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How many eggs can I safely eat?
A. Years ago, the advice was to eat no more than one or two whole eggs per week. The reason was the high amount of cholesterol in egg yolks — approximately 200 milligrams (mg) per egg. The previous cholesterol guidelines recommended no more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day.
More recent research found that dietary cholesterol had little influence on blood levels of total and "bad" LDL cholesterol. Instead, it is dietary saturated fats that raise these blood levels. The reason? Most of the cholesterol in your body does not come from your diet, but is made by your liver. And saturated fat in the diet can cause your liver to make lots of cholesterol.
While recent studies still don't offer a consistent answer, the average healthy person likely suffers no harm from eating up to seven eggs per week. In fact, eggs are a nutritious food. They are relatively low in calories and saturated fat, and rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for the eyes, and choline, which helps supports the brain and nervous system.
— by Howard LeWine, M.D.
Editor in Chief, Harvard Men's Health Watch
Image: © Marccophoto/Getty Images
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