Are eggs really that bad?

May 28, 2015 Providence Health Team

For years, experts have expressed their dislike of eggs for their cholesterol content. But are they really that bad? Check out what kind of nutrients nature packed into one little oval package.The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee no longer listed cholesterol (found in egg yolks) as a “nutrient of concern” in a report submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this past February. The federal government will decide how it will use the information in the report to develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015 later this year.

While we wait for the final word from USDA, here’s some nutritional information about eggs for you to consider.

Eggs are one of the best sources of high-quality protein – 7 grams in each egg. Proteins are used to build and repair muscle, skin, hair, organs and other tissues. Of the 21 amino acids used by the body to build proteins, nine are known as “essential” because they can be obtained only from diet. Eggs have all nine of these essential amino acids. 


Some nutritionists have compared the egg to a multivitamin because it contains small amounts of virtually every vitamin and mineral needed by the human body – calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, vitamin E and folate. In addition, it contains significant amounts of vitamin B12 (9 percent of recommended daily allowance), vitamin B2 (15 percent), vitamin A (6 percent), vitamin B5 (7 percent) and selenium (22 percent). 

Egg yolks, along with beef liver, are the two principal sources of choline, a nutrient essential for brain and cardiovascular health. Low choline intake can result in inflammation, liver disease and, in pregnant women, a risk of birth defects.

Lutein and zeaxanthin
Other nutrients found in egg yolks include lutein and zeaxanthin, which have important benefits for the eyes, reducing the risk of both macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein also protects against the early progression of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

And eggs may be beneficial to heart health in other ways, as well. They tend to raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and increase the size of LDL particles, making them less likely to pose a heart risk. 

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