How Many Eggs Per Day Is Healthy?

How Many Eggs Per Day Is Healthy?

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For most people, eating one large egg a day is healthy. Images

If you eat a breakfast of eggs every morning, you may want to start varying your routine. Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol and contain saturated fat, which contribute to high cholesterol levels. The number of eggs you should eat in a day depends to some extent on your current health condition.

Egg Uses and Composition

When most people refer to eating eggs, they mean chicken eggs, although many other edible bird eggs exist, such as duck eggs. Eggs are a quintessential breakfast item in western countries. You'll see them on just about every diner and cafe menu in a variety of preparations, including omelets, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, eggs benedict, fried eggs and quiche. Eggs also bind ingredients together and are found in many baked goods, such as breads, cookies and cakes. They're a good source of protein and energy, providing 6 grams of protein and 72 calories per large chicken egg, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eating more calories than you burn in a day contributes to weight gain. So, if you eat excess calories coming from eggs, or any other food, this may cause you to put on weight.

Normal Cholesterol

The main concern with eggs is the amount of cholesterol they contain. Eating too much dietary cholesterol can cause the cholesterol levels in your body to become elevated, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. One large egg gives you 186 milligrams of cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily intake of cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day if your cholesterol levels are within the normal range. Eating one egg per day helps you stay under the recommended intake guidelines. Keep in mind you also get cholesterol from other food sources, especially butter, milk, cheese and meat. Read the label of packaged foods to determine how many grams of cholesterol they contain as well.

High Cholesterol

If you already have an elevated cholesterol level, it's especially important for you to limit your intake of dietary cholesterol. The AHA recommends eating less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day in this case. If you were to eat one large egg per day, you could only have 14 milligrams of cholesterol coming from other foods to comply with the guidelines. Depending on the rest of your diet, you may or may not be able to meet the guidelines when eating an egg per day. Eggs also have 1.6 grams of saturated fat, which is converted into cholesterol in your body. You may want to avoid eggs altogether, or eat one every other day to limit your cholesterol intake.

Egg Whites

One way to get some of the protein and flavor from eggs but avoid the cholesterol and fat is to eat just the egg whites. According to the USDA, a white from one large egg has only 17 calories, no fat, no cholesterol and 3.6 grams of protein. Consider eating one whole egg and then adding egg whites to it, or just eat the whites and no yolks. This allows you to eat a larger volume of egg, but still stay within cholesterol intake recommendations. There is no limit to the number of egg whites you should have in a day, but varying your protein sources helps you meet your vitamin and mineral needs.


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