Confusion about eating eggs is one of those constant questions we get in Community Education. How many? How often? Yolks or no yolks? To make matters more confusing, a recent analysis study, published in JAMA in March, linked higher overall cholesterol or egg consumption with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Even after accounting for saturated fat intake, cholesterol intake appeared the driving factor presenting the risk.
While a large egg contains approximately 186 mg. of cholesterol, all animal foods contain cholesterol, with some dairy foods having as little as 10mg. a serving, to 189 mg. in a serving of shrimp. Considering your overall animal food intake, from eggs, cheese and milk to sliced turkey, ground meat and chicken, is a good way to determine if you are eating excessive cholesterol. With all current research pointing to higher plant food intake to support health, reducing eggs along with all other animal foods, makes sense for most people.
That being said, eggs are a nutritious food and contain higher levels of some unique nutrients. Consider eating egg yolks less often, no more than 2-3 times a week. Eat egg whites for their low calorie, fat-free protein. Have an occasional yolk for its choline content, important to cell membrane structure, and the antioxidant lutein, critical for eye health, along with a host of other B vitamins, omega 3 fats, and other vitamins and minerals.
A simple way to reduce egg yolk consumption is when having scrambled eggs or omelets, use 2-3 eggs, but only 1 yolk. Then add in some veggies to your scramble, such as onions, spinach, and/or mushrooms, for a healthy, filling breakfast. Boiled egg whites are a great snack, and it is easy to pop out the yolk while eating them.