Eating eggs can raise risk of heart disease, research finds

Eating as few as three eggs a week raises risk of heart disease, study suggests

Researchers at Northwestern University analyzed 30,000 USA adults over three decades and found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to increased cholesterol and a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease.

Eating 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day - the average intake of adults in the U.S. - is associated with a 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18 percent higher risk of death from any cause, according to the study. 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.

Hold that three-egg omelet.

Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of cholesterol with one large.

"The fact that studies outside the US appear to show favorable relationships with egg intake and cardiovascular risk may speak to the importance of what other foods are consumed with eggs as part of the overall diet pattern, as recent research has demonstrated the importance of separating eggs from other foods to understand their independent impact on health outcomes", Rubin said in a statement.

Whether or not dietary cholesterol is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke has been debated for decades.

The culprit, the researchers wrote, appears to be cholesterol; the study also found that eating 300 mg of cholesterol per day was tied to a 17 percent increase in the risk of developing heart disease and an 18 percent increase in the risk of dying during the study period, compared with consuming no cholesterol. The average egg contains 200 milligrams - more cholesterol than is in most fast-food double cheeseburgers. However, the guidelines omit a daily limit for the substance. "Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult".

"There's always been a [suggestion in the data] that eggs can raise cholesterol and create cardiovascular harm", said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Wellness program at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver.


Freeman cited concerns about the influence of the agricultural and food industry over the guidelines as a reason for this contradiction, and the general downplaying of the link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease.

Zhong, however, emphasized that the study was observational and couldn't prove dietary cholesterol or egg intake could cause cardiovascular disease or death.

"We know that dietary recall can be awful", said Lee.

However, though flawed, Cho says these studies are important for a better understanding of nutrition research.

Eggs in moderation is generally considered a good addition to a daily diet.

"The old advice still stands, eggs in moderation are absolutely fine as a useful source of protein".

"Eggs are a nutritious food and, while this study focuses on the amount we're eating, it's just as important to pay attention to how the eggs are cooked and to the trimmings that come with them", said Taylor, who was not involved in the research.

She recommends sticking to a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in heart-healthy plant-based foods that are also low in cholesterol, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

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