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Diet & Nutrition | Heart Healthy Living
How Many Eggs Can You Eat to Stay Heart-Healthy?

How Many Eggs Can You Eat to Stay Heart-Healthy?

Guidance and cooking tips from a dietitian

Breakfast is one meal you shouldn’t skip. But a lot of us aren’t sure whether we should eat eggs because of their saturated fat and cholesterol content.

A red flag is there only for people with heart disease risk factors, says Julia Zumpano, RD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Preventive Cardiology Nutrition Program.

How many eggs per week?

“There is no current recommendation on how many eggs you should consume each week,” says Zumpano. “Research indicates that total saturated fat contributes more to LDL (bad) cholesterol than dietary cholesterol. Findings on the impact of dietary cholesterol’s significance on LDL remain questionable and unclear.”

She points out that egg whites are safe and a good source of protein. It is egg yolks that have the cholesterol and saturated fat you’re trying to avoid.

“If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, be cautious about the number of egg yolks you consume, and take into account all the other forms of saturated fat (red meat, beef, pork, veal and lamb, poultry skin, whole-milk dairy or full-fat cheese) in your diet,” says Zumpano.

“To lower your LDL cholesterol, no more than 5 to 6 percent of your calories should come from saturated fat, according to the 2013 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines.”

Consider cooking methods

When you prepare eggs, you should also pay attention to the way you cook them, says Zumpano. “If you fry them, the oil that you add is only going to contribute to your saturated fat for the day,” she says. She says these drier or oil-free cooking methods are preferred:

  • Poaching
  • Boiling
  • Pan-frying with a cooking spray

Zumpano adds that you should avoid putting salt on your eggs to keep the amount of sodium in your diet at the recommended level. One teaspoon of salt is all you need per day.

More information

Cholesterol Facts and Fiction
Cholesterol Guide: Exercise Tips

Tags: breakfast, cholesterol, eggs, healthy diet, morning, saturated fat
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    What is wrong frying eggs if one uses OLIVE OIL?????????

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Hi ERSEI. I checked with our Preventive Cardiology Nutrition team and they said: There is nothing wrong with it depending on the person’s
      health. One teaspoon of olive oil has 45 calories and 5 grams of fat, so
      depending on how much oil you use the calories and fat can add up which can be
      bad from a weight management perspective. betsyRN

  • Pranav Kulkarni

    I eat a four-yolk omelette every day for breakfast. I run 8 miles a week and am a heavy lifter (for my weight). Plus, I hike every Saturday. Is eating more than 25 egg yolks a week still dangerous for an active person?

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Pranav, Our Preventive Cardiology dietitians state: General recommendations for
      prevention of heart disease or for high cholesterol state to limit egg yolks to
      4 per week or saturated fat to less than 7% of your calories, which on a 2200
      calorie diet is 17 grams or less (1 egg provides 1.5 grams of saturated fat).
      On the other hand, they also suggest either an appointment with a dietitian or
      taking advantage of our online nutrition counseling program –
      http://eclevelandclinic.org/productHome.jsp?productId=nutrition. While 25 egg
      yolks seems quite a bit, to truly get an answer to your question, we would need
      to see what your individual risk factors are for heart disease as well as what
      the rest of your diet looks like – that would be a large determinant in deciding
      what your saturated fat content should be. betsyRN

  • http://twitter.com/GeneralHealthy General Healthy

    “One teaspoon of salt is all you need per day.”….????????? We need the extra teaspoon?????

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Our dietitian Julia states: You definitely do not need a teaspoon of salt a day.
      1 tsp salt = 2300 mg sodium. All you NEED is 1500 mg of sodium per day – which is very easily attained through your diet without adding ANY salt. betsyRN

  • http://twitter.com/GeneralHealthy General Healthy

    How healthy is a food that you need to limit to people with heart disease? You don’t ask them to limit their romaine lettuce, black beans, sweet potatoes, or broccoli?

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      There are no limits to the foods that you describe. Other foods may be healthy in moderation. betsyRN

  • N.

    I eat egg(S) every single day, cooked in duck fat. We eat tons of saturated fat from grass-fed tallow. Don’t believe the “experts.” My HDL is 105.

  • GeorgeBMac

    Yes, the thing about eggs and [dietary] cholesterol is old news…

    But it seems that there is a new guy in town. Specifically:

    The link between egg yolks and TMAO and heart disease was revealed by Dr Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic — and his findings were just published a couple months ago. You may want to speak to him before making more recommendations about egg yolks based (strictly on) their impact on cholesterol.

    I stopped eating eggs after reading his study.

  • bullshts

    Wow..the egg industry is well represented in some of these obscene ‘stuff myself with eggs comments’! Really, REALLY pathetic. Try oatmeal and fruit for breakfast!!