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Home / Wellness

What do you need to know about eggs and cholesterol?

 Eggs have so many benefits, and it is a nutritious food (Shutterstock)

Most people concerned about cholesterol often wonder if they can enjoy eggs for breakfast. The reason why this comes up is because eggs have dietary cholesterol leading to questions on the long-term effect this may have one’s heart health.

When it comes to eggs, the yolk contains the bulk of the good stuff compared to the egg white.

It is rich in proteins, iron, folate, potassium, calcium, selenium, copper, and antioxidants which give them the bright yellow colour, and they are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.

With so many benefits, it is amazing how this nutritious food has had such a negative reputation.

Contrary to what you may have heard about eggs being dangerous, a consensus by scientists in several studies has found no harm in enjoying the recommended number of eggs an adult should eat per week.

We take a look at some of the things you need to know about eggs and cholesterol.

What is cholesterol?

Before we break it down, you need to first understand that cholesterol is not inherently bad and your body needs it to form healthy cells, hormones, vitamin D as well as in the production of substances that help digest food.

According to Medline Plus, cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all the cells in the body. 

A type of lipid, when your body is high in cholesterol, fatty deposits may build up in your blood vessels making it difficult for blood to flow through the arteries. When these deposits break off and form clots, you could be at risk of developing a stroke or heart attack.

Traveling around the body in lipoproteins, cholesterol is carried around either through low density lipoprotein (LDL) or high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

LDL is referred to as the ‘’bad’’ cholesterol which leads to plaque buildup in the arteries. HDL on the other hand is termed as ‘’good’’ because it carries cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver which gets rid of it.

 Eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol (Shutterstock)

Should you stop eating eggs?

To cut to the chase, no you should not.

Studies have shown that when healthy people eat eggs daily, there is no significant impact on their cholesterol. It almost has no effect on the blood cholesterol levels especially if it is part of a healthy diet.

How much cholesterol do eggs have?

As stated earlier, egg yolks are rich in cholesterol with a serving of approximately 400mg per egg. They are a major source of dietary cholesterol your body needs and the folate and omega 3 fatty acids it also contains actually protect the heart.

Are eggs good for you?

Absolutely!

They are packed with nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy, they are fairly low on fat, they are safe to eat especially for young children, and eggs taste superb.

How much should you eat?

Unfortunately, there is no research to find out how much is too much. Healthy adults can eat up to three whole eggs per day while those at a high increase of heart disease can consume about five eggs per week.

Eggs should be part of healthy diet eaten alongside vegetables, fruits, whole grains and less processed foods.

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