Eggs & Cholesterol

Eggs okay in diets?

Go ahead and enjoy eggs again (as many as seven a week) without hurting your heart. The secret? Since one large egg has about 210 mg of cholesterol – almost three-quarters of the 300-mg daily limit set by the American Heart Association (AHA) – you need to pair eggs with low-cholesterol foods the rest of the day. Happily, that’s much easier than it sounds.

“Eggs have been vilified, but there’s nothing wrong with them,” says Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, AHA spokesperson and professor of nutrition at Tufts University. “It’s the total cholesterol in your diet that counts; that means all sources should add up to 300 mg max.” Going overboard on dietary cholesterol could raise levels of cholesterol in your blood and increase your risk of heart attack.

Exceptions: If your blood cholesterol is already high (more than 240 mg/dl), or if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, your daily limit is 200 mg. Stick to medium eggs, and be ruthless about cutting other cholesterol from your diet.

On the other hand, studies now prove that many people may not be cholesterol sensitive. If your blood cholesterol is normal, you can test this out yourself by adding eggs without cutting dietary cholesterol elsewhere. Just be sure to check your blood cholesterol a month or two later for any increase.

SOURCE: Prevention Magazine, 2002

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