Eggs stage a comeback

April 02, 1997|By NEWSDAY

A breakfast of eggs is a perfectly good way to start the day, scientists now say. Provided, of course, that you don't overdo a good thing.

Eggs got a bad rap in the '60s and '70s when it was believed that cholesterol was the major cause of coronary heart disease. Now, the emphasis is on saturated fat and total dietary fat. And eggs, in moderation, are being rediscovered for their protein and vitamin content.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults who don't have elevated cholesterol limit their egg intake to four a week. "We've always made the egg out to be such a villain," said Luise Light, health editor of Vegetarian Times magazine and a nutritionist. "Actually, saturated fat is the worst villain."

Saturated fat is found in red meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines for Americans recommend a diet low in saturated fat.

A report issued in September by the American Council on Science and Health said it is unnecessary to exclude eggs from the diet.

"Eggs are not merely cholesterol in a shell," the report said. "Eggs are highly nutritious food." The egg white is considered an ideal protein, for example, because it contains all the essential amino acids and it is easily digested. Eggs also are a significant source of iron, riboflavin, folate and vitamins B12, D and E.

The problem is that many people would love to bring back the two-eggs, bacon and buttered toast breakfast, and that's too much. "I won't go along with the two eggs every day," said Light. "In fact, I wouldn't recommend any food every day. You can have eggs for breakfast. Just skip a couple of days in between."

Pub Date: 4/02/97

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