A diet high in cholesterol, including eggs, did not increase the risk of heart attack according to a new study from Finland, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition The study assessed approximately 1000 men aged between 42 and 60 years and with no baseline diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and followed them over a period of 21 years. The men consumed a diet containing 520 mg of daily dietary cholesterol, including one egg per day. There was no difference in the development of heart disease in any of the study participants, including those with APOE4, a high risk subset genetically predisposed to adverse cholesterol metabolism. Studies such as this one are forcing global nutritional organizations to rethink guidelines for limiting daily cholesterol intake. Consumption of higher levels of cholesterol (greater than 520mg per day) was not tracked in this study so cannot be assessed, but limiting foods high in cholesterol because of concerns for development of heart disease may be unfounded. One egg contains approximately 200 mg of cholesterol.
This new data regarding cholesterol and eggs brings good news for health conscious persons and foodies alike, because of the versatility, simplicity and nutritional benefits of eggs, and dispels the bad rap that eggs shared for many years. While the white of the egg is rich in protein, vitamin B2, selenium, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper, the egg yolk is the contains cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin. Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein including eight amino acids and come at a relatively small price tag. Eggs are ideal for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Eggs are satisfying and help one feel full for longer periods of time. They are a good choice to combat pre-diabetes and insulin resistance. Eggs store well in the refrigerator and last up to 5 weeks after the “sell by” date. Here are some simple ways to incorporate eggs into your diet:
1.Hard boil a dozen eggs and leave in the refrigerator for on-the-go breakfast or snack food.
2.Slice a hard boiled egg into a salad, as source of protein. A vinaigrette dressing turns creamy with when it mixes with yoke.
3.Make a sandwich with a sliced hard boiled egg and avocado chunks. Top with arugula, salt and pepper.
4. Include hard boiled eggs in school lunch for children.
5.Eat eggs after exercise and weight training to replenish protein and help build muscle mass.
Think about making egg dishes such as fritatta and quiche. Scrambled eggs go well in rice dishes, such as fried rice. Eggs are essential in baking cakes and cookies, including pastries such as macaroons and meringue. Click here for my recipe for Mixed Vegetable Fritatta.
J. K. Virtanen, J. Mursu, H. E. Virtanen, M. Fogelholm, J. T. Salonen, T. T. Koskinen, S. Voutilainen, T.-P. Tuomainen. Associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with carotid intima-media thickness and risk of incident coronary artery disease according to apolipoprotein E phenotype in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2016; DOI:10.3945/ajcn.115.122317