WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. study says eggs -- burdened with a history of high dietary cholesterol -- today have significantly less cholesterol than they did 10 years ago.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture report found a large egg has about 185 milligrams of cholesterol, down from 215 milligrams a decade ago, USA Today reported Tuesday.
Department researchers collected large eggs from 12 locations around the country for testing in a laboratory, which confirmed the lower levels of dietary cholesterol.
The decrease may be due to changes in hens' diets, the way the animals are bred or other factors, said Mitch Kanter of the American Egg Board, an industry group representing egg farmers.
The U.S. government, in its most recent dietary guidelines, says consuming one egg a day is OK.
"Evidence suggests that one egg per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels, nor does it increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people," the government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans says.
The USDA research also showed that today's eggs also have more vitamin D, with 41 International Units, up from 25 IU measured several years ago.
Some people eat just the whites of eggs in an effort to avoid cholesterol but are missing most of an egg's vitamins, minerals and much of the protein, because they are in the yolk, Kanter said.