Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eggs & Cholesterol?

Current Recommendations

The American Heart Association[31,32] Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction are listed in Table 1. The current recommendations reflect a shift toward looking at dietary patterns and overall diet quality rather than focusing on specific nutrients and a diet based more on inclusion of a wide range of foods and less on avoidance of particular foods or ingredients. Whereas there was previously a stated recommendation to limit eggs to 4 yolks per week, this food-specific recommendation is not in the current guidelines. The American Heart Association recommendation is to limit dietary cholesterol to <300 mg/d. The average egg yolk contains on average 213 mg of cholesterol.

If eggs are judged on their nutritional content, convenience, and cost, the positive contributions of eggs may outweigh the potential risk associated with the cholesterol. This may be particularly true for healthy elderly individuals whose cholesterol risk and nutritional needs differ from earlier years. For individuals with diabetes or major risk factors for CHD, the recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol to <200 mg/d[33] allows for less frequent use of unmodified egg products. Along with the numerous modified egg products on the market today (eg, Egg Beaters), there will likely be additional egg and egg products with higher lutein and lower cholesterol in the future.[34,35]

Table 1. American Heart Association 2006 Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction[32]
Balance calorie intake and physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight
Consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruit
Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods
Consume fish, especially fatty fish, at least twice per week
Limit your intake of saturated fat to <7% of energy, trans fat to <1% of energy, and cholesterol to <300 mg/d by
Choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives
Selecting fat-free (skim), 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products
Minimizing the intake of partially hydrogenated fats
Minimize the intake of beverages and foods with added sugars
Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt
If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation
When you eat food prepared outside of the home, follow American Heart Association diet and lifestyle recommendations

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