Truth about eggs and cholesterol

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Registered dietician Keri Gans joins Dr. Steve to unscramble the myths about eggs and cholesterol and explains the different labels from 'Cage Free' to 'Free Range" Vegetarian," Organic."

Keri breaks it down, below.

Eggs & Cholesterol Myth:

Studies demonstrate that healthy adults can enjoy an egg a day without increasing their risk for heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommend that individuals consume, on average, less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. A single large egg contains 185 mg cholesterol.

Nutrient Profile of an Egg (yolk v. white)

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The nutrient package of yolks also includes:
• Choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. Choline also aids the brain function of adults by maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes.
• Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.

Different Types of Eggs:

Brown vs. White
White-feathered chickens with white ear lobes lay white eggs and red-feathered ones with red ear lobes lay brown eggs (this may not apply to all breeds) - but nutritionally there is no difference.

Cage-Free Eggs
Cage-free eggs are eggs from birds that are not raised in cages, but in floor systems usually in an open barn. However, they may still be at close quarters with many other hens -- just not in cages. NO certification.

Free-Range Eggs
Free-range eggs are laid from hens that have the opportunity to go outside. But for how long, who knows? Smaller farms may keep birds outside under a canopy area, so there could be NO sunshine. NO certification.

Organic Eggs
Organic eggs are laid from hens that are not enclosed in battery cages and must have access to the outdoors; however, again for how long, not defined. They eat an organic feed, which is free of antibiotics, pesticides and GMOs. USDA Certified.

Vegetarian Eggs
Vegetarian eggs are laid from hens that are only fed a vegetarian diet -- free from meat or fish by-products. Hens are kept in cages or indoors so they can not peck any grubs or worms.

Omega-3 enriched
Hens are fed a feed with increased amount of omega-3s which may have come from flaxseed, fish oil or algae. Technically though they can be caged.

Egg Alternatives:
Need to look at a person’s total diet – including calories and fat - definitely sometimes an alternative, such as Egg-Beaters Original, may be a better choice especially if they want an omelet or like cheese with their eggs.

You can also keep one yolk and mix with alternative like Egg-Beaters--- especially if not good with separating whites from yolks.

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