Everything You Need to Know About Eggs

1 July, 2016 ,

You’ve recently sent us quite a few questions concerning eggs. I therefore decided to write an article about eggs to answer all your questions on this topic. I’ll go through the following points: cholesterol, omega-3, allergies and general recommendations for eating eggs.

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Eggs and Cholesterol

Eggs contain on average 150 to 200 mg of cholesterol per unit. Is that a reason to worry? Thankfully, no! We now know that dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels. You can therefore eat a few eggs per week without problem. The quantities allowed change according to your cardiovascular health, i’ll tell you more about it a bit later.

A study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes that the intake of dietary cholesterol (from eggs and other sources), as part of a healthy diet, isn’t associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, even in people who have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol levels1. Instead, saturated fats, found mostly in meat and full-fat dairy products, should be consumed in moderation because they have a greater influence on blood cholesterol levels.

Keep reading to discover recommendations for how many eggs you can safely eat per week.

Eggs, a Source of Omega-3?

You’ve probably seen omega-3 enriched eggs in the supermarket, perhaps you’ve asked yourself how this is added to eggs? Poultry farmers feed their chickens flaxseed or fish oil—it’s that simple! Chickens, as opposed to humans, are able to easily transform ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the omega-3 long-chain fatty acids with the most benefits. These include, among others, protecting the heart and arteries, helping with brain development and preserving its functions, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Omega-3 enriched eggs can be a good choice if you don’t get enough fatty fish in your diet. However, if you do consume enough, it’s not necessary to choose these eggs, since fatty fish contains a large quantity of long-chain omega-3.

Differentiating the Sources of Omega-3

Two types of omega-3 are available to you, animal sources and plant sources. What’s the difference? Here’s the answer:

  • Plant-based omega-3, contained in flaxseed and chia seed, canola oil and walnuts for example, contain ALA. This type of omega-3 is a short-chain fatty acid, which, with the help of an enzyme, needs to be synthesized into long-chain omega-3 (EPA and DHA). The human body isn’t very effective at transforming ALA into EPA and DHA.
  • Animal sources of omega-3, contained mostly in oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, etc.) are naturally long-chain fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

Both types of omega-3 are part of a healthy diet!

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Author

Jef L'Ecuyer

Jef L’Ecuyer

Registered Dietitian, RD at SOScuisine.com

Member of the Quebec College of Dietitians (OPDQ) and Dietitians of Canada,Jef graduated from McGill University in December 2014. Recently graduated and passionate about culinary arts, Jef poses a simple, effective and practical look at daily meal planning. With this in mind, she works in conjunction with the mission of SOSCuisine…

Jef L'Ecuyer

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