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Shelli Mader

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Contrary to popular belief eggs are good for you

Colorado farmers produce more than 1 billion eggs a year. New scientific research is proving what many of these farmers have known for years — eggs are a healthy source of high-quality protein. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that consuming one egg per day can reduce the risk of stroke by 12 percent. Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S.

The study, funded by the Egg Nutrition Center, reviewed all experiment data conducted on egg intake and the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke from 1982 to August of 2015. Data from more than 584,000 subjects was analyzed. Dominik Alexander, Principal Epidemiologist at the EpidStat Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich., headed the meta-analysis.

Alexander found that daily egg intake does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and eating eggs may contribute to a decreased stroke risk. He noted that more research needs to be conducted to fully understand why eggs can reduce stroke risk, but he theorizes that the protein and antioxidants in eggs have something to do with it.

"Eggs have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation," he said. "They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure."

NOT SURPRISED

Tia M. Rains, executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, was pleased but not surprised by the study's findings.

"Alexander's research lends further support to changes in the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines which place no daily limit on dietary cholesterol," Rains said in a statement. "The relationship between dietary cholesterol intake and heart disease risk has been hotly debated for more than 50 years, but the preponderance of respected studies and position statements from the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and the European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice, all indicate that there is no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol."

Colorado Egg Producers, an organization started nearly 50 years ago to help promote fresh eggs and educate Coloradans about egg production in the state, is excited about the new research.

"An egg is not bad for you, it is a source of good quality protein," Colorado Egg Producers Executive Director, Bill Scebbi said. "The new research found that eating one egg a day can reduce stroke risk 12 percent, which is important for people who have a history of strokes in their family to know. In addition, an egg is only about 70 calories. When I was growing up and I was hungry not knowing what I wanted to eat before I needed to head out the door, I often made a quick scrambled egg sandwich. Research is now showing that was one of the best things I could have eaten."

Colorado is home to six egg farms with approximately 4,250,000 total hens in egg production. On average, each hen lays five eggs a week. These egg farms support over 250 families.

Mader is a freelance writer originally from Strasburg, Colo. She currently lives with her husband and their two children in the Colorado Springs area. She has also lived in Wyoming, Kansas and Texas. Follow her on her blog, RoadtoRanching.com or contact her at roadtoranching@gmail.com.