Eggs' nutritional value has been re-examined by the USDA, and the findings are promising for egg lovers. Eggs in actuality contain 14% less cholesterol than the story previous examinations have told. In addition, eggs turn out to be a huge supplier of Vitamin D, which was the most ingested single vitamin pill in 2010. Vitamin D came out the big winner in 2010 as the "most used single vitamin" at 56.2% usage amongst those surveyed, and also won the "most improved" category with a 52% increase in usage since 2008.

The average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, and large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64%. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.

Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D.

Dr. Jacob Exler, Nutritionist with the Agricultural Research Service's Nutrient Data Laboratory states:

"We collected a random sample of regular large shell eggs from 12 locations across the country to analyze the nutrient content of eggs. This testing procedure was last completed with eggs in 2002, and while most nutrients remained similar to those values, cholesterol decreased by 14 percent and vitamin D increased by 64 percent from 2002 values."

Forty years of research have demonstrated that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center continues:

"My research focuses on ways to optimize diet quality, and I have long suspected that eliminating eggs from the diet generally has the opposite effect. In our own studies of egg intake, we have seen no harmful effects, even in people with high blood cholesterol."

The USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that eating one whole egg per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels and recommend that individuals consume, on average, less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. A single large egg contains 185 mg cholesterol.

Eggs are also one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, meaning that one egg provides at least 10 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones.

Egg yolks and whole eggs store a lot of protein and choline. For this reason, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, roe, and caviar. The egg most often humanly consumed by far is the produce of the chicken. Keep clucking.

Source: American Egg Board

Written by Sy Kraft, B.A.