A fried egg
A fried egg at a roadside shack REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Eggs are a healthy food, and an egg a day can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

This notion debunks the popular myth that eggs have bad cholesterol that is injurious to health. Eggs are relatively low in calories and saturated fat, and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for the eyes, and choline, which is required for a healthy functioning of the nerves and the brain.

People are afraid that eggs contain cholesterol. In general, people are recommended to limit their cholesterol intake to no more than 300 milligrammes a day. The cholestrol in eggs is in the yolk, so people prefer to eat just the egg white when they are watching their cholesterol intake. Eggs contain more than half the requisite cholestrol intake for the day.

Researchers say that much of the cholesterol circulating in the body is not due to the cholesterol in foods that we eat, but from our liver making cholesterol in response to a high intake of saturated and trans fats. Only an excessive intake of eggs causes problems with cholesterol. An egg a day is a healthy option.

While studies have looked into the connection between egg consumption and the risk of heart attack or stroke, it has been found from the most extensive studies to date that people who eat one egg a day are not at especially higher risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke. Research suggests that the cholesterol a person eats has very little impact on how much cholesterol is in the person's blood.

In general, the resarchers recommend that for people who have diabetes or heart diseases, or those who are struggling to control their cholestreol intake, might limit their egg consumption to thrice a week and eat only egg whites otherwise. The idea is to consider the nutritional value of individual foods with respect to the whole plate. Eaten in moderation eggs contain nutrients that might even help lower the risk of heart disease.

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