Eggs: The Perfect Diet Food?

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by Pamela Sosnowski

Versatile, packed with nutrients and containing only 75 calories each, eggs may just be one of the most perfect diet foods readily available. Unfortunately, many believe that eggs are a "bad food" and should be avoided: A 2008 survey conducted by the Egg Nutrition Center found that 24 percent of Americans don't eat eggs because of cholesterol concerns.

In fact, dietary research conducted during the past 30 years has shown that eggs are not only safe to eat as part of a healthy diet, but also deliver numerous nutritional benefits. It's time to crack some of the misconceptions about eggs and highlight the reasons why they're so important to our overall health.

Not the "Bad Guy" in the Dairy Aisle
Yes, eggs contain a lot of cholesterol -- 212 milligrams per egg to be exact, with virtually all of it found in the yolk. That's just shy of the recommended 300 milligrams limit per day for healthy adults. However, several studies by international health organizations in recent years have determined that enjoying eggs as part of a healthy diet does not increase blood cholesterol levels or the risk of developing heart disease.

A 2007 study of 9,500 people reported in the Medical Science Monitor found that eating eggs did not increase the chances of having a heart attack or a stroke and even suggested that eggs may actually help decrease blood pressure.

Eggs are also low in fat. One whole egg contains only 5 grams of fat, with a scant 1.5 grams of it saturated, making them an ideal addition to a low-fat diet.