February is American Heart Month, which means it's time to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in America. When it comes to diet, mixed messages about dietary cholesterol can be confusing for many Americans, especially when it comes to eating eggs. But egg lovers still have a reason to celebrate during American Heart Month – and all year long – because more than 30 years of research shows healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.(i)
The myth about the link between eating eggs and their effect on blood cholesterol has been a hard shell to crack and a topic registered dietitian Keith Ayoob, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the director of the Nutrition Clinic at the Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, often addresses with his clients. When it comes to assessing the risk of heart disease, the ratio of "bad" LDL-cholesterol to "good" HDL-cholesterol is one of the best known and proven indicators.
"It's important that we clear up all the confusion that surrounds what people should or shouldn't eat to reduce their risk of heart disease," says Ayoob. "Egg consumption does not significantly impact the LDL:HDL ratio, so enjoying an egg or two a day can fall within current cholesterol guidelines, particularly if you eat lower-cholesterol, nutrient-rich foods throughout the rest of the day, like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy."
More Reasons to Love Eggs
Along with being affordable – only 15 cents apiece (ii) – Ayoob offers the following benefits of adding eggs to your diet: