Truth: The cause of heart disease goes beyond cholesterol alone, and eggs do not increase heart disease based on conclusions of the most valid research studies available.
If you weren’t already skeptical of the nutrition headlines before, reading that eggs might actually be bad for you may have put you over the edge. Your skepticism is valid and, although there are some really convincing articles out there, the recent claims against eggs are false.
If you’re still following the media headlines, you may be confused to see that eggs are once again in the hot seat with claims being made that they raise your cholesterol, clog your arteries and cause heart disease and even early death. But if you saw these flawed studies, hopefully, your skepticism kept you intrigued long enough to seek the articles that followed refuting the claims made.
The truth is, eggs can absolutely be a part of a well-balanced, healthy diet and their cholesterol content is nothing to be concerned about. Despite the long-standing claims of cholesterol and dietary fat as a causative factor of heart disease, the highest quality up to date scientific research has demonstrated the hypothesis of cholesterol and fat as the cause of heart disease is flawed. The most recent US dietary guidelines reflect this evidence-based change. In the 2015 Scientific Report from Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee; dietary cholesterol was dropped as a nutrient of concern. Furthermore, they concluded, “Reducing total fat (replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates) does not lower CVD risk. Dietary advice should put the emphasis on optimizing types of dietary fat and not reducing total fat.” (1).
Our intake of dietary cholesterol has little effect on our blood cholesterol levels if any at all. The number of people who experience a rise in cholesterol after consuming dietary cholesterol is only 25% of the population. Not to mention, those that do experience a rise in blood cholesterol levels, experience a rise in both LDL and HDL cholesterol and there is no increased cardiovascular risk.
There are few breakfast foods that can start your day off on a better foot than a couple of eggs. Eggs pack a nutrient punch with roughly 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and are a rich source of vitamins A, B1, B3, B9, B12, D, E, choline, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Unless you have an underlying auto-immune disease or an allergy that requires the elimination of eggs, you have permission to ignore the headlines and continue eating them!
If you’re still a believer in eggs, check out this nutrient-dense egg frittata recipe that can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for an easy breakfast on busy workdays or more relaxed weekends.
1. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2015; http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/.
*Disclaimer: Myth-buster Monday is intended solely for general information for the reader and is not meant to provide personal medical advice or treatment or replace your practitioner’s recommendations. Always consult your health care provider for any medical advice.