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Egging on cholesterol-wary diners.

Egging on cholesterol-wary diners

Many people, concerned about their consumption of cholesterol-rich foods, have been weaning themselves from the egg. Now, hoping to revive sagging egg sales, the American Egg Board is crowing about new data showing U.S. eggs contain 23 percent less cholesterol than previously believed -- about 213 milligrams per large egg.

The figure comes from a new nutrient assay directed by Gary R. Beecher, head of the Agricultural Research Service's Nutrient Composition Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. Previous "established" cholesterol values for eggs, published in 1976, were derived from journal articles, some published in the 1960s, Beecher notes. While he does not know the precise methods used to derive these data, Beecher says they invariably relied on techniques less specific to cholesterol than those his lab now uses. It's not that the old methods didn't measure cholesterol accurately, he says. "It's just that they measure a few other things as well -- which may explain why their values were somewhat higher than ours."

His new data also show that previous nutrient values for iron, fat, vitamin B-12 and pantothenic acid (a B vitamin) overestimate levels in today's eggs by at least 10 percent. Beecher's data were gleaned from about 2,500 eggs collected from more than 100 firms -- together responsible for handling 67 percent of marketed U.S. eggs.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 3, 1989
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