American Heart Association made national recommendations to limit egg intake to no more than three or four yolks per week.
However, what this study and other early research on cholesterol and heart disease did not take into consideration is that most high-cholesterol foods are also high in saturated fat. One fact that makes eggs egg-cellent is that their moderate fat content is predominantly heart healthy. And in the 50 years since those original recommendations were made, a solid body of research shows that for most people, eating an egg a day is generally safe for the heart.
Need more reasons to eat eggs? One large egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, and 6 grams of complete protein. Egg protein has been shown to have a significantly greater effect on how full you feel compared with other protein sources. They are a great source of phytochemicals important for eye health, and abundant in choline, a nutrient important for fetal and infant brain health. Moreover, two recent studies indicate that an egg a day may both lower your risk for stroke and improve long-term cognitive function. Now there’s a sunny side to celebrate.
Today we know that a diet high in saturated fats and sugary, refined carbohydrates is much more detrimental to heart health than dietary cholesterol. So rather than walking on egg shells over these nutritional powerhouses, we should be focusing on what we eat with them. Instead of bacon, potatoes, and white bread slathered in butter, match your eggs with vegetables, avocados, whole grains and fresh fruit – foods we know keep our hearts healthy, our energy levels high, and our plates balanced. Thanks for watching. If you have any questions, please message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.