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The Truth About Eggs

Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom

Did you know that eggs are the most easily digested source of complete protein found in nature? While eggs are cholesterol-rich, they are chock full of nutrients that make them a healthy choice. But you need to choose wisely! Good for both your waistline and your wallet, a “large” egg has just 70 calories, and costs about 15 cents.

Most people can enjoy eggs several times a week, or even daily, when monitoring intake of other foods with saturated fat and cholesterol. According to the USDA, eggs now have 14% less cholesterol than years ago – 185 mg, down from 215 mg. With a recommended intake of 300 mg of cholesterol daily for much of the population (check with your doctor for your own personal health recommendation), whole eggs can be part of any healthy diet.

While many people choose egg whites exclusively – another healthy choice for sure – most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. Eggs are loaded with choline (for nervous system health), lutein/zeaxanthin (supporting vision), as well as a good source of vitamin D (2 eggs have 25% of your daily requirement). Plus, you’ll get 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat.

What about those lower-cholesterol eggs? They’re two to three times more expensive, and are not low in cholesterol, just reduced. Same for “free range” eggs – this only means a chicken had access to the outdoors, not that they are out scratching in a barnyard. These are pricey choices, with a flimsy health payoff. So stick with regular eggs – white or brown – for nearly identical nutrient profiles.

Are you an egg eater? Do you stick with egg whites? Why not weigh in on this one?