One of the most persistent food myths is the belief that eggs raise blood cholesterol. A study refuting this misconception, reports that adolescents who ate up to seven eggs a week had no rise in total cholesterol or cardiovascular risk.
Not only have previous studies reported similar findings in adults, but there’s even evidence that eggs may actually improve cholesterol levels. In a recent study in which participants ate three eggs a day for 12 weeks, their levels of heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol rose, compared to a control group who consumed an equivalent amount of an egg substitute.
In a similar study at the same center, people with metabolic syndrome–a dangerous cluster of disorders that triple heart attack risk and quadruple it for type 2 diabetes–ate three eggs daily for 12 weeks. Participants’ level of inflammatory markers dropped significantly, suggesting that their heart disease risk also decreased.
Lutein, an antioxidant found in egg yolk, is thought to explain why eggs fight inflammation. Low in calories and high in protein, eggs are also rich in two amino acids–tryptophan and tyrosine–with antioxidant properties, University of Alberta researchers report.
Delicious and nutritious, eggs have been called the breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions, because they’re packed with a truly awesome array of health-enhancing nutrients. Relatively inexpensive–and one of the most versatile foods around–these protein powerhouses are a smart choice any time of day.