USDA research: Egg cholesterol levels have lowered
According to new nutrition data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), eggs are lower in cholesterol than previously thought.
The USDA-ARS recently reviewed the nutrient composition of standard large eggs, and results show the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14% lower than previously recorded. The analysis also revealed that large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64%.
“We collected a random sample of regular large shell eggs from 12 locations across the country to analyse the nutrient content of eggs,” says Dr. Jacob Exler, Nutritionist with the Agricultural Research Service’s Nutrient Data Laboratory. “This testing procedure was last completed with eggs in 2002, and while most nutrients remained similar to those values, cholesterol decreased by 14% and vitamin D increased by 64% from 2002 values.”
The collected eggs were sent to a laboratory at Virginia Tech University to be prepared for nutrient analysis at certified nutrient analysis laboratories. The samples were randomly paired for the testing procedure, and the analysis laboratories tested samples to determine composition of a variety of nutrients including protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Accuracy and precision were monitored using quality control samples.
According to Dr. Exler, this procedure is standard for the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP), the program responsible for analysing the nutrient composition of a wide variety of foods and making nutrition information publicly available.
This information is available on the nutrient data lab website at www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata. The new nutrient information will also be updated on nutrition labels to reflect these changes wherever eggs are sold, from egg cartons in supermarkets to school and restaurant menus.
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