Colorado Egg Producers

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Eggs finally — and accurately — being incorporated into the heart-health regimen

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The symptoms, causes and affects of heart disease have no doubt been well-documented for years, but the same can't be said about factual information regarding one of heart health's biggest allies — eggs.

Those days seem to rightfully be coming to a close, though, as technological and medical advances have allowed experts to better understand how eggs have a place at the table of heart-healthy eating, after years spent on various nutritional no-no lists.

Research has shown eggs indeed have heart-protective qualities, including one recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that found a daily egg intake led to a 12 percent reduced risk of stroke.

Other research found that eating one to three eggs per day resulted in increased levels of high-density lipoprotein, also known as the "good cholesterol," as well as an improved blood lipid profile.

In fact, since mounting evidence has shown dietary cholesterol doesn't negatively affect heart disease, recent recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Diabetes Association don't limit egg or cholesterol intake, which is a change compared with earlier guidance from these organizations.

Several global health organizations — including Health Canada, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Australian Heart Foundation and the Irish Heart Foundation — also now promote eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Considering the impact that heart disease has on our population, it's no doubt vital that such up-to-date and factual information is shared.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, with about 610,000 Americans dying from heart disease each year — that's one in every four deaths.

Fortunately, prevention can be as simple as eating smart, which includes throwing a favorite egg dish into the mix.

Along with lines of heart disease, let's also talk about "cardiometabolic health," which is a relatively new term that encompasses cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

They all share similar risk factors, which can be modified by diet and lifestyle choices.

Given the public health significance of understanding cardiometabolic diseases, research on risk reduction remains an active area of pursuit.

And despite long-standing myths, evidence indicates eggs, when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, do not negatively affect risk factors for cardiometabolic disease.

In fact, one study recently published in the Journal of Nutrition showed how an egg-based breakfast, rich in protein, promoted glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, relative to a high-carbohydrate breakfast.

Bottom line, it's becoming more and more clear that eggs fit into an overall heart-healthy meal pattern.

And I can tell you with certainty that the hard-working Colorado egg farmers I work with and represent are elated to be a part of the solution, in producing one of the keys tools to a healthy lifestyle.

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