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Eggs, Cholesterol and a Healthy Diet: Fertilized Eggs and More

Updated on July 31, 2012

There has been much controversy about whether a healthy diet should include eggs. Cholesterol in eggs has been considered by many health experts to be a contributor to heart disease. In the sixties and seventies medical reports linked egg consumption to heart disease causing a decline in egg sales. In the late seventies beliefs about eggs began to change and some experts promoted eggs for their many nutritional benefits including decreasing the risk of heart disease.

Then in the mid nineties more opinions about the dangers of cholesterol in eggs began to emerge. The concern was that eggs contained two hundred and fifty milligrams of cholesterol in every yolk, which is the total daily allowance. In the late nineties views began to change again. Some experts claimed that eating eggs every day is healthy and the cholesterol content is good for your health.

Today it is known that consuming cholesterol from natural sources such as eggs does not increase blood cholesterol. Therefore the amount of cholesterol in fertilized or unfertilized eggs is not an issue. What does increase cholesterol is a diet high in refined sugars, flours and fats. In fact, the high lecithin content in eggs helps reduce cholesterol levels. Studies show that healthy individual who eat one to two eggs per day do not increase their risk of heart disease. High saturated fat consumption is now known to be the true risk factor for heart disease. Most of the fat found in eggs is not saturated.

The nutritional value of an egg depends upon the quality of the chicken which laid it and amount of time it has spent in storage. Mass produced eggs from caged hens contain growth enhancing chemicals, antibiotics and other chemicals in their feed. These eggs can be recognized by their pale, flat yolks, bland taste and thin shells. Good quality egg will have a round, deep orange-yellow yolk with a greatest concentration of egg white nearest to the yolk and the shells will be thick and hard.

Quality eggs can be found at a natural food store, a farmer’s market and some major supermarkets. Eggs should be labeled certified organic or free range, which means hens have been grain fed without the use of antibiotics and have been able to roam around freely to get exercise.

Organic or free range eggs are considered a whole food and are very nutritious and taste much better than mass produced eggs. They are one of the most nutritious foods available. Nutrients include A, E, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, pantothenic acid, folate, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, lutein(a powerful antioxidant), selenium, tryptophan, iodine and DHA. Eggs also contain lecithin which breaks down fat, supports liver function, helps prevent clogged arteries, and improves digestion, prevents gallstones and kidney stones, provides a source of choline and inositol for proper brain function.

Eggs are low in calories and only have five grams of fat. They are one of the best sources of protein available because they are rich in all the essential amino acids. Once the body has been provided these eight essential amino acids, it is able to produce all the other amino acids that it requires. When you consider the cost of eggs, they are one of the best values around for the amount of protein and other nutrients they contain.


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    • profile image

      Roberta 5 years ago

      Can you confirm that un-fertilized eggs contain lecithin? I just read (in a very old book on raising chickens) that only fertilized eggs contain the compound.

    • profile image

      hitesh singh 6 years ago

      its grtttttttttttt

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      bryan 6 years ago

      once again, the "food inc." media has invaded canada. thanks for the article extoling the virtues of eggs, however, "GROWTH ENHANCING CHEMICALS AND HORMONES" ARE NOT PRESENT IN THE FEED AND HAVE BEEN ILLEGAL IN CANADA FOR SOME TIME. most commercial layers have a very specialized feed that enhances the nutritional benefits of the eggs. organic free range is great, but in reality, you really have no idea what they're eating...

    • profile image

      Katherine 8 years ago

      Hello, I'm searching for diet related blogs like mine and I stumbled your site, nice blog!. I hope you could also include me in your blogroll.

      By the way, you have a very good writing skills here. Keep up the good work.

    • Astride Knighted profile image

      Astride Knighted 8 years ago

      I agree, natural foods are far better for you and eggs are one of the best examples of this. Another much maligned natural food is butter. As long as these foods are obtained from animals that live naturally the quality and nutrition is beyond compare.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      excellent hub on egg quality. I usually don't use 3 full eggs when claled for. It is always 2 1/2 eggs or 3 egg whites and 1 yolk..this changed my mind and I will stay w/ cage free for my omelettes.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Organic, free range eggs taste better! We think it is very important to eat good quality food, in moderation and in a balanced diet. We used to eat margerine, but recently have changed our minds about that. Tricia has a small amount of butter on bread; Pat somewhat more.

      We also think it is a good idea to try to include some food that you like in your diet.

      Pat's father is 91, eats eggs every day (and has done for years) plus likes them cooked in bacon fat. His cholesterol is very low. We know young, fit people with high cholesterol. Life is not fair.

    • packerpack profile image

      Om Prakash Singh 8 years ago from India, Calcutta

      Good healthy Hub. Thanks for the information

    • MindField profile image

      MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Steve, first of all - CONGRATS for hitting your 100th hub! And all of them filled with great advice that I love to read and learn from. 

      Second, I love eggs and almost always buy organic. They are delicious and so versatile.

      Organic eggs have strong shells which indicate health. I have never forgotten those on my grandparents' farm - beautiful, big eggs with hard shells (easy to break in perfect halves with one sharp knock and no shattered shell to fall in the bowl), and huge, amazingly yellow, yolks (often two to an egg).

      I believe we need to get back to pioneer living and thinking for our world to heal. Stay away from fake anything. Really look at what they serve at fast-food and diner-type places. It's truly junk and it's deadly, IMHO. More than that, it doesn't even look edible!

      Anyway, once again, I'm proud of you for hitting the century mark and I'll continue to read everything you write because what you write is good for me.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

      I am not afraid of eggs. I am not really even that afraid of high cholesterol. My mom had cholesterol in the stratosphere for years and about the only thing that's *NOT* wrong with her is heart disease. Dad had "normal" cholesterol well into old age and he's the one with congestive heart failure now that will probably carry him off within a few months. Go figure.

      What I fear is hidden sucrose, refined carbohydrates, evil additives that we don't even know what they do, and unnatural fats.

    • Staci-Barbo7 profile image

      Staci-Barbo7 8 years ago from North Carolina

      Steve, I happen to agree wholeheartedly! Do you know whether eggs that have not been fertilized contain the same amounts of lecithin as non-fertilized eggs? I remember reading an article a few years ago that extolled the benefits of eating eggs, and the lecithin content was mentioned for the fertilized eggs. Thanks, Staci

    • RVilleneuve profile image

      RVilleneuve 8 years ago from Michigan

      Eggs are great! Thank you!