For decades eggs have gotten a bad rap. They have been blamed for high cholesterol and have been placed on the 'do not eat' list for anyone wanting to control cholesterol levels. However, recent studies and a better understanding of cholesterol is making many experts and doctors question this old way of thinking.
When considering a whole egg, it is relatively high in cholesterol. The total amount of cholesterol in an egg is around 200mg. This is considering a large egg, since that is what most people in the US consume. This is also an estimated, since the size can vary a little. While this number may seem high to some people, it is around 60mg lower than what was previously thought. Even so, the recommended amount of cholesterol that should be in your diet every day is 300mg or less. This recommendation comes from the American Heart Association (AMA). Therefore, at 200mg per egg, you are already close to your daily maximum.
This may not be as bad as it looks, though. Many other notifiable organizations and doctors suggest that the AMA recommendation is quite restrictive and that most people can consume more than 300mg of cholesterol every day and still maintain healthy levels and a low risk of heart disease. Not only that, but you need to consider that the cholesterol in an egg is not even spread out.
It is important to note that all of the cholesterol in an egg is found in the yolk. This changes things quite a bit since you can eat as many egg whites as you want and not take any dietary cholesterol. Therefore, it is possible to create meals with several egg whites. You can even add in a whole egg or two if you want to add the texture and taste of the yolks. Another option is to purchase prepared egg substitutes. These are just egg whites that are fortified with nutrients and have some flavoring and color added. When prepared properly many people are not able to distinguish between cooked whole eggs and egg substitutes.
While the bad rap of eggs is starting to erode, it is still important to consider what you eat. You may now safely eat an egg or two a day, but you will add more problems if you cook them in butter or add a pile of bacon to your breakfast plate. As with most things related to your diet, it is best to stick to moderation. Enjoy the occasional egg and try to eat more egg whites or egg substitutes instead of whole eggs.