People with raised cholesterol often wonder if it’s OK to eat eggs, as egg yolk is rich in cholesterol. Generally speaking, it should be fine for most people, as the cholesterol in eggs does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol.
It’s much more important to limit the amount of saturated fat you eat. Too much saturated fat can raise the cholesterol in your blood. So, most people can eat eggs as long as they are part of a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat.
If you have high blood cholesterol, you should limit the amount of cholesterol you eat to about 300mg per day. That’s about the amount most people in the UK eat. Eating three to four eggs a week should be fine, but speak to your doctor or dietitian about what’s best for you.
If you have familial hypercholesterolaemia, you should also limit your dietary cholesterol to 300mg a day, but it is probably better to aim for nearer 200 mg on average.
Find our more about about cholesterol-rich foods
Why eggs are good for you
For most people, eating eggs won’t have a significant effect on your blood cholesterol, and they’re good for you too.
They’re packed full of good stuff
Eggs contain protein, energy, vitamins and minerals which are all good for your body – because they contain everything a chick needs to grow and develop before hatching. Some are fortified with omega 3s.
Eggs are fairly low in fat
Egg yolks contain some fat, but the white hardly contains any. One average egg (58g) contains around 4.6g fat, which is about a teaspoon. Only a quarter of this is saturated fat, the type that raises cholesterol levels in the body.
Eggs are full of protein
The protein in eggs is easy to digest and contains all the building blocks of the proteins your body needs to function.
Eggs contain vitamins that can be hard to eat enough of
Eggs are a good source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin D and the B vitamins – riboflavin, vitamin B12 and folate. Many people don’t get enough of these vitamins in their diet.
Eggs are versatile
You can turn them into quick and easy savoury meals or desserts, or serve them scrambled, poached or boiled with toast and juice for a healthy start to the day.
Eggs are a great food for young children
They are easy to eat, convenient, inexpensive and come in small packages, perfect for small tummies. You can give eggs to children after they are six months old.
Eggs are safe to eat
Thanks to accreditation schemes and better farming methods, salmonella in British Eggs has largely been wiped out. So, not only are they healthy to eat, they’re safe too.
Egg allergy is less common than you might think
Only about 2.5% of infants (less than three out of every hundred) have an allergic reaction to eggs and about half of these grow out of it by the time they reach school age. Around 0.5% of adults have an egg allergy (one in every 200 people).
Most eggs meet the British Lion Egg Standard
Over 90% of the eggs produced in Britain qualify for the British Lion Egg Standard – a mark of quality, freshness and safety that was introduced to reduce salmonella. Eggs with the Lion Quality trademark stamp are marked with a code which shows how the hen that laid it was farmed (free range, organic, barn, caged etc) and allow you to trace the farm it came from.
Learn more about omega 3 fats