Should eggs be singled out because of high cholesterol?
A recent study has stirred up confusion once again on whether daily consumption of egg is associated with incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Press releases that were merely based on the study’s abstract have immediately caused scare to the public.
But a critical eye will dig deeper and will come to understand that the study (https://jamanetwork.com/journ…/jama/article-abstract/2728487) has lots of limitations and has no strong evidence against well established research data on the benefits of eggs and its lack of direct causality to CVD risk among non diabetics and/or healthy individuals. The authors of the 2019 egg study acknowledged among others that, “the study findings are observational and cannot establish causality” (1).
American Heart Association’s previous recommendation on egg consumption (i.e. no more than 3 yolks per week) has already been dropped since 2002 while keeping the less than 300mg/day of dietary cholesterol guideline.
American Heart Association’s previous recommendation on egg consumption (i.e. no more than 3 yolks per week) has already been dropped since 2002 while keeping the less than 300mg/day of dietary cholesterol guideline. And in 2015 the dietary guidelines for Americans no longer include restriction on dietary cholesterol. The 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recognized that “available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol” (2). Instead, they promoted the consumption of healthier food and beverage choices and advised to limit calories from added sugars, saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake (3).
Egg is a good source of several vitamins and minerals with high quality protein. It can also help individuals who are trying to lose weight as it can provide a high satiating effect (i.e. “nakakabusog”) especially if consumed with yolk. Intakes of 6-12 eggs per week, in the context of a diet that is consistent with cardiovascular health promotion, has no adverse effect on CVD risk factors (4). Indeed, egg is an affordable source of high quality nutrition.
My advice, instead of worrying that eggs might increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, pay closer attention to:
How you cook your eggs? Healthier options would be boiled, poached, or scrambled with minimal addition of oil and salt
What do you eat eggs with? Combine with veggies and/or small amount of cheese but limit* eating eggs with processed meats
What are the other sources of saturated and trans-fats in your diet? Aside from fatty and processed meats, limit* intake of desserts, and baked goods made with trans fats: some cookies, biscuits, sweet breads, etc.
NOTE: that LIMITING intake doesn’t mean completely taking them out from your diet, for I know some of you consider these food items as #soulfood.
References: (1) Zhong VW. et al. 2019. JAMA. (2) McNamara DJ. 2015. Nutrients. (3) USDA 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (4) Richard C. et. al. 2017. Can J Diabetes.
P.S. Foreign studies/guidelines are highly cited because they are our primary reference for local guidelines.