Eggs are good; No, eggs are bad; Yes, eggs are bad but egg beaters are okay.
To end dietary debate, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health studied the association between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke in a sample of 37,851 men and 80,082 women. After adjusting for age, smoking, and other potential CVD risk factors, researchers found no evidence of a significant association between egg consumption and risk of CVD or stroke in men or women. However, men and women who ate more than one egg a day had a 1.08 and 0.82 relative risk (RR) of developing CVD.
In subgroup analysis, higher egg consumption appeared to be associated with increased risk of CVD in diabetic subjects. For instance, diabetic men who ate 1 egg per day were twice as likely to develop CVD compared to those who consumed less than 1 egg per week (RR= 2.02). Similar results were found in women (RR=1.49, 95% CI). Researchers believe the increased risk may be related to abnormal cholesterol transport due to decreased levels of apolipoprotein E and increased levels of apolipoprotein C-111 among patients with diabetes.
In sum, consumption of up to 1 egg per day is unlikely to have an impact on the risk of CVD or stroke among healthy men and women. Further, participants who consumed more eggs has lower intake of carbohydrates. Researchers believe consuming eggs instead of carbohydrate rich foods—cereals, pancakes, or pastries—may raise “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease blood glycemic and insulinemic responses.
While an egg contains about 200mg of cholesterol, it also includes including vitamin D (5%), retinol (4%), folate (4%), α-tocopherol (3%), monounsaturated fat (3%), vitamin B12 (3%), vitamin B2 (3%), protein (3%), saturated fat (2.5%), linoleic acid (2%), calcium (1.3%), vitamin B1 (1.2%), and vitamin B2 (1.2%). Therefore, these beneficial nutrients may out weigh the small adverse effect of cholesterol.
Fact: Eggs are a good source of nutrients. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and some healthful unsaturated fats. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss.
Fact: Eggs have a lot of cholesterol. The average large egg contains 212 milligrams of cholesterol. As foods go, that’s quite a bit, rivaled only by single servings of liver, shrimp, and duck meat.
Myth: All that cholesterol goes straight to your bloodstream and then into your arteries. Not so. For most people, only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes into the blood. Saturated and trans fats have much bigger effects on blood cholesterol levels.
Myth: Eating eggs is bad for your heart. The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease—not on cholesterol levels or other intermediaries—found no connection between the two. In people with diabetes, though, egg-a-day eaters were a bit more likely to have developed heart disease than those who rarely ate eggs.
Have a Happy Easter.
If you or a family member experienced a heart attack, please visit the Yale Heart Study Survey Site.