Eggcyclopedia

Welcome to the The Incredible Edible Egg™ Eggcyclopedia, where you can access the latest egg information from A-Z. The Eggcyclopedia was developed by the American Egg Board (AEB) on behalf of America's egg farmers who are committed to caring for their hens and producing high-quality eggs for you and your families.

Just click on any letter below to bring up a list of egg terms and their related definitions.

Cholesterol

A fat-like substance found in every living cell in your body. Cholesterol is made in necessary amounts by your body and is stored in your body. Cholesterol is especially concentrated in your liver, kidney, adrenal glands and brain. Cholesterol insulates nerve fibers and must be available for your body to produce vitamin D. Cholesterol is also required for the structure of cell walls, is essential to the production of digestive juices and is the basic building block for many hormones. Cholesterol is essential for life. While your body produces cholesterol, dietary sources also can contribute to blood cholesterol levels. Research shows that a diet high in saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and excess calories contributes to increased levels of cholesterol in your blood. Dietary cholesterol, found in all foods from animals, does not automatically raise your blood cholesterol levels. Your body usually compensates for dietary cholesterol by synthesizing smaller amounts in the liver, by excreting more or by absorbing less. Elevated blood cholesterol levels do increase the risk of heart disease. You should know your blood cholesterol levels and, if they are elevated, follow your doctor’s advice. In a blood cholesterol-lowering diet, the most important change you can make is to limit saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. Including healthful fats – such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids – also helps improve blood cholesterol levels. A wealth of research has shown that eggs do not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol levels, so it’s not necessary to avoid egg yolks and you can use egg whites freely. One large egg contains 186 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol. Regardless of the color of the eggs, the hen's housing system, or whether the eggs are fertilized, the cholesterol content is the same unless the feed was altered, in which case a claim will appear on the carton. Cooking does not affect the cholesterol content of eggs. – See Fat