The subject of eggs is hotly contested in the world of nutrition. The debate about whether or not they are healthy rages on. Eggs are a food high in cholesterol, but do they raise your cholesterol levels when you eat them? Here’s a short look at this topic to get to the bottom of this.
Cholesterol in Eggs
There’s no doubt that eggs are a high cholesterol food. A large egg contains around 213 mg of cholesterol. Since the daily recommended limit of cholesterol is around 200 to 300 mg per day—depending on your health and other factors—1 egg is enough cholesterol to reach your entire limit for the day.
How Cholesterol Is Accumulated in the Body
Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol in your foods doesn’t contribute significantly towards your cholesterol level. Your body actually produces cholesterol all on its own—more than you could ever get from eating food. In fact, studies have shown that only Γ’Β Β of your cholesterol comes from outside sources—the rest is produced by your own body.
The real danger to your cholesterol doesn’t come from cholesterol at all, but from saturated fats and trans fats. Eggs do not have any trans fats—those come from oils that have been hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated—and is not a significant source of saturated fats; a large egg only contains only 1.5 g.
Do Eggs Influence Your Cholesterol Levels?
Eating eggs does have an effect on your cholesterol levels according to studies. However, the effect is minimal. One study showed that eating eggs only raised the levels of LDL-1 and LDL-2 particles. These cholesterol particles do not pose a risk for cardiovascular disease. The particles that are the biggest threat are LDL-3 through LDL-7—none of which have their levels raised by eating eggs.
Lowering Your Cholesterol
If you’re interested in lowering your cholesterol, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will know the best things that you can do to help lower your risks for high cholesterol and heart and cardiovascular disease. However, here are a few things that you can do on your own to help.
- Lose weight. Obesity is not the only factor that influences the levels of cholesterol, but it’s certainly a big one. Losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risks.
- Exercise more. Exercise can help you lose weight.
- Eat a balanced diet. Avoid high levels of saturated fat and trans fat and stay away from the junk food.
- Consume more antioxidants. Antioxidants help to keep your LDL cholesterol under control.
- Reduce stress. Stress puts a tremendous strain on the body and can help make a bad cholesterol problem worse.
Eggs are densely packed with nutrients that are helpful for your body. Don’t be afraid to eat them every once in awhile. While they do contain a significant amount of cholesterol, they don’t influence your cholesterol levels in a very negative way. Just make sure to limit your egg consumption and eat foods with less cholesterol on days when you have eggs to keep your cholesterol consumption below the daily recommended allowances.