Are Eggs Bad for Your Heart Health? Fad Free Weighs In

The great egg debate continues after JAMA published a recent study.

The take home message is all about cholesterol which happens to be high in eggs, specifically the yolks.  To best understand this study you need to understand cholesterol. Egg yolks are the richest source of dietary cholesterol.  Other animal products such red meat, processed meat and high fat dairy products (butter and cream) also have high cholesterol content.  Studies show cholesterol, regardless of the source, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Don’t completely banish eggs and other cholesterol rich foods because they are important sources of nutrients such as essential amino acids, iron, and choline.  If you do consume eggs daily, eat them in moderation. Rember, baked goods and processed snacks commonly contain eggs. You need to factor those in when evaluating your weekly egg intake. Fad Free recommends eating 1 whole egg with 2 egg whites.

If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque. Plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries. This buildup of plaque is known as atherosclerosis, a common factor in heart disease.  Not all people are affected in the same way by dietary cholesterol. The relationship between the amount of cholesterol consumed and the amount in the blood is complex and varies from person to person depending on metabolic and genetic factors. Some people can eat a lot of eggs and little of the cholesterol goes into the blood.

Current recommendations regarding dietary cholesterol, and eggs in particular, are indeed confusing. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, for example, states that we “should eat as little cholesterol as possible while consuming a healthy eating pattern.” But the Scientific Report that accompanies those same guidelines says that “cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption,” suggesting that avoiding eggs is not important.

The Fad Free Take:

  • Eggs remain a healthy, nutrient rich choice when enjoyed in moderation.
  • Look at lifestyle factors that affect cholesterol.
  • Poach, hard boil or scramble eggs with non stick cooking spray for the lowest calorie preparation
  • Lower cholesterol in egg dishes by adding and 2 eggs whites (as a substitute for an egg with the yolk)
  • For now, the American Heart Association approves 7 eggs/ week.
  • Fad Free agrees, but encourages FOOD JOURNALING as a healthy habit!  We knew we were on to something….???

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