The Incredible Egg: Myths and Truths for Kidney Diets

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.

Ever since the Framingham study in the 1960s linked high cholesterol levels to cardiovascular disease, the egg has gotten a bad rap. Why? Because one large egg yolk has around 200 mg of cholesterol and low cholesterol diets restrict dietary cholesterol to 300 mg or less a day.

Since then, new research reveals that it’s not the egg yolk that causes high cholesterol for most people; more commonly, it’s an overproduction of cholesterol by the body or a breakdown in transportation of cholesterol from the blood to the liver. When compared with eggs, a diet high in saturated fat and trans-fat is much more damaging when it comes to artery-clogging activity.

You may remember a television commercial sponsored by the Egg Council with an egg behind bars and the announcement that eggs are now free to join a healthy diet. There are several egg-based myths and even more truths that every person on a kidney diet should know.

Myths: Eggs and the kidney diet

  • Eggs make your blood cholesterol high.
    • FALSE: Studies show only a small number of people have an increase in cholesterol when eggs are consumed.
  • All eggs carry salmonella.
    • FALSE: A 2002 study showed that one in every 30,000 eggs is infected, but heating to 160°F for one minute can destroy salmonella.
  • It’s okay to eat raw eggs as long as the shell is not broken.
    • FALSE: Salmonella can occur in eggs with the shell intact.
  • Eggs are meant to be eaten only at breakfast.

Truths: Eggs and the kidney diet

  • Eggs contain albumin, the gold standard for high-quality protein.
  • One large egg contains 6.5 grams of protein and 90 mg of phosphorus.
  • 100 percent of the cholesterol in an egg is in the yolk.
  • Egg yolk isn’t all bad. It contains the nutrients leucine and choline, plus vitamins A, D and E.
  • Egg whites are low in phosphorus.
  • Eggs are one of the most inexpensive high-quality protein sources.
  • Egg yolk has little impact on high blood cholesterol levels compared to saturated fats.
  • Avidin, a compound in raw egg, can bind biotin (a B-vitamin needed to produce energy) and cause a deficiency; cooking eggs deactivates avidin.
  • Only pasteurized eggs are safe to consume raw — use to make high-protein smoothies.
  • Eggs are a quick and easy source of high-quality protein that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Make your kidney diet egg-cellent

Now that you know the “eggs-act” truths about eggs, think about your next egg experience: An omelet, pasteurized egg whites in a smoothie, deviled eggs, hard-boiled and chopped into a salad, or even green eggs with ham! For more egg facts and recipes, visit IncredibleEgg.org.

Egg-citing kidney-friendly recipes

Here are some kidney diet recipes you can start making today:

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