It seems as if the information about eggs, cholesterol and health change every few years. One year they are "bad" while the next, researchers are praising their worth. What's an athlete to believe? Here's a quick update about eggs...
Here are the nutrients you can find in 1 egg (not Omega-3 enriched):
Total fat: 5 grams
Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
Cholesterol: 185 milligrams
Sodium: 70 milligrams
Potassium: 70 milligrams
Protein: 6 grams
Micronutrients: Vitamins A, D, B6, B12, folate, calcium, iron, riboflavin, phosphorus and zinc
Interestingly, the cholesterol level in eggs these days has been found to have lower amounts than in the past. As you can see from the amount above, the cholesterol content of a normal egg is around 185 milligrams now. Good news for some athletes!
Eggs are also rich in choline which plays a big role in proper brain functioning and is necessary for women who are pregnant.
Here's some other interesting facts about eggs that not many athletes know:
1. The egg yolk contains almost half the protein in an egg and the majority of the other nutrients.
2. Egg yolks contain zeaxanthin and lutein which are both good for eye health.
3. Most of the fat in an egg is unsaturated so it does not have as much of an impact on potentially raising the unhealthy cholesterol, LDL.
4. Evidence (from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee) shows that most healthy individuals can eat 1 egg per day without significant changes in cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
5. Modern research has pointed more towards LDL having a bigger impact on coronary heart disease versus total cholesterol level. In fact, many studies argue that the LDL/HDL ratio is a better indicator of heart disease risk than either LDL or HDL alone.
6. Research has also shown that saturated fat may be more likely to increase the cholesterol level in the body than does dietary cholesterol. Eggs do have a higher amount of cholesterol but compared to other animal food sources, eggs have a much lower amount of saturated fat.
Eggs have the highest quality protein available in food and can be a great part of a metabolically efficient nutrition plan. Enjoy them in moderation!
For more information about eggs, visit The Egg Nutrition Center.