The Truth About Eggs: Are Egg Whites Really Better?

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The Truth About Eggs: Are Egg Whites Really Better?

Are eggs really good for you? Should you never eat the yolk? Find out the truth about eggs.

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Egg yolks have gotten a bad reputation due to their high dietary cholesterol content. Some doctors and scientists have long warned about their potential health risks, but recent findings shed light on the benefits of eating egg yolks. The question is do the benefits outweigh the risks?

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According to the American Egg Board, the United States Department of Agriculture has determined the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, lower than the previously recorded amount of 215 mg.

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According to the American Heart Association, LDL cholesterol is affected by diet and plays a role in your risk of heart disease. While LDL cholesterol is naturally produced by your body, dietary cholesterol can have an impact.

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The American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee released their fat guidelines, which recommend that individuals limit their cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day. Individuals with coronary heart diseases or high LDL cholesterol levels should limit their cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg per day.

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Since the average large egg contains less than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol, eating up to one egg a day can still be part of a healthy, heart-friendly diet! However, individuals with high blood cholesterol may want to further limit their egg consumption.

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Several research studies also have also found that eating up to one egg a day does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals.

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Interestingly, Japan is among the largest consumers of eggs in the world yet has relatively low levels of cholesterol and heart disease. This is due to an overall diet low in saturated fat.

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Americans tend to eat eggs with foods high in saturated fat, like bacon and sausage. For a heart-healthy diet, it's important to be mindful of our overall diet and not just egg consumption.

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Eggs are an excellent source of protein and nutrients. Most of the protein is found in the egg white, which is packed with selenium to prevent cancer and vitamin D to promote bone health.

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Yolks contain high-quality protein and essential nutrients, like the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin to preserve eye health.

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Our bodies absorb the antioxidant lutein found in whole eggs more effectively than other food sources like spinach due to the fat in the yolk.

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A nutritional comparison of egg white and yolk shows that most of the egg's calcium, iron, folate and omega-3s are found in the yolk.

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Eggs are a great source of choline, a nutrient that promotes healthy brain function and is important during pregnancy and early development. About 90 percent of egg's choline is found in the yolk.

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What's the verdict? Eating the whole egg may not be as bad as you think! In fact, skipping the yolk means you're missing out on some key nutrients. For many, eating up to one whole egg a day can be part of a healthy diet, but those seeking to lower their blood cholesterol may want to limit their intake of egg yolk.

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Are eggs really good for you? And should you never eat the yolk? Whether you've been warned by a doctor or a friend against eating the yolk, it seems that eggs carry a stigma of high cholesterol that could lead to heart disease.

We think it's time to crack open this case. Take a closer look at the pros and cons of eating whole eggs (yolk and all!) to find out what's behind egg's bad reputation and whether you're missing out on some key nutrients.

Check out the slideshow above to find out if the benefits of eating egg yolks outweigh the risks.

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