Why Americans are on track to eat the most eggs in nearly a half-century
[Washington Post, 2/28/19] Americans are devouring eggs in numbers not seen in nearly five decades — about 279 per year per person, government forecasts show — continuing a four-year trajectory.
The recent resurgence of eggs — hard boiled, sunny side up or whatever the recipe calls for — follows recent shifts in nutrition guidance from the federal government and an evolving understanding of cholesterol in the American diet.
Egg consumption per capita increased more than 6 percent in 2016, the same full year under which the government dropped its caution about eating such high-cholesterol foods,as shrimp, lobster and eggs. The food recommendations were part of an influential nutrition advice book that the federal government updates every five years, to help Americans eat healthier. But the newest version of the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” contained a striking change: it dropped a restriction on dietary cholesterol, a limit that had defined public health messaging for nearly 40 years.
The new guidelines track the changing views of many nutritionists, who now believe that eating cholesterol-laden foods may not significantly affect the cholesterol levels of healthy adults, or increase their risk of heart disease. Eggs are nutrient-dense, according to federal guidelines, and are grouped with lean meats, poultry, seafood, legumes and nuts as a healthy source of protein. The American Heart Association recommends eating eggs, poultry or meat eight to nine times a week, or one egg or two egg whites in a single serving.
According to the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans reached the height of their egg consumption at the conclusion of World War II, averaging 404, or more than one a day, in 1945. It bottomed out at 229 in 1992, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service………..
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