You’ve heard this argument many times: eggs and high cholesterol don’t mix. So, do you avoid them or not avoid them? The original study showing eggs made cholesterol go sky high was done decades ago and was much too short to really draw the correct conclusions. Studies since have shown that eggs do not cause problems at all.
In one study in 2006, people were given 3 eggs or more a day. Much to the surprise of the researchers, even though cholesterol went in in the blood, it was the HDL and the larger LDL molecules, which do not accumulate in the blood vessels. The larger HDL cholesterol in fact is the scavenger that cleans out the blood vessels of oxidized LDL, improving blood vessel and heart health. So, in other words, eggs are protecting your health, not harming it.
A new study shows that not only is there no evidence that eggs are harmful, but cutting out the yolk in the diet also deprives the body of important nutrients. Specificially mentioned are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids responsible for the rich yellow color of the yolk. Lutein in particular promotes eye health and will help retain vision as we age.
High levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet are associated with the lowest incidence of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among the elderly. Tossing the yolk in favor of the perceived healthier egg white tosses out 100 percent of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K, as well as most of the calcium, iron and folate in the egg.
My 80 year old dad insists that eggs have plenty of lecithin that helps emulsify fats and promotes health. He will eat several eggs a day and surprises his doctors with healthy blood work while taking NO medications.
Clearly there has been a complete disconnect when limiting this nutritious and healthy food for far too long. Doctors and the AMA are now being cautious and suggesting eating one egg a day as part of a heart healthy diet. I see that people still don’t get that eating eggs is healthy. I watched the “cholesterol jokes” come through on Twitter last Sunday on how unhealthy they were going to be eating boiled eggs. Obviously the word is not yet out that eggs are healthy and should no longer be vilified.
The original article on eggs and cholesterol: to avoid or not avoid:
Recent studies show that the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood levels of cholesterol, the type that causes heart disease, is very complex and highly individual. Research has failed to provide conclusive evidence that one egg a day can raise your blood cholesterol or risk for heart disease….More at Skip the egg yolk, skimp on nutrition
It’s going to take a lot more work to break through the prejudice against eggs, specifically egg yolks. Most people didn’t grow up with my dad extolling the virtues of eggs or watching him eat at least 3 eggs a day while having rock bottom cholesterol.
More important than avoiding eggs is avoiding foods/habits that cause inflammation, including trans fats, alcohol, smoking, chemical additives, preservatives, artificial flavors and genetic modified foods, etc. So, to answer the question: Eggs and cholesterol: to avoid or not avoid? The answer is NO, enjoy your eggs.