A recent meta-analysis consisting of over 260,000 individuals in the journal BMJ found “higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke”. Thank you. This is what my grandmother, mother and I have been saying for years. Sheesh.
We are afraid of the wrong things. There is no boogie man and dietary cholesterol (found in eggs) is not the all mighty devil. If we look at the gold standard of large long-term studies focusing on dietary fat, the Framingham Heart Study (which actually coined the term “Risk Factor”), it is clear that those who ate the most cholesterol had exactly the same level of cholesterol (or lower) in their blood as those who ate the least. It stated: “Serum cholesterol is not a strong risk factor for CHD, in the sense that blood pressure is a strong risk factor for stroke or cigarette smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer.” Moreover, The American Heart Association states: “The cholesterol factor is of minor importance as a risk factor for CVD. Of far more importance are smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, insufficient physical activity, and stress.”
The myth that eggs are unhealthy began when science wrongly depicted high cholesterol as a primary cause of heart disease. Unfortunately, this myth is periodically revisited by headlines like this (printed in many news outlets in August 2012) “Egg As Bad as Smoking?” This is preposterous and has been debunked: Bad Science. A JAMA article in 1999 of over 117,000 people showed those who ate the most eggs had the lowest risk of cardiac events whilst those who consumed the fewest eggs (less than 1 egg per week) had the highest rate of heart attacks.
Only about 25% of the cholesterol you have is taken from the foods you eat, the rest is manufactured by your body. We need cholesterol in order to sustain life…it is in every cell of our body and plays a critical role in in the production of many hormones. If you have high cholesterol it is most likely due to genetics but it may not even matter because research shows most people who die of a cardiac event have normal or low cholesterol levels!
Eggs make and are part of scrumptious meals that are actually good for you. They are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D (the sun is also a good source but too much may give you cancer!). Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which in studies been shown to protect against vision loss and cataracts. One organic medium chicken egg only has 72 calories, 7 grams of protein and 0 sugar! Egg yolks are packed with super nutrients. A concentrated source of choline can be found here which improves liver and brain functions. Furthermore, egg yolks are chock-full of folic acid which appears to reduce the risk of strokes, chromosomal defects in sperm, homocysteine levels, some forms of cancer and depression.
For more info about the mighty egg check out my earlier blog post: Egg Heads
Sadly, eggs are a common allergen for many and those individuals should steer clear. For most other people, I recommend organic eggs that come from free-roaming chickens because they have higher levels of Omega-3’s and are produced from healthier animals. Don’t be afraid of the omelet or yummy frittata, dig in and please pay no mind to the so-called harmful effects of eating eggs, they are good for you.
1. BMJ states through a Meta-analysis Eggs don’t pose increased risk for cardic events
2. Cancer and Folic acid
3. Folic acid and Strokes
4. Sperm and folic acid
5. B12 Folic acid and Depression
6. The Soft Science of dietary fat
7. JAMA: Eggs risk Factors