Nutritionists say eggs can be eaten every day despite being high in cholesterol - here's why

·3 min read
Nutritionists say eggs can be eaten every day despite being high in cholesterol - here's why
Eggs are great for your health. Janos Somodi/Getty Images
  • Many people question if it's a healthy choice to eat eggs every day.

  • Eggs were originally thought to raise cholesterol levels, but nutritionists say that's not true.

  • Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins, so yes, you can eat them regularly.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Eggs are considered a universal food because they can be found in pretty much every cuisine around the world, but there is also some confusion around them.

Some people eat one or two eggs per day, as they are considered a nutrient-dense food. On the other hand, some healthy recipes call for egg whites or replace the egg completely. This naturally leads to some confusion: Are eggs healthy, and can you eat them every day, or should they be avoided?

Insider spoke with two dietitians to find out.

The confusion around eggs dates back to a lack of knowledge about cholesterol

"A lot of people are confused by eggs because we see so much conflicting information out there," Kylie Sakaida, a registered dietitian, told Insider. "A lot of that comes from the fact that over a decade ago nutritionists and health professionals were recommending people to stay away from eggs."

Before 2015, researchers didn't understand the relationship between dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. It was thought that foods with high cholesterol would increase blood cholesterol levels and then increase your chance of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US.

Because of this, dietary guidelines put a limit of dietary cholesterol at 300 mg per day. Since eggs have 185 mg of cholesterol, people were told to stay away from them.

eggs substitute
Eggs were once deemed unhealthy. Aleshin_Aleksei/Shutterstock

In 2015, however, Dietary Guidelines for Americans said there was no proof that dietary cholesterol was a direct contributor to an increase in blood cholesterol levels.

"It's recommended to pay attention to saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars, which seem to play more of a role in heart disease," Rachael Hartley, a registered dietitian and author of "Gentle Nutrition," told Insider.

It means you should pay attention to the foods you typically eat with eggs, like bacon or sausage, which are high in fats that can damage your overall health.

The debate continues between egg whites and egg yolks

Even though eggs are no longer considered an unhealthy choice, some still prefer to eat only egg whites and leave the yolks out of recipes. Sakaida said this is because most of an egg's cholesterol and fat are found in the yolk, so people keep them out.

"The thing about eggs is that if you don't have the yolk, you're also missing some of those nutrients," Sakaida said. "Sometimes it's helpful for people to just have egg whites if their goal is weight management because you're going to get a fewer calories. At that same time, you're going to miss those nutrients."

separating egg white yolk
The yolks have important nutrients. Shutterstock

Sakaida said it depends on each person's goals but people shouldn't be scared to eat the entire egg.

Eggs are a great source of nutrients that your body needs

Most importantly, eggs are a great source of protein, which can help build lean muscle, help cell growth, and help keep you fuller longer.

"Not only is it going to be a good protein source, but it can be high in certain nutrients as well," Sakaida said. "It has trace nutrients that can be beneficial for your health."

Eggs also contain "a solid dose of vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and choline," according to Hartley.

The verdict

Both Sakaida and Hartley agree that while it depends on the specific person's goals and health, people shouldn't be scared to eat eggs regularly.

"If you enjoy them, it is totally OK to eat eggs every day," Hartley said. "They are a budget-friendly and versatile pantry staple."

Read the original article on Insider