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Understanding Eggs and Cholesterol

egg with a yolk in the shape of a heart

Eggs are both nutritious and safe to eat. Many people are concerned about cholesterol levels in eggs. Here we’ll explain how you can safely include eggs as part of a healthy diet.

Eggs are nutritious

Eggs are nutrient packed – the yolk and white provide several essential nutrients. The egg yolk includes Vitamins A, D, E and B12, riboflavin, selenium and folate while the white provides a good source of high-quality protein. With 5 g of fat per egg, and no trans fat, eggs can easily fit into your daily fat recommendation. Eggs are a versatile ingredient and can be used a variety of different ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some eggs have omega-3 fatty acids, which may help in the protection against cardiovascular disease. Canada’s Food Guide recommends including eggs because they are a good source of protein.

Understanding cholesterol and eggs

Your body naturally produces cholesterol, a waxy substance that it needs to make hormones and digestive fluids. Your liver is capable of making all the cholesterol your body needs – this is called blood cholesterol. You can also get cholesterol from food – this is called dietary cholesterol. Animal foods like beef, chicken, pork and eggs have cholesterol. Vegetables and plant-based foods do not have cholesterol.

High blood cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease. At one time, it was thought that dietary cholesterol was the main reason for high blood cholesterol levels but studies have shown that this is not the case. Although some foods contain high amounts of cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat have a higher impact on blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol. There are many reasons why you may have high blood cholesterol levels. Genetics, body weight, and your diet are all factors that impact your blood cholesterol levels.

If you are concerned about your blood cholesterol levels, it is important to limit foods that are high in saturated and trans fats as well as cholesterol. These are important first steps in managing heart disease.

How many eggs can you eat in a day?

As with most foods, eggs should be eaten in moderation. If you are in good health and do not have a history of heart disease, you can include eggs as part of a healthy diet.

If you have high cholesterol levels, heart disease or type 2 diabetes, you should speak to your dietitian or healthcare provider about how many eggs are right for you. You may be advised to eat no more than 1 to 2 eggs per week and limit foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

Eggs are part of healthy eating for children too

Eggs are nutritious and provide a good amount of quality protein to keep up with your child’s energy levels. Eggs can be a healthy food choice for children in moderation, along with a variety of other healthy foods.

You many also be interested in:

Facts on Cholesterol
Facts on Saturated Fat
Facts on Fat

Last Update – September 14, 2019

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