Eggs can be part of a healthy diet, from the January 2015 Harvard Men's Health Watch

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Eating up to an average of one egg per day can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Moderate egg consumption does not contribute significantly to total cholesterol and risk for heart attack or stroke.

January Issue Men's health

For years, men have gotten the message that they should go easy on the eggs-over-easy. But the evidence doesn't support banning eggs from the diet. In most studies so far, "an egg a day does not have a negative impact on health," says Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, in the January 2015 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch.

Eggs contain a number of healthy nutrients, including B vitamins and protein. The main concern about eating eggs has always been their cholesterol content. The cholesterol comes from the yolk, so many people choose to eat only the egg white. For healthy men, worrying about eating eggs may be unjustified.

"Many people perceive eggs as bad because they contain cholesterol," Rimm says. "Yet most of the cholesterol that circulates in our bodies is not from cholesterol in foods, but rather from our liver making cholesterol in response to high intake of saturated and trans fat."

In the largest and longest studies to date, people who ate an average of an egg a day were not at higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Those who have heart disease or diabetes, or struggle to control high cholesterol, might be wise to limit consumption to three whole eggs a week and eat egg whites otherwise.

Rather than fretting over whether particular foods are "good" or "bad," it's best to consider eggs in the context of an entire diet. Although eggs can nudge cholesterol up a bit, they also contain valuable nutrients that could ultimately help lower the risk for heart disease.

Read the full-length article: "Eggs and your health"

Also in the January 2015 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch:

  • How to get the most from medications
  • What determines prostate cancer risk?
  • How to prevent falls
  • Causes of dementia: More than just Alzheimer's
  • Hot tubs and heart health

The Harvard Men's Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Media: Contact Kristen Rapoza at hhpmedia(at)hms(dot)harvard(dot)edu for a complimentary copy of the newsletter, or to receive our press releases directly.

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