Morning Rounds: Are eggs healthy for your heart?

NORFOLK, Va. - A recent study suggests eating eggs can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, which is at odds with previous concerns about its cholesterol content.  News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light explained the pros and cons on News 3 This Morning.

 Are eggs a healthy addition to breakfast?

"Yes, eggs are a great addition to most people’s diet," said Dr. Light.  "They are an excellent source of protein [with] 5 grams and no carbohydrates.  Research suggests that one egg a day does not increase the cardiovascular risk of strokes or heart attacks."

Does the egg’s cholesterol clog our arteries? 

"There is no true way to measure if egg cholesterol clogs arteries," said Dr. Light.  "Eggs contain 187 mg of cholesterol but only 1.5 mg of saturated fats (the fats that lead to arterial disease).  The body needs cholesterol for proper function. The cholesterol contained in eggs is good for the body when consumed in moderation."

Are egg whites best, or are we missing important nutrients in the yolk? 

"Egg whites contain the bulk of the egg’s protein," he said.  "Whites provide four grams of protein and only 17 calories. They are an excellent source of inexpensive protein."

"However, the yolk contains the fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other vital nutrients," he continued.  "One egg yolk has around 55 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 187 mg of cholesterol, and 2.7 grams of protein."

What is the take home advice?

"For most people eggs can be a valuable nutritional source of protein, cholesterol, fats, and vitamins," explained Dr. Light.  "Moderation in all dietary choices is prudent."