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The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol

Cholesterol in Eggs Does Not Increase Risk of Heart Disease or Stroke in Healthy Adults

Eggs and CholesterolIn spite of what you may have heard about eggs and cholesterol; that eggs increase your cholesterol, new evidence is showing that eating eggs does not increase your risk of heart disease or stroke.

Research has shown that moderate egg consumption—up to one a day—does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals (1,2,5).  However, the American Heart Association recommends that people with healthy levels of LDL cholesterol should consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day, while those with problematic LDL levels and diabetes should stay below 200 mg of cholesterol. Since one whole egg contains about 210 mg of cholesterol, limiting consumption to three yolk-eggs per week is a good idea for people with diabetes and high cholesterol (3,5).

Eating Eggs Is a Great Way to Increase High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

HDL is our “good” cholesterol and having more of it seems to reduce our risk for cardiovascular disease.  What does this mean for eggs and cholesterol? There is now growing research to suggest eating two eggs per day for six weeks can increase your HDL levels by 10% (6).  Egg consumption consistently leads to elevated levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol, which is linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

Eggs and Cholesterol: The Bottom line:

Eggs are wonderful. They are delicious, satisfying, full of vitamins and minerals, and considered to be one of the highest quality proteins in the world. Eggs can make you stronger and healthier. Eat them every day.

So, when should I worry about eggs and cholesterol? If you have diabetes or high cholesterol you may want to limit your egg consumption to no more than three per week.

References

  1. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB, et al. A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. JAMA. 1999; 281:1387-94.
  2. Fernandez ML. Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006; 9:8-12.
  3. Djousse L, Gaziano JM. Egg consumption and risk of heart failure in the Physicians’ Health Study.Circulation. 2008; 117:512-6.
  4. http://www.fatsecret.ca/calories-nutrition/generic/soft-boiled-egg
  5. Rong Y. Et al., Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e8539
  6. Schnohr P. Et al., Egg consumption and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8120521

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