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