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Why Are Eggs Good or Bad for You: Healthy or Unhealthy?

It can be tough to determine whether eggs are healthy.woman-egg-bowl

For years, many researchers said that dietary cholesterol led to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (1, 2).

Some low-fat diet fads shun egg consumption.

However, U.S. egg producers run the American Egg Board, which put out the “Incredible Edible Egg” ad campaign (3).

This campaign attempts to educate consumers about the health benefits of eggs.

Are eggs healthy or not?

They’re actually one of the most nourishing foods you can eat. I’ll explain why.

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Eggs Are Good for Your Health

Eggs Infographic


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Aren’t Eggs Bad for Your Heart?

People have stayed away from eggs because they’re high in cholesterol. One large egg does contain about 211 mg of cholesterol (4).

As a comparison, a five-ounce hamburger made from ground beef with 80% fat only contains 100 mg of cholesterol in the meat itself (5).

However, in healthy humans, the consumption of dietary cholesterol does not dramatically affect the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Our intestines have a lining that blocks the absorption of cholesterol from the foods we eat (6).

While some people have a rare disorder that allows them to absorb excess amounts of cholesterol, most people do not.

Metabolism of fats and cholesterol varies from person to person (7).

In fact, 70% of people experience no change or only a minor change in blood cholesterol levels after eating cholesterol-rich foods (8).

In addition, researchers think that cholesterol levels in the blood don’t necessarily predict the risk of coronary heart disease.

eggs

Some studies have found that the concentration of atherogenic lipoprotein particles, not cholesterol, in the blood is a better predictor of coronary heart disease (9).

While eating eggs won’t necessarily raise your cholesterol levels, eggs have been shown to positively affect the type of cholesterol in your blood.

In fact, when people do experience an increase in blood cholesterol levels after eating eggs, HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) levels increase (8). LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) can be present in the form of small, dense particles or larger particles.

It’s the small, dense particles that are mainly associated with cardiovascular disease (10).

Eating eggs can transform the small, dense LDL particles in your blood to larger, less dangerous particles.

This is especially effective when egg consumption is combined with a low-carbohydrate diet (8, 11).

The larger particles also transport beneficial carotenoids, which are beneficial for eye health and can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration associated with age (11).

One meta-analysis investigated 17 prospective studies that had looked into the correlation between egg consumption heart disease and stroke.

The researchers found that there was no significant correlation between eggs and either condition in healthy individuals (12).

This information isn’t new. Many studies have come to the same results (13).

KEY POINT: The idea that eggs are bad for your heart health is a myth.

In healthy people, eggs can actually be beneficial for your cardiovascular well-being by raising HDL levels, and increasing the size of LDL particles.

For more information about what eggs can do you for your health, please visit AuthorityDiet.com.