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    Eggs Now Have Less Cholesterol

    A new USDA analysis attributes the drop to nutritional improvements in poultry feed.

    According to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the cholesterol content of eggs has dropped considerably since levels measured in 2002. Currently, the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg, or its 50-gram equivalent within the further processed egg ingredient category, is 185 milligrams, 12 percent lower than the amount found in 2002. The USDA’s analysis further showed that large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent from the last analysis.

    “Positive nutritional news about eggs continues to bolster their image in the eyes of consumers,” observed Mitch Kanter, executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, the health education and research center of the Park Ridge, Ill.-based American Egg Board. “And these same consumers are already tuned into more natural ingredients on food labels. This news about the lower cholesterol levels and increased vitamin D in eggs can only benefit formulators already relying on further processed eggs for their impressive range and performance as highly functional ingredients.”

    Researchers believe one possible reason for the lower cholesterol content of eggs is the nutritional improvements in poultry feed, which is now composed mostly of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals.

    Eggs are one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, along with lutein, zeaxanthin, choline and other vitamins and minerals. The yolk provides the majority of the vitamins and minerals found in eggs, including most of the choline and vitamin B12, and about 40 percent of the protein. One large egg -- about 50 grams worth -- provides 6 grams of highly digestible protein, and eggs earned 1.0 or a perfect score on the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score). Eggs are an excellent source of choline and selenium, as well as a good source of protein, vitamin D, phosphorous and riboflavin.

    Information on the nutritional content of eggs can be found in the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference at www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.
     

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