Evolution of Eggs and Cholesterol
New Dietary Guidelines remove daily limit on cholesterol and include eggs in recommended eating patterns
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) remove a daily limit on dietary cholesterol and include eggs in all three recommended healthy eating patterns, which have been shown to reduce the risk of major chronic health conditions facing Americans.
"The U.S. has joined many other countries and expert groups like the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology that do not have an upper limit for cholesterol intake in their dietary guidelines," says Mitch Kanter, PhD, Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center.
While many Americans avoided eggs for years due to their cholesterol content, that thinking has evolved. In a recent survey conducted by the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC), three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) do not let the dietary cholesterol in eggs impact their decision on how many eggs they eat. And more than three in five consumers (61 percent) also noted that the amount of cholesterol in the foods they are buying is of low concern to them.
Plant-Based Dietary Patterns Include Eggs
Consistent evidence indicates that, in general, these dietary patterns are primarily plant-based and more health-promoting than the current average U.S. diet. However, it's important to note "plant-based" doesn't mean only fruits and vegetables; it also includes high-quality protein foods like eggs – a fact that is not well-known among Americans. The ENC survey found that when asked, nearly two-thirds of consumers (63 percent) did not believe that a plant-based diet offered enough protein, and more than four in five consumers (82 percent) did not believe eggs were part of a plant-based diet.
In reality, and as supported in the 2015 DGA, eggs fit within all three recommended healthy dietary patterns – the Healthy U.S.-style, the Healthy Mediterranean-style and the Healthy Vegetarian-style. Eggs are all-natural and packed with a number of nutrients. One egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all for 70 calories. Eggs are also one of the few natural foods that are a good source of vitamin D, which was identified by the 2015 DGA as a nutrient of concern for under-consumption and necessary for helping to build strong bones.
The removal of a daily dietary cholesterol limit and inclusion of eggs within all recommended healthy eating patterns supports regular consumption of eggs along with other nutrient-rich whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. As an affordable, nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein, eggs can help Americans build healthful diets.
For more egg nutrition research and information or egg tips and recipes visit EggNutritionCenter.org and IncredibleEgg.org. You can also find the Incredible Egg on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.