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The Big Number: One egg a day will not increase cardiovascular disease risks, analysis says

Is it okay to eat eggs? A new analysis based on three large studies involving nearly 178,000 people found that eating one egg a day did not increase risk for cardiovascular disease or death, even among those with a history of heart disease or diabetes. The researchers from McMaster University in Canada also reported no significant association between egg consumption and cholesterol levels. For decades, fear of cholesterol problems led many people to cut back on eggs since they are a source of dietary cholesterol. Nutrition experts say the average large egg yolk contains nearly 200 milligrams of cholesterol — about two-thirds of what was considered the daily maximum for dietary cholesterol consumption until 2015, when federal nutritional guidelines stopped recommending a dietary cholesterol limit. Most cholesterol in the body is produced in the liver. Health experts now say that eating foods high in saturated fat can cause the liver to produce too much cholesterol. Despite their cholesterol component, eggs are low in saturated fats and are generally considered nutritious. An egg — which has about 78 calories — is considered a good source of protein (needed to make and repair cells, make enzymes and hormones, and promote growth and development), vitamin D (which benefits bones and the immune system) and choline (which helps the brain and nervous system). The cholesterol-rich yolk also contains substances that help the eyes: lutein and zeaxanthin, which stave off cataracts and macular degeneration. The American Heart Association now recommends one egg a day (or two egg whites) as part of a healthy diet.

— Linda Searing

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