Science on dietary cholesterol has evolved, but Americans remain confused. Contradicting information still exists in the media and online, despite the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the latest research indicating that eggs can be included in a healthy diet. This is especially concerning because eggs are an affordable, accessible source of high-quality protein with many vitamins and minerals that support health at every life stage. Consumers trust healthcare professionals for nutrition information and guidance, and we want to help provide the most up-to-date, research-based information about consuming eggs.
In order to help Healthcare Professionals offer their patients and clients comprehensive information about egg’s role in a heart-healthy diet, we created an egg nutrition and heart health guide (download here) that can be printed and shared. Why is this information important to share with parents and caregivers? Keep reading!
Including eggs in a heart-healthy diet is supported by recent research:
- A 2020 Harvard School of Public Health meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies found that consumption of up to one egg per day is not associated with cardiovascular disease risk.1
- A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2020 concluded, “In 3 large international prospective studies including approximately 177,000 individuals…we did not find significant associations between egg intake and blood lipids, mortality, or major CVD events.”2
- A 2013 systematic review and meta-analysis of almost 350,000 participants found no relationship between egg intake and cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, or stroke.3
A Science Advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) concluded:4
- Healthy individuals can include a whole egg daily in heart-healthy dietary patterns.
- For older healthy individuals, given the nutritional benefits and convenience of eggs, consumption of up to two eggs per day is acceptable within the context of a heart-healthy diet.
- Vegetarians who do not consume meat-based cholesterol-containing foods may include more eggs in their diets within the context of moderation.
- While the AHA still places caution on dietary cholesterol for people who have dyslipidemia, a growing body of research indicates eggs can be included in heart-healthy dietary patterns even in people at risk for CVD.5,6,7
Back in 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans stopped recommending restrictions on the amount of cholesterol in the food you eat.8,9 A recent article in the Journal of Family Practice Hot Topics in Primary Careconcludes, “More recent data suggest that eggs do not increase the risk for heart disease and should be considered a valuable component of a healthy diet.”10
The nutrient-rich and versatile egg is a complete protein with essential vitamins and minerals for healthy living.
One large egg packs a nutritious punch:10
- 70 calories
- 6g high-quality protein
- 1g polyunsaturated fat
- 2g monounsaturated fat
- Excellent source of vitamin B12, biotin, iodine, selenium, and choline plus a a good source of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and protein
- All 9 essential amino acids
- 252 mcg lutein + zeaxanthin
Nearly half of an egg’s protein and most of its vitamins and minerals — including those essential for supporting our brains and bodies — are found in the yolk.
Include Eggs in Heart-Healthy Dietary Plans!
Eggs are a compact, natural source of vitamins and minerals to help keep you energized. They’re a good source of protein and contain nutrients that support brain health at every age and stage — all for just 70 calories per large egg.
For more information and shareable handouts, videos, and more visit our materials page.