The debate on whether eggs are good or bad for health continues, and a new study is putting eggs on the more negative side of the debate. Evidently, consuming eggs several times a week can significantly increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and death.
While eggs are a good source of important nutrients, they are also rich sources of dietary cholesterol, with one large egg having about 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol in the yolk. Before 2015, the daily limit for dietary cholesterol consumption was 300 milligrams, but that limit in the guideline has since been omitted, and the new ones even added eggs as a part of a healthy diet.
Typically, the American adult consumes about 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, and eats three to four eggs per week. So how does this kind of diet possibly affect the average person?
High Cardiovascular Disease And All-Cause Death Risk
To really look at the effect of eggs of a person’s diet, researchers looked at the data from 29,615 adults from six cohort studies and found that those who ate three to four eggs per week had a 6 percent higher risk for cardiovascular disease and 8 percent higher risk for any cause of death. Further, those who consumed 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day had 17 percent higher risk for cardiovascular disease and 18 percent higher risk for all-cause death.
“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. We found cholesterol, regardless of the source, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease,” said Norrina Allen, PhD, co-corresponding author of the study.
Even with the results of the study, the researchers still do not recommend omitting eggs or other cholesterol-rich foods from their diets altogether. In fact, they do point out that foods such as eggs and red meat are a good source of nutrients. However, a better compromise to reap the benefits while reducing the risks would be to eat them in moderation.
For instance, one could only choose to eat egg whites instead of whole eggs or to eat the whole eggs in moderation.
The study is published in JAMA.