Colorado Egg Producers

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Heart Healthy Benefits of Eggs and the Truth About Cholesterol

Monday, February 20, 2012

February is the month of love, so it’s fitting that it is also nationally recognized as American Heart Month. Heart health is a serious issue for men and women across the country. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States and it affects men and women from young adults to seniors. The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association is spreading the love this month, reminding Coloradans about the heart healthy benefits of eggs.

When we think about healthy eating our minds may wander to foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains. But what about eggs? Eggs – which are a powerhouse of nutrition – are often overlooked.

“As local egg farmers, we have long emphasized the functional and nutritional values of eggs,” said Dave Turunjian, a Colorado egg farmer and member of the CEP. “One egg provides you with 13 essential nutrients to help you live a healthier lifestyle. Backed by more than 40 years of research and recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eggs are an important part of a well balanced diet.”

CEP is a membership organization representing seven farms throughout Colorado. CEP is committed to doing what’s right for its community, as illustrated by the regular donation of thousands of eggs to food banks throughout the state. Egg farmers throughout Colorado pride themselves on providing eggs to Coloradans. We are also proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced, brown and white eggs. You can find locally produced, fresh, wholesome and safe eggs in the dairy case of your favorite Colorado supermarkets. To see video of how chickens are raised in both cage and cage-free environments or to find a list of where to buy Colorado eggs visit coloradoeggproducers.com.

In addition, the latest nutrition data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), shows eggs are now naturally lower in cholesterol than previously thought. The USDA-ARS recently reviewed the nutrient composition of standard large eggs, and results show that the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded and well within the 300mg recommended daily value of cholesterol. The analysis also revealed that large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent.

Research shows that healthy adults, as part of a well balanced diet, can eat eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease. Courtesy of the American Egg Board, below is a snapshot of the heart healthy benefits of eggs based research over the last 40 years.

• A 2008 study from Surrey University published in the European Journal of Nutrition provides evidence that increasing dietary cholesterol intake by eating two eggs a day does not increase total plasma cholesterol when accompanied by moderate weight loss. The study authors concluded that cholesterol-rich foods should not be excluded from dietary advice for weight loss.

• A 2007 study of 9,500 people reported in Medical Science Monitor showed that eating one or two eggs a day did not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke among healthy adults. The study noted that eating eggs might actually be associated with a decrease in blood pressure.

• A study presented at the Experimental Biology conference in 2007 showed that egg consumption contributed less than one percent of the risk for heart disease when other adjustable risk factors were taken into account. The researchers concluded that wide-sweeping recommendations to limit egg consumption might be misguided, particularly when eggs' nutritional contributions are considered.

• In 2006, Nutrition Bulletin published a review of scientific studies from the past 30 years showing that eating eggs daily does not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol or heart disease risk. The authors noted several benefits of egg consumption — including the high-quality protein eggs provide — and argued that consumption of one to two eggs a day should be actively encouraged as part of a calorie-restricted weight-loss plan.

• A six-week study conducted by researchers at the Yale Prevention Research Center in 2005 showed that adding two eggs a day to a healthful diet did not significantly increase blood cholesterol levels in young or middle-aged men and women with normal or even moderately elevated blood cholesterol levels.

• A review of more than 25 studies that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2000 showed that eating an egg a day isn't associated with increased risk of heart disease in healthy men and women, even after taking into account other aspects of their diet that may increase the risk for heart disease.

• A 1999 Harvard University study that collected data from more than 100,000 men and women found no significant difference in heart disease risk between healthy adults who ate less than one egg a week and those who ate more than one egg a day, and that eating up to one egg a day is unlikely to have a significant overall impact on the risk of heart disease or stroke.

For more facts and information about eggs and CEP, please visit www.coloradoeggproducers.com. Find CEP on Facebook at facebook.com/COEggProducers.

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