The simple answer is yes! Eggs are a nutrient powerhouse packed with protein and essential vitamins (A, D, E), minerals (B12, choline), and antioxidants (lutein, zeaxanthin). However, eggs do contain dietary cholesterol–200 mg per large egg. I tell my clients and patients it’s okay to eat two eggs a day along with a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that comes from two sources: it’s produced naturally by our bodies, and it’s also found in the foods we eat. Our bodies need cholesterol for many vital functions like to build cells and make vitamins and other hormones. Our bodies need cholesterol for many important functions such as building cells and making vitamins and other hormones. Foods that contain cholesterol include meat, dairy, egg yolk, and shellfish.
Is cholesterol good or bad?
Cholesterol isn’t naturally “bad.” However, too much cholesterol can pose a problem. For example, meat, chicken, and dairy products (milk, butter, ice cream) all contain dietary cholesterol. Those same foods are high in saturated and trans fats. These fats cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it normally would. For some individuals, this additional cholesterol means they go from a lower cholesterol level to one that’s unhealthy.
How do I know I have high cholesterol?
Cholesterol circulates in the blood. As the amount of cholesterol in your blood increases, so does the risk to your health. High cholesterol contributes to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. That’s why it’s important to have your cholesterol tested, so you can know your levels.
Heart Healthy Cholesterol Numbers
- Total Cholesterol: Under 200
- LDL Cholesterol: Under 100
- HDL Cholesterol: Over 60
At-Risk Cholesterol Numbers
- Total Cholesterol: 200-239
- LDL Cholesterol: 100-159
- HDL Cholesterol: 40-59 (male), 50-59 (female)
Dangerous Cholesterol Numbers
- Total Cholesterol: 240 and higher
- LDL Cholesterol: 160 and higher
- HDL Cholesterol: under 40 (male), under 50 (female)
Can my diet lower my risk for high cholesterol?
It’s important to remember that overall eating patterns matter most when it comes to health. Build lifelong healthy eating habits, meal by meal, by eating a variety of whole foods each day like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and protein foods. Exercise, not smoking, and managing stress and blood pressure contribute to lowering your risk for high cholesterol levels.
If you have specific dietary concerns or conditions like high cholesterol, it’s best to consult with your doctor or registered dietitian for a personalized plan.