Eating eggs can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular disease

Eating as few as three eggs a week raises risk of heart disease, study suggests

Eating as few as three eggs a week raises risk of heart disease, study suggests

Eggs may not be all they've been cracked up to be.

Whether eating eggs or cholesterol, which is also found in products such as red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products, is linked to cardiovascular disease and death has always been a subject of debate, the researchers said.

"The take-home message is really about cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks", Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and one of the authors of the study, said in a statement. The average egg contains 200 milligrams - more cholesterol than is in most fast-food double cheeseburgers.

A recent Chinese study even concluded cholesterol decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eggs contain other nutrients important to a healthy diet, such as iron and amino acids. "We found cholesterol, regardless of the source, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease".

Egg yolks are the richest source of dietary cholesterol among all commonly consumed food - with one large egg providing 186 milligrams of cholesterol in its yolk, according to the study. Some people only ate egg whites.

Newer research questioned that relationship, finding that saturated fats contribute more to unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol that can lead to heart problems. Over the follow-up period, a total of 5,400 cardiovascular events occurred, including 1,302 fatal and nonfatal strokes, 1,897 incidents of fatal and nonfatal heart failure and 113 other heart disease deaths. The findings could be worrying for the average American, who eats between three to four eggs per week, according to the study.

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Mickey Rubin is executive director of the American Egg Board's Egg Nutrition Center. "As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol". Additional results showed that eating three to four eggs a week was associated with a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease and an 8 percent higher risk of all-cause death.

However, she told Newsweek, "Factoring dietary cholesterol together with egg consumption was somewhat "stacking the deck" statistically speaking", but added that the study was still "very well-designed".

You might be forgiven for thinking of eggs as beyond reproach.

Freeman cited concerns about the influence of the agricultural and food industry over the guidelines as a reason for this contradiction, and the general downplaying of the link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease. They can still be part of a healthy diet, but in smaller quantities than many Americans have gotten used to, the researchers say. That's because the average USA adult now gets 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day and eats three or four eggs a week - and their data indicates it's bad for them. But you might want to rethink a daily habit of a couple of fried eggs, especially if they're topped with cheese and come with a side of bacon or sausage. "Good" cholesterol made by the body helps with digesting food and making hormones. As with any food, "everything in moderation" remains good advice, said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "It is nice to get clearer data on this controversial topic to better inform future guidelines and our patients", Martin said of the new study. "This is just one study, so to give up eggs altogether would be extreme".

Eggs, a staple of the American diet, have been cast once again as a villain. "Eat them in moderation".

The new results were published online Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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