According to the American Heart Association, at just 78 calories each, eggs are an efficient, rich source of protein and vitamins. A large egg contains about 6 grams of protein. Eggs also are a good source of other nutrients, including vitamin D (which aids bone health and the immune system) and choline (which helps metabolism and liver function, as well as fetal brain development).
Egg yolks also can be good for the eyes; they are significant sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been found to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people 55 and older.
But egg yolks are also known for their cholesterol. A typical large egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, more than half the amount previously recommended for daily consumption before federal dietary guidelines dropped the numerical goal in 2015, citing a lack of scientific evidence for a specific limit.
The key, according to Jo Ann Carson, professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is for people to know their risk factors. In general, people at risk for heart disease, who have diabetes or who have had a heart attack should pay close attention to the amount of cholesterol in their diet.
The American Heart Association suggests one egg (or two egg whites) per day for people who eat them, as part of a healthy diet. Egg whites provide plenty of protein without the cholesterol of the yolk.
Perhaps more of an issue for those without pre-existing conditions are hidden egg allergies.
Many people have hidden egg allergies and find that removing eggs from their diet has a profound effect on how they feel each day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, egg allergy reactions vary from person to person and usually occur soon after exposure to egg.
Egg allergy symptoms can include:
- Skin inflammation or hives — the most common egg allergy reaction
- Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing (allergic rhinitis)
- Digestive symptoms, such as cramps, nausea and vomiting
- Asthma signs and symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath
Causes of Egg Allergies
An immune system overreaction causes food allergies. For egg allergy, the immune system mistakenly identifies certain egg proteins as harmful. When you or your child comes in contact with egg proteins, immune system cells (antibodies) recognize them and signal the immune system to release histamine and other chemicals that cause allergic signs and symptoms.
Both egg yolks and egg whites contain proteins that can cause allergies, but an allergy to egg whites is most common.
Hidden Eggs in Foods Can Include:
- Baked goods
- Breaded foods
- Processed meat, meatloaf and meatballs
- Puddings and custards
- Salad dressing
- Many p