Eggs can be a very nutritious part of your diet. Eggs are a complicated issue. One minute they are praised for their high protein content, and the next minute they are discounted for their high cholesterol. Should we eat them whole? Or without the yolk? Or should we avoid them altogether?
What’s the deal?
Nutritional studies don’t provide much clarity; in fact, they are often the cause of confusion. A review published in the June 2018 issue of the journal Nutrients concluded with certainty that eating eggs and other sources of dietary cholesterol does not affect heart health.
Then, according to a March 2019 meta-analysis in JAMA, the more eggs people ate, the higher their risk of the same heart problems, apparently due to the cholesterol in eggs.
What should an egg lover do?
Livestrong asked readers to send in their most important nutrition questions for registered dietitians. Eggs were the focus of many readers who wanted to know if it was okay to eat eggs every day and if we really need to avoid the yolks to control our cholesterol levels.
Here’s what the experts had to say. “Eggs can be a very nutritious part of your diet. They are an excellent source of protein and contain many different nutrients.
More and more studies show that most of us can eat one to two eggs a day without any problems with our cholesterol levels. But if you have high cholesterol (especially if it runs in your family), you should look at how many eggs you eat and stick to a one-egg-a-day diet. Then, when you have your annual blood test, consult your doctor to make sure your cholesterol levels are normal.
Nevertheless, eggs can be a very healthy part of the diet. Even someone who is prone to high cholesterol will probably be fine eating one egg a day.
The yolk has a lot of nutrients, but if you are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol and love eggs, you can use one yolk and a few egg whites or get rid of the yolk completely. Eggs are a great way to add vegetables, like scrambled eggs with cheese for healthy fats and proteins.”
“I think eggs are good. In fact, they are great. Eggs are a great source of nutrients and they’re probably the best source of protein you’ll find. Eggs can be added to any meal, from breakfast and lunch to dinner and snacks. I love them,” says nutritionist Bonnie Taub.
The new US dietary guidelines state that dietary cholesterol from foods such as eggs does not raise blood cholesterol levels.
Personally, I like to eat whole eggs. But choosing egg whites over whole eggs should depend on what else you eat and your medical history. If I had an egg white omelet with vegetables or a regular omelet with vegetables, I wouldn’t notice much difference.”