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Eggs -- Health and Nutrition

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Eggs are making a comeback these days and there are many reasons for it.

Cholesterol and Fats: One large egg contains 213 mg. of cholesterol, all of it in the yolk. Most of the fats found in eggs are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which lower blood cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats.

"While the evidence is clear that high intakes of saturated fat significantly increases plasma cholesterol levels, especially plasma levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL, the "bad" cholesterol), the relationship between cholesterol in foods and cholesterol in the blood has never been conclusively established and remains a topic of considerable debate. Even the American Heart Association has taken notice of the evidence that cholesterol from eggs is not a risk for heart disease and accordingly the American Heart Association's new 2000 dietary guidelines now permit an egg a day, rather than only three a week". Source

For some, however eggs may still be a risk, since in one study of 25 people eating 12 eggs a week for 6 weeks. For 23 of them, cholesterol stayed the same. But for two people, "bad" LDL cholesterol soared by 25 percent (Jour. of the Amer. Dietetic Assoc., Mar 2000). This equals a 50 percent increase in the risk of a heart attack. So if you are switching back to an egg diet, get your cholesterol checked a month or so after you add eggs to your diet.

Source of Lutein needed for good vision: "The human body is better able to absorb eye-healthy lutein from eggs than from other dietary sources of the carotenoid, according to a study funded by the Agricultural Research Service and the Egg Nutrition Center in Washington, D.C. Low lutein intake is implicated as a risk factor in age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans.Lutein and a related dietary carotenoid, zeaxanthin, accumulate within the macula and imbue a yellow pigment that helps protect the eye. Federal surveys report the average American consumes only about two mg of lutein daily, but a salad of one egg and one cup of spinach would easily double that by providing the equivalent of about four milligrams of lutein." . Source

Source of Choline for memory functions: An essential nutrient, choline plays an important neurological role in the development brain and memory functions. It has also been found that prenatal deficiencies of choline have a negative impact on the development of areas of the brain related to learning and memory. With 125 mg of choline, one egg provides at least 22% of an adultís daily requirement.

Egg Nutritional Data for Large Egg

Nutrient (unit) Whole Egg Egg White Egg Yolk
Calories (kcal) 75 17 59
Protein (g) 6.25 3.52 2.78
Total lipid (g) 5.01 0 5.12
Total carbohydrate (g) 0.6 0.3 0 .3
Fatty acids (g) 4.33 0 4.33
Saturated fat (g) 1.55 0 1.55
Monounsaturated fat (g) 1.91 0 1.91
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0.68 0 0.68
Cholesterol (mg) 213 0 213
Thiamin (mg) 0.031 0.002 0.028
Riboflavin (mg) 0.254 0.151 0.103
Niacin (mg) 0.036 0.031 0.005
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.070 0.001 0.0069
Folate (mcg) 23.5 1.0 22.5
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.50 0.07 0.43
Vitamin A (IU) 317.5 0 317
Vitamin E (mg) 0.70 0 0.70
Vitamin D (IU) 24.5 0 24.5
Choline (mg) 215.1 0.42 214.6
Biotin (mcg) 9.98 2.34 7.58
Calcium, Ca (mg) 25 2 23
Iron, Fe (mg) 0.72 0.01 0.59
Magnesium, Mg (mg) 5 4 1
Copper, Cu (mg) 0.007 0.002 0.004
Iodine, I (mg) 0.024 0.001 0.022
Zinc, Zn (mg) 0.55 0 0.52
Sodium, Na (mg) 63 55 7
Manganese, Mn (mg) 0.012 0.001 0.012

Source: Egg Nutrition Center

In the news:

Lipid Composition of Egg Yolk and Serum in Laying Hens Fed Diets Containing Black Cumin --black cumin seeds and/or the active principle are of interest as potential egg-yolk cholesterol-lowering agents.

Consumption of One Egg Per Day Increases Serum Lutein and Zeaxanthin Concentrations in Older Adults without Altering Serum Lipid and Lipoprotein Cholesterol Concentrations1 --findings indicate that in older adults, 5 wk of consuming 1 egg/d significantly increases serum lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations without elevating serum lipids and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. Source

 

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