There was a time when families gathered fresh eggs from the chicken coop or cooked them almost every day. Then eggs developed a risky reputation. The widespread thinking went something like this: Eggs contain cholesterol; cholesterol clogs arteries and contributes to heart disease. Therefore, egg consumption equals heart attacks.
Not so, say researchers. While high cholesterol does indeed contribute to heart disease, there isn't a direct link between eating eggs and poor heart health. About 75 percent of the cholesterol released into the bloodstream is produced by the liver after it processes foods that are high in saturated fat, not foods that contain cholesterol.
One egg contains about 200 milligrams of cholesterol. This means that eating an egg a day is well within the bounds of the American Heart Association's recommendation that we not eat more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily. Even people who have been placed on a low-cholesterol diet are able to eat a couple of eggs a week [source: Dalessio]. In fact, some cholesterol is important for keeping cell walls strong and manufacturing vitamin D [source: Readers Digest]. The truth has simply gotten scrambled.