Best Health

Good For You

Eggs con­tain choles­terol—but that doesn’t mean what you think it means.


Would you be­lieve that al­most a quar­ter of Cana­di­ans be­lieve that eggs pose a risk to their heart health? Sure you would, be­cause you’ve heard that myth, too. But eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Here’s why.

The Truth About Choles­terol

Choles­terol gets a bad rap, but a large pro­por­tion of the choles­terol in our bod­ies is nat­u­rally pro­duced by our liv­ers and is key for cre­at­ing hor­mones, bile acids and vi­ta­min D. We also con­sume some choles­terol from foods such as meat, dairy, egg yolks and shell­fish. The fas­ci­nat­ing thing? Our bod­ies can reg­u­late the amount of choles­terol in our blood. So, if you eat more, your body will pro­duce less. That’s why di­etary choles­terol has min­i­mal im­pact on blood choles­terol lev­els in most peo­ple.

Eggs and Your Health

Yes, eggs do con­tain choles­terol— about 200 mg in one large egg. But that doesn’t mean eat­ing eggs will raise the choles­terol lev­els in our blood. In fact, cur­rent di­etary guide­lines by the Cana­dian Car­dio­vas­cu­lar So­ci­ety and the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion don’t limit di­etary choles­terol to a spe­cific num­ber for healthy adults. And, ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search, eggs aren’t as­so­ci­ated with increased risk for heart dis­ease. Eggs are an ex­cel­lent source of pro­tein (13 grams in two large eggs), which is key for build­ing and main­tain­ing mus­cle and fight­ing in­fec­tions. They’re also packed with nu­tri­ents like iron, fo­late and vi­ta­mins A, D, and B12 and can im­prove the ab­sorp­tion of nu­tri­ents from veg­eta­bles.

A Holis­tic Ap­proach

For bet­ter heart health, look at your habits. Are you eat­ing a va­ri­ety of whole foods (think fruits and veg­eta­bles, whole grains, lower-fat dairy and lean pro­teins)? Are you manag­ing your stress and stay­ing ac­tive? Rather than re­strict­ing your in­take of di­etary choles­terol, stud­ies show that you’ll ac­tu­ally have bet­ter car­dio­vas­cu­lar health by tak­ing a bal­anced ap­proach to your life­style— and that can in­clude one or two eggs each day for healthy adults.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, eggs ac­tu­ally have a min­i­mal e ect on blood choles­terol, so they can be a nu­tri­tious ad­di­tion to any break­fast, lunch, din­ner or snack. Two eggs also pro­vide an im­pres­sive 13 grams of pro­tein plus vi­ta­mins A, D, E and other min­er­als to help sup­port healthy bones, teeth, skin and eyes. I al­ways keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for an easy on-the-go snack, and frit­tata is one of my fam­ily’s go-to break­fast meals! Abbey Sharp, Reg­is­tered Di­eti­tian

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