NUTRITION

The Health Benefits of Eggs

By Sherry Baker @SherryNewsViews
 | 
January 29, 2017

Interesting facts about the health benefits of eggs! It’s time to enjoy eating eggs again — research shows they don’t raise cholesterol and may prevent strokes.

If you gave up eating eggs in hopes of keeping artery-clogging cholesterol levels low, take heart. Now you can have scrambled and poached eggs and omelets for breakfast without guilt.

For almost 40 years, Americans were warned eating cholesterol-rich foods like shrimp, lobster, and eggs frequently was a bad and potentially health-harming idea. But after research mounted showing dietary cholesterol doesn’t significantly raise blood levels of cholesterol or increase the risk of heart disease, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the top government nutrition group, dropped their previous advice. The group’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer places a daily limit on dietary cholesterol.

 

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“The relationship between dietary cholesterol intake and heart disease risk has been hotly debated for more than 50 years, but the preponderance of respected studies and position statements from the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice, all indicate that there is no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol,” said Tia M. Rains, PhD, interim executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, the scientific research arm of the American Egg Board.

And now there’s evidence about the health benefits of eggs. A study found consuming eggs can significantly reduce the risk of stroke — the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Health benefits of eggs

Researchers from the EpidStat Institute conducted a systematic review and extensive analysis of previous large studies carried out between 1982 and 2015, to investigate the relationship between egg consumption and coronary heart disease (in 276,000 subjects) and stroke (in a total of 308,000 subjects).

The results showed eating an egg a day was not linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. But it was linked to something else — a 12 percent reduction in stroke risk.

The research team can’t say exactly how eating eggs regularly can lower the risk of stroke, but Epidstat epidemiologist, Dominik Alexander, PhD, thinks it’s likely due to the high nutrition value of eggs.

Facts about egg nutrition

Eggs are low in calories and loaded with the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamins E, D, B12, A, and other nutrients, according to the Egg Nutrition Center, the research arm of the American Egg Board.

"Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation,” said Alexander, who headed the study. “They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure."

The research didn’t differentiate among all the ways eggs can be prepared —whether they are scrambled, hard-boiled, fried or baked. However you cook them, there are a variety of ways to incorporate the health benefits of eggs into your meals.

“One of my favorite ways to eat eggs is on top of greens such as spinach and kale sautéed in olive oil, which fits perfectly with dietary recommendations for reducing disease risk,” said Rains. “In fact, eggs are a great pairing with all vegetables, whole grains, and even other sources of lean protein such as fish.”

Visit the American Egg Board website for an assortment of healthy recipes that incorporate eggs, including directions for making breakfast tostada, ravioli omelet frittata, and cheesy cauliflower “grits” with poached eggs.

 

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Updated:  

August 10, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN