A registered dietitian explains the why we’re so confused about eggs — and how to make them part of your healthy diet.
Few foods have been as misunderstood as eggs. It wasn’t that long ago that health experts warned people about the potential dangers of eggs because the cholesterol and saturated fat in the yolks were both thought to boost your risk for heart disease. But nutrition is a relatively new science and later research didn’t support these concerns. Let’s say there’s been a lot to unscramble. Here’s what you need to know about the healthfulness of eggs, what the labels mean and some easy and delicious ways to enjoy them.
WHAT THE SCIENCE SHOWS
A study that tracked more than 37,000 adult men and 80,000 adult women for a period of 14 years found that eating an egg a day was unlikely to have an impact on heart disease or stroke. These findings were released back in 1999. Since then, subsequent studies have reached similar conclusions. A 2016 meta-analysis — the type of study that looks at findings from multiple studies to provide a better estimate of risk based on the pooled data — found that there was no clear link between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease, and that eating up to an egg a day may decrease the risk of stroke by about 12 percent. Taken together, the findings from all of the studies over the past 20 years indicate that eggs are healthy.
HOW MANY EGGS SHOULD YOU EAT?
Most experts say it’s OK to eat an average of just under one egg per day. That means if you have a three egg omelet twice a week and a fried egg with avocado toast once per week, you’re within the range.