The confusion about cholesterol and eggs is as great as any topic concerning cholesterol levels.
And we’ve been told to limit our dietary cholesterol intake in order to keep our cholesterol levels in check and reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease.
But are eggs really clogging up your arteries and turning you into a heart-attack-waiting-to-happen?
One large chicken egg averages between 200-213 milligrams of cholesterol.
So yes, egg yolks are a food that is high in cholesterol. That’s 100% true.
And the daily intake recommendation for cholesterol is less than 300mg per day. So it's easy to see why eating eggs would be considered a no-no on a low cholesterol diet, right?
Well, that's what everyone thought until…
Then came the reports that shocked everyone…
Shocked everyone that found out about them, that is.
Were you even aware of the reports from organizations like the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society that weren't anti-egg at all?
Their studies showed that eating 1-2 eggs … every single day … has little to no impact on your cholesterol levels or risk of coronary heart disease.
Then the Harvard Medical School jumped on board with more pro-egg information.
In fact, new studies are popping up all over the place which show little-to-no connection between eating eggs and having high cholesterol in the blood.
(I'll get back to this point in a minute. It's critically important in understanding all this.)
Yes, eggs are high in cholesterol.
But don't get sucked into believing the myth associated with that, which is this…
On the surface, it seems to make sense that eating foods high in cholesterol would cause high cholesterol in the bloodstream.
The truth is … it doesn't.
It never has. (And never will.)
It's other truly unhealthy foods that cause cholesterol to form in the blood that is the real danger.
(Don't keep getting duped by all the lies out there. Get these healthy cholesterol tips to see everything you need to know.)
Eat the egg as a whole … egg white and yolk together … and it's a perfectly good, healthy food.
In fact, eggs are packed with good nutrients.
One egg contains around 6 grams of protein as well as healthy unsaturated fats.
Eggs are also known to be a good source of choline and lutein. (Choline has been directly linked with preventing memory loss. Lutein helps with vision.)
Does this egg paranoia run wild in other countries?
Here's an interesting little factoid on eggs:
Neither the British Dietetic Association nor the Food Standards Agency offer any suggestions on limiting the amount of egg consumption.
Yet many health care providers in the U.S. are still offering up the myth of cutting back on eggs as practical advice to their patients.
Why is the United States so anti-egg while the rest of the world has a completely different view?
It all started with a so-called "study" done in the 1950's.
Here's what's weird…
The study wasn't done with real eggs that you and I are used to eating.
Nope, the study was done using DRIED egg yolk powder.
You may already know that drying a food removes many of it's nutrients and benefits. So right away it wasn't a good basis for a study. (And besides that, who eats dried egg yolk powder, anyway?)
Why would a study be done using dried egg yolk powder, you ask?
Well, it starts to make more sense when you consider who was behind all this…
It was the Cereal Institute of America!
Do you think the Cereal Institute of America might have had a hidden agenda? (Like to sell more boxes of their breakfast cereals!)
Even when pro-egg studies came out from the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, the marketing efforts of the Cereal Institute kept the anti-egg myth out in front of people to the point that the myth became accepted as fact.
Haven't some studies with real eggs shown an increase in cholesterol levels?
Okay, remember before I said I wanted to get back to an important point about eggs and cholesterol levels?
This is where I get a little "technical". But stay with me as this is important to know.
Most people would never think of eating 2-3 eggs every day for fear that their heart would explode after a few weeks.
But that’s exactly what a recent study group did.
For the overwhelming majority of people, any changes in cholesterol levels were very small and irrelevant.
There was a small group … labeled as hyper-sensitive … that did in fact show an increase in cholesterol.
But hold on, because the news isn’t all bad.
In fact, it’s not bad news at all.
You see, the bad LDL cholesterol and the good HDL cholesterol BOTH went up for this sensitive group. So their HDL/LDL ratio stayed the same.
And as you hopefully know by now, the HDL ratio is a much better indicator than your Total Cholesterol number.
But the news gets even better…
Further analysis of the increased LDL showed that the increase was due to the LDL particles getting bigger, not more numerous.
What does that mean exactly?
Without sounding like a science class, just know that the smaller particles are the ones that do the damage. Having more of the bigger particles mean LESS risk for artery plaque build-up.
This is true even for those labeled as hyper-sensitive to eggs.
High cholesterol foods (including eggs) do not necessarily cause an increase in blood cholesterol levels.
And as reported by the Harvard Medical School, the only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease – not on cholesterol levels or other so-called risk factors – found no connection between the two.
And here's more good news on egg consumption found in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Many nutritionists and researchers (along with yours truly) are now calling for health care professionals to revise the recommendations on eggs to reflect these findings from the most recently published research.
Want more good news?…
Other high cholesterol foods like shrimp are also not the heart attack risk that we’ve been led to believe.
Bottom Line: Eating 1-2 eggs every single day, including the yolks, is either inconsequential … or most likely beneficial… to your artery and heart health. (And your body will love the protein boost!) That's because the connection between eating eggs and cholesterol levels has been either exaggerated or outright falsified.