Food Nation

An Egg a Day Is Now Okay

I love eggs. I would eat them in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, here, there, and everywhere - if they weren't loaded with cholesterol.

But earlier this week the USDA released surprising findings from a recent nutritional re-evaluation, reporting that modern-day eggs are healthier than previously believed.

Researchers found that while protein content (6 grams) and calories (70) remained the same, the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg decreased from 212 mg to 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded in 2002. The study also revealed that large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, up 64 percent. How is this possible? Well, they're not quite sure, but some scientists theorize that it could be related to improvements in the quality of hens' feed over the past decade. "You are what you eat" isn't exclusive to humans.

According to the American Egg Board, "Enjoying an egg a day can fall within current cholesterol guidelines, particularly if individuals opt for low-cholesterol foods throughout the day. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that eating one whole egg per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels and recommend that individuals consume, on average, less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day." Well, of course they're going to say that. They're the freaking egg board.

However, the egg-a-day-is-okay statement was reiterated by ABC News' senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser on World News with Dianne Sawyer, and again by Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, saying, "My research focuses on ways to optimize diet quality, and I have long suspected that eliminating eggs from the diet generally has the opposite effect. In our own studies of egg intake, we have seen no harmful effects, even in people with high blood cholesterol."

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Lauren Marmaduke
Contact: Lauren Marmaduke