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Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
An egg a day 'is good for you'
It is claimed that eggs are not linked to heart disease
Eating an egg a day is good for most people, according to a US scientist.

Dr Donald McNamara, director of the Egg Nutrition Centre in Washington, will tell the Royal Society of Medicine on Wednesday that fears that eggs contributed to heart disease were unfounded.

People with high cholesterol have been told to cut out eggs from their diet to lower their levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

But Dr McNamara said his research had shown that saturated fat found in foods such as red meat and dairy products was the major contributor to raised cholesterol - rather than the dietary cholesterol found in eggs.

Eggs have had bad publicity

His study of more than 100,000 adults found that people who eat more than an egg a day are at no greater risk than those eating fewer than one egg a week.

Dr McNamara said: "This research scotches a very old myth. For most people there is no risk and restrictions on products containing dietary cholesterol are not justified.

"An egg a day is fine for most people and can actually be good for them."

"Japan has the highest rate of egg consumption in the world and one of the lowest rates of heart disease."

The average egg contains 80 calories and about 0.2 grammes of cholesterol.

Eggs contain 15% of the daily recommended intake of protein and also have vitamins A, B, D and E.

UK experts agree

Sarah Stanner, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, said her organisation recommended that people eat two to three eggs a week - but said there was probably nothing wrong with eating an egg a day.

She said: "Many people worry about cholesterol in the diet, and link it to levels of cholesterol in the blood.

"But the majority of cholesterol in the blood is actually made by the body.

"Eggs have been given a bad press, but high dietary cholesterol is not a problem for most people."

However, Nigel Bedrock, of the Vegan Society, said eggs were unnecessary for good health, and that research had "consistently" shown that eggs raise blood cholesterol levels.

He said: "It's unlikely that the director of an egg industry nutrition group would stand up in front of a conference organised by the British Egg Industry Council and say that 'eggs are bad for you'."

Dr McNamara was speaking at a forum organised by the British Egg Industry Council.

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