Eggs shedding cholesterol: US study

February 9th, 2011 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 9 (IANS) If you shy away from eggs because of their high cholesterol content, then there is some good news for you. A study has found a drop in average amount of cholesterol in eggs. Data from the US department of agriculture (USDA) show that the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg or 14 percent lower than previously recorded.

The analysis also revealed that large eggs now contain 41 international units of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent, according to a USDA statement.

“We collected a random sample of regular large shell eggs from 12 locations across the country to analyze the nutrient content,” said Jacob Exler, nutritionist with the USDA’s Nutrient Data Lab.

“This testing procedure was last completed with eggs in 2002, and while most nutrients remained similar to those values, cholesterol decreased by 14 percent and vitamin D increased by 64 percent from 2002 values.”

Over the years, Americans have unnecessarily shied away from eggs - despite their taste, value, convenience and nutrition - for fear of dietary cholesterol.

However, more than 40 years of research has demonstrated that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

“My research focuses on ways to optimize diet quality, and I have long suspected that eliminating eggs from the diet generally has the opposite effect,” said Exler.

“In our own studies of egg intake, we have seen no harmful effects, even in people with high blood cholesterol,” said David Katz, director of the Yale University’s Prevention Research Centre.

Enjoying an egg a day can fall within current cholesterol guidelines, particularly if individuals opt for low-cholesterol foods throughout the day.

Some researchers believe the natural decrease in the cholesterol level of eggs could be related to the improvements farmers have made to the hens’ feed.

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