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“Eggs are no longer on the diet-don't list,” says Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian.
Since 2002, the amount of cholesterol in one large egg has decreased 14 percent while vitamin D has increased by 64 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Eggs are one of the few foods that naturally produce vitamin D, which helps maintain strong bones, the USDA says.
“Most people can safely eat one egg a day,” says Ansel, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Although one egg yolk contains about 200 mgs of cholesterol, “saturated fat is a much bigger culprit in raising blood cholesterol levels than cholesterol in food,” says Ansel.
“If you like a big serving of eggs, scramble up several egg whites with one whole egg. You'll get all the egg flavor without overdoing it in the cholesterol department,” she says.
Eggs have other health benefits, too.
“Eggs or egg whites are a great way to work in the protein you need to keep your blood sugar on an even keel and your appetite under control ,” says Ansel.
Studies show that eggs yolks also are a good source of iron and vitamins A, D, E and K.
“Egg yolk can boost your brain health. They're rich in choline, a nutrient that we need to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that enhances memory,” said Ansel.
And antioxidants, such as lutein, found in eggs, can keep your eyes healthy and prevent macular degeneration.
Eggs are an affordable option available all year round that can be cooked in many different ways. Here’s one recipe by Ansel.
NO-GUILT CURRIED EGG-SALAD SANDWICHES
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon canola-oil mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt and 1/2 a teaspoon curry powder.
Add 2 chopped hard boiled eggs, 4 chopped hard-boiled egg whites and 1 finely sliced scallion. Mix well.
Serve on sprouted-grain bread with watercress or romaine lettuce.