Are eggs bad for your heart? New study weighs in

Leslie Hanson
March 16, 2019

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 researchers based their conclusions on what participants said they ate at the start of each study.

One large egg has 186 milligrams of cholesterol in the yolk.

The latest US government nutrition guidelines, from 2015, removed the strict daily cholesterol limit.

Some people think '"I can eat as many eggs as I want'" but the results suggest moderation is a better approach, she said.

"A more appropriate recommendation would be eating egg whites instead of whole eggs or eating whole eggs in moderation, for the objective of reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and death", he said.

"Our study showed if two people had exact same diet and the only difference in diet was eggs, then you could directly measure the effect of the egg consumption on heart disease", Allen said.

The researchers followed almost 30,000 adults over three decades and found that eating three or four eggs a week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause.

Researchers in the Northwestern study found that eating 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day was associated with a 17 percent higher risk of heart disease and an 18 percent higher risk of all-cause deaths.

The researchers found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease, and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause, according to HealthDay. Risks were found with eggs and cholesterol in general; a separate analysis was not done for every cholesterol-rich food.

Although previous studies on egg consumption found that eggs did not increase the risk of heart disease, the studies did not have a diverse sample and were short-term studies that did not adjust for other parts of the diet, Norrina Allen, co-author and associate professor of preventive medicine, said in a press release. The study results were drawn after looking at data from 29,615 adults pooled from 6 prospective cohort studies in the United States, over a time period of 17.5 years.

The findings stand in contrast to past studies that suggested cholesterol had little to no association with heart disease, and that saturated fat carried the greatest risk, Lauri Wright, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who did not work on the study, told Newsweek.

"This study does a good job of parsing the data and identifying dietary cholesterol as an individual and independent component of diet" that's linked with heart disease and mortality, said Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. "Eat them in moderation".

But more recent dietary guidelines have loosened the reins on dietary cholesterol. However, that study was done on people who weren't eating a typical Western diet. "For example, poached eggs on whole-grain toast is a much healthier meal than a traditional fry up".

"I'm sorry if it seems like a boring recommendation", she added, but for most people, the most important diet advice "should be to maintain a healthy weight, to exercise, and to get an adequate amount of sleep".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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