January 18, 2016
Americans can eat eggs without feeling guilty, according to new nutritional guidelines issued by the U.S. government.
A person can eat as many eggs as they like each day, the updated guidelines say. One large chicken egg has about 186 milligrams of cholesterol, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most of that is in the yellow center, or the yolk.
Older guidelines restricted cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams a day. Two eggs would be more than the daily limit.
The guidelines were issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The government guidelines are issued every five years. It is designed to help set nutritional standards for school lunch programs and federal food aid.
The new guidelines cautioned that “individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible.”
In the past, guidelines have led to reduced sales and hurt agricultural markets. In 1977, the guidelines recommended avoiding cholesterol. That recommendation led to a decline in egg sales.
Other tips to stay healthy included advice to limit intake of sugars to 10 percent. Saturated fat calories found in red meat, butter, cheese, whole milk and ice cream should be limited each day to 10 percent.
The guidelines also suggested Americans move away from a diet full of animal protein and sodium. The guidelines promoted eating more fruits, vegetables and nuts.
The government has long recommended eating breakfast each day as a way to stay fit. The latest guidelines do not recommend that breakfast is necessary.
Some are critical of the new guidelines. Mayo Clinic's Dr. Donald Hensrud told Time magazine that the new recommendations do not address weight management. Hensrud also mentioned that the recommendations failed to note the positive reports of how coffee decreases the risks of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Harvard professor and physician Walter Willett was candid in his observations.
“This is a loss for the American public, and a win for big beef and big soda,” Willett said.
“The problem isn’t just that the public gets misleading, censored information, but that these guidelines get translated into national food programs. ... This then gets directly translated into unnecessary premature deaths, diabetes, and suffering … of course this goes on to mean greater health care costs for all. It is all connected.”
I’m Anna Matteo.
Words in This Story
cholesterol – n. a substance that is found in the bodies of people and animals
yolk – n. the yellow part in the center of an egg
nutrition – n. the process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy
sodium – n. a soft silver-white element that is found in salt, baking soda and other compounds
candid – adj. expressing opinions and feelings in an honest and sincere way
censor – v. to examine books, movies or letters in order to remove things that are considered to be offensive, immoral or harmful to society
diabetes – n. a serious disease in which the body cannot properly control the amount of sugar in your blood because it does not have enough insulin