CHOLESTEROL 5 The Good Egg One long-held myth is that eggs raise cholesterol levels. A typical egg contains about 200 mg of cholesterol and 1.5g of saturated fat. Yet, despite popular belief, there has never been good evidence linking eggs to high cholesterol or an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, a Harvard study of 120,000 people found that eating an egg a day didn’t boost the risk of heart attack or stroke. More recently, Harvard researchers found that otherwise healthy men could eat up to seven eggs a day with little risk. Chapter Two As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep your intake of saturated fats fairly low. We can’t eliminate saturated fat from our diets completely, because foods that are good sources of healthy fats— olive oil, coconut oil, walnuts, salmon—also contain some saturated fat. Most nutritionists advise getting no more than 7 percent of your calories from saturated fat. On the other hand, trans fats should be avoided completely. These dangerous man-made fats raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. Fortunately, trans fats—which are found in partially hydrogenated oils—are being phased out of many packaged foods. Less of These The American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee strongly advises these fat guidelines for healthy Americans over age 2: • Eating between 25 and 35 percent of your total daily calories as fats from foods like fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. • Limiting the amount of saturated fats you eat to less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. That means if you need about 2,000 calories a day, less than 140 calories (or 16 grams) should come from saturated fats. • Limiting the amount of trans fats to less than 1 percent of your total daily calories. That means if you need about 2,000 calories a day, less than 20 calories (or 2 grams) should come from trans fats. • Limiting cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams a day for most people. For good health, the majority of fats you eat should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.