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Understanding Eggs and Cholesterol: How many eggs can you eat?


Eggs are both nutritious and safe to eat. Many people are concerned about cholesterol levels in eggs. Here we’ll explain how you can safely include eggs as part of your healthy food choices.


Eggs are nutritious

Eggs are nutrient packed – the yolk and white provide several essential nutrients. The egg yolk includes Vitamins A, D, E and B12, riboflavin, selenium and folate. The white provides a good source of high-quality protein. With 5 g of fat per egg, and no trans fat, eggs can easily fit into your daily fat recommendation. Some eggs have omega-3 fatty acids, which may help in the protection against cardiovascular disease. Canada’s Food Guide recommends 2-3 servings of Meat and Alternatives every day for adults. Since eggs are nutrient rich, 2 eggs are equal to one serving from the Meat and Alternatives food group. 


Understanding dietary cholesterol and eggs

Your body will naturally produce cholesterol, a fat-like substance.  It helps to produce hormones that your body needs.  The amount of cholesterol in your body (both natural and from food) is sometimes referred to as blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is also found in animal food sources, including eggs. This is called dietary cholesterol. Not too long ago, the egg industry suffered from bad press surrounding dietary cholesterol and heart disease. It was thought that dietary cholesterol was the main reason for high blood cholesterol levels. Today’s research shows that there are lots of reasons why you may have high blood cholesterol levels. Genetics, body weight and your blood lipid levels all impact the way your body responds to the cholesterol in foods. In general, it is important to limit your intake of foods high in cholesterol as well as saturated and trans fat. This is your first step in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.


How many eggs can you eat in a day?

One egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol, which is found mostly in the yolk. As with most foods, eggs should be eaten in moderation. Eggs can be a healthy food choice when you limit other foods with saturated and trans fat.  A healthy person without high blood cholesterol, diabetes or a history of heart disease can eat an average of one whole egg per day. This does not increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you have high blood cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease, you should limit your intake of whole eggs to two or less per week. This will help prevent cardiovascular disease. Limit your consumption of eggs along with other foods high in cholesterol, saturated and trans fat.


Eggs are part of healthy eating for children too

Eggs are nutritious and provide a good amount of quality protein to keep up with your child’s energy levels. Eggs can be a healthy food choice for children in moderation, along with a variety of other healthy foods from the other food groups. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that children from ages 2-8 have 1 serving from the Meat and Alternatives food group each day. Children 9-13 can have 1-2 servings from this food group each day.


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If you have questions about how many eggs you or your family can eat each day, call 1-877-510-5102 to speak with an EatRight Ontario Registered Dietitian, or send an email.

Last Update – October 9, 2016

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