The Sunnier Side of Eggs

USDA reports new data on eggs.
The “New Superfood”

Often shunned by those on low-cholesterol diets, eggs are lower in cholesterol than originally thought.  But beyond that, they’re being hailed as the “new superfood”. Here’s why…

Vitamin A for Healthy Eyes and Skin

Egg yolks are rich in vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for healthy eyes and skin. See Are Carrots Good for Cataracts? and also Eating for Healthy Skin.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin for Good Eyesight

Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the eyes. These eye-friendly nutrients are yellow-orange-red pigments that accumulate in the lens of the human eye and the central part of the retina (macula) and filter out harmful components of sunlight. They act like “internal sunglasses”.

Vitamin D for Strong Bones

The recent egg analysis also found an egg contains 64 percent more vitamin D. At 41 IU, eggs provide 7-20% of the current daily recommendation.  Vitamin D is a key player in maintaining strong bones.

Choline for Memory

Choline is essential to synthesize acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter, and is necessary for brain function (e.g., preserving memory) and muscle control. Egg yolks are rich is this essential nutrient. A medium egg contains 125 mg choline. It’s recommended that men consume 550 mg choline per day and women 425 mg.

Sensible Protein

If you’re watching your pocketbook or your waistline, eggs are an inexpensive, low-calorie option to get some of your protein*. They’re about 25 cents each and just 70 calories, not to mention a good source of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

*One small  egg contains about 5 g of protein, large (6 g) and jumbo (8 g). To put that in perspective, 1 oz. of meat has about 7 g of protein.

Less Cholesterol

Egg yolks are one of the most concentrated sources of cholesterol, but if you like them, they can still fit into a cholesterol-limiting diet. According to the USDA, an average large egg has 185 mg. of cholesterol which is 14 percent less than last tested in 2002.

Previous tests revealed an egg contained 211 mg. of cholesterol.  To put this number in perspective, eating 300 mg. of cholesterol or less a day is the standard recommendation for controlling or lowering your cholesterol numbers and 200 mg. or less if you have heart disease.

Hen’s New Diet

The USDA reports that the egg’s improved nutritional profile is due in part to hens being raised on better quality feed which consists mainly of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals.

5 thoughts on “The Sunnier Side of Eggs

  1. Hello karen, good information, especially that women heart attack post. i have added your site at hope you won’t mind 😉


    1. Hi Ernie! Just keep in mind they’re not a ‘free’ food. That is, you can eat them in moderation. Since a large egg has about 185 mg cholesterol, you may have to limit other cholesterol-containing foods that you eat that day. As I mentioned, if you have heart disease, keep your daily intake of cholesterol to 200 mg. otherwise 300 mg. is the standard recommendation. It’s kind of a game of give and take, but the good news is, there’s no need to completely banish eggs and/or egg yolks from a heart-healthy diet if you enjoy them.


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