Are Eggs Healthy?

Posted: March 14, 2014 in Blog, Food, Nutrition
basket of eggs

The title question seems straightforward, but the answer is anything but.

Eggs have been part of the human diet for as long as any other food. And for most of that history, few questioned whether eggs were healthy or not. Indeed, until 1968, when the American Heart Association began recommending daily limits on cholesterol consumption, eggs were a guilt-free staple in breakfasts around the world.

Eggs & Cholesterol

So why did the AHA cholesterol recommendations change things? Because eggs have relatively high levels of cholesterol, especially in their yolks. Today, the AHA recommends a limit of 200 mg of cholesterol intake per day for people with heart disease, diabetes or high blood-cholesterol and 300 mg for people without those conditions.

One large egg contains about 183 mg of cholesterol. So a two-egg breakfast puts you way over the daily recommended limits, and you still have the rest of the day to go.

Produced by your liver, cholesterol itself isn’t bad for you, but too much of it is linked to narrowing of the arteries, heart disease and stroke.

When people connected the dangers of high cholesterol with the high levels of it found in eggs, the question of whether eggs were healthy seemed to have a very clear answer.

But fast-forward through almost 50 years of research and the story is not so clear.

Numerous studies have found little or no connection between increased cholesterol intake and increased body cholesterol in healthy people. So eggs shouldn’t be that bad for you after all.

But some studies have found links between daily egg-eating and certain health issues, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people who had diabetes. Other risk factors that may be complicated by regular egg intake include pre-existing high cholesterol and hypertension.

Back to the Original Question – Are Eggs Healthy?

If you’re relatively healthy, eating eggs does not involve the health risks that most people associate with it. If you have one or more of the existing conditions we’ve mentioned, you should definitely limit how many eggs you eat.

For everyone, the best option is to maintain a balanced diet, consult your doctor about any risk factors that might mean you need to limit your egg intake and make sure you get proper nutrition to help your body stay healthy. Your Herbal One nutrition counselor can help.

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