Does Eating Eggs Increase Your Cholesterol?
Let’s take a quick second to clear up a common misconception that eggs increase your cholesterol. Some quick background and education here.
Eggs are a staple in many diets around the world due to their high protein diet and relatively easy obtainability. Although many, many animals lay eggs that humans consume, the chicken egg is the most commonly consumed and that will be the focus of this lecture and referenced research.
The white of the egg contains virtually all of the protein and amino acids. There is a small mix of B vitamins. For perspective, there is approximately 6 grams of protein per egg.
The yolk of chicken eggs contain 50% monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid, with the rest a mix of saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. There is not a significant amount of protein in the yolk, although it is high in the specific amino acid leucine. There is also some carotenoids.
On the subject of cholesterol.
Historically, physicians and diet scientists made a very simple assumption: increasing your dietary cholesterol intake will lead to an in increase in serum cholesterol. Serum, or blood cholesterol, has been linked to plaque in your arteries known as atherosclerosis, as well as heart attack and stroke. This was a reasonable assumption with strong biological plausibility. Fortunately for us, it’s not that simple.
Researchers began looking at egg consumption as a way to evaluate the effects of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol.
A 2007 study of 9734 individuals found “Consumption of greater than 6 eggs per week (average of 1 egg or greater per day) does not increase the risk of stroke and ischemic stroke. “ However, in that study, they did find slightly increased risk among diabetics.
Another study, published in 2011, looked at egg consumption and coronary heart disease and stroke and did not find a significant association between eating eggs and increased risk of those diseases.
There are several other studies that draw similar conclusions.
In summary, although eggs do contain cholesterol, this does not translate to increased serum cholesterol. More importantly, egg consumption does not increase your risk of atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. However, among diabetics, there was a slightly increased risk of those diseases associated with egg consumption.