Harvard Heart Letter

An egg a day may be A-okay

Protein-rich and high in vitamin D, the egg was once revered as an ideal food. Concerns over its high cholesterol content—210 milligrams (mg) in a large egg, almost all of it in the yolk—prompted some to question whether the risks of eating eggs might be greater than the benefit. The truth may lie somewhere in between. A new analysis of studies done on egg consumption and risk of heart attack or stroke came to the conclusion that eggs do not increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. In most of the studies included in the analysis, which was published on Jan. 16, 2013, in BMJ, participants ate up to 10 eggs per week; some ate 15 to 20. Yet no adverse effects were seen. The researchers concluded that it's safe to eat one egg a day. People with diabetes were an exception: their risk of heart disease rose along with the number of eggs eaten. In all people, though, eggs appeared to lower the risk of bleeding into the brain.

The American Heart Association recommends people consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. Considering the nutritional value and low cost of eggs, some experts suggest taking a wider look at food choices and trying to eat a diet that is low in cholesterol, rather than eliminating eggs.

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