Eggs used to get a bad rap because of their high cholesterol content.
Yet a new study shows they may actually be good for heart health.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Nutrients, found that eating one to three eggs per week could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 60%.
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Those who consumed four to seven eggs cut their risk of heart disease by 75%.
The data was collected from 3,042 healthy participants in Athens, Greece.
The study, titled “Egg Consumption, Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: The Interaction with Saturated Fatty Acids,” was led by a group of nutrition researchers and data scientists in Greece.
Michelle Routhenstein, a New York City-based cardiology dietitian who was not involved in the study, said there is a place for eggs in a heart-healthy diet — as long as the total saturated fat intake is considered.
Eating one to three eggs per week could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 60%, a recent study found.
“Eggs are a rich source of vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and selenium, which are cardioprotective,” she told Online News 72h Digital via email.
When someone is deficient in vitamins B2 and B12, it can cause a spike in homocysteine (an amino acid), which can increase the risk of plaque formation in the arteries.
Selenium also acts as an antioxidant, helping to prevent heart disease.
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Eggs are also packed with high-quality protein that fills you up faster, reducing the chances of consuming processed or refined foods that aren’t so heart-friendly, said Routhenstein.
Heart-healthy ways to enjoy eggs
Eggs are a versatile food that can be enjoyed at any meal.
Routhenstein recommends preparing a veggie-packed omelet or frittata, or having poached or boiled eggs as part of the protein in a well-balanced grain bowl.
Registered dietitian Lisa Moskovitz of the NY Nutrition Group in New York City likes to hard-boil eggs, slice them and put them on top of avocado toast.
Another option is to scramble them and roll them into a breakfast burrito with fiber-rich beans and salsa — or chop eggs into your favorite salad for lunch.
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“For a more interesting way to enjoy eggs, you can make mini crustless quiches or pour eggs into a muffin tin and bake them into bite-sized muffins,” she told Online News 72h Digital in an email.
“Eggs can also be cracked and stirred right into brothy soup (during the cooking process) to up the protein intake and create your own version of egg drop soup.”
Dietitian says moderation is key
While eggs can be a heart-healthy addition to any diet, Routhenstein stressed the importance of taking into account the total amount of saturated fat intake for the day.
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“The study points to the benefit of 1-3 or 4-7 eggs per week for cardiovascular risk reduction, which equates to about 1.6 grams to 11.6 grams of saturated fat per week from the eggs,” she said.
The American Heart Association recommends that only 5% to 6% of calories come from saturated fat.
For a 2,000-calorie diet, that would be about 13 grams of saturated fat each day.
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“While eggs may be able to be included in a heart-healthy diet, the amount should be relatively limited, and the whole diet should be evaluated for optimal risk reduction,” Routhenstein told Online News 72h Digital.
To read more pieces in Online News 72h Digital’s “Be Well” series, click here.