The Truth About Eggs And Cholesterol

Every few months there seems to be another study with eggs as their focus. Like them or hate them, eggs are a major staple in most body-builder diets and they’re a darned convenient way to get your protein without a bunch of extra junk along with it. Unfortunately, the medical world seems bound and determined to demonize eggs.

They’re terrified of extra cholesterol and they are continually performing studies looking at how all that extra cholesterol from eggs affects people. What they’re finding is inconclusive at best, but that doesn’t keep them from steering people away from egg yolks again and again.

The truth is that there isn’t much conclusive proof that eggs are bad, but that’s not what many dieticians will tell you.

A Recent Study Says Eggs are Terrible for Your Heart

human heart anatomy

Even though this study and this study both say that eating lots of eggs isn’t terrible for you and that doing so could – gasp! – actually be good for you, another study was put out that loosely links more eggs with a greater chance of heart disease.

The study goes so far as to say that you are putting yourself at increased risk for every half an egg that you consume. That sounds horrible right? It sounds bad enough to put many people off egg yolks for good, and if it were actually a conclusive study I’d be switching to egg white omelettes immediately, but I’m not convinced.

The Study is a Weak Argument Against Eggs at Best

The study wasn’t actually a study at all, but the combination of many different studies all rolled into one. Data from six studies were pooled into one and analyzed for links to cardiovascular disease risk factors. What the studies found was a link to egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk. There’s a lot of room for scepticism in this study though. So don’t toss out your cartons of eggs just yet!

Eggs aren’t Necessarily at Fault

The study looks at the eating patterns of nearly 30,000 people over a period of 17 years, and it finds a link to eggs and heart disease. It’s possible that the link isn’t due to the eggs though.

There are a whole lot of variables floating around when it comes to this study. For starters, the food reported during the study was self-reported and not actually verified in any way. This study relied on having participants remember what they ate for weeks at a time.

Try and think back on what you ate over the last week? If you’re anything like most people that’s going to be impossible. Bodybuilders are pretty good at remembering what they eat though because they eat the same meals time and time again. The typical bodybuilder probably eats eggs every day of the week, or at least a few times a week. Everyone else has a random mix of foods over time.

Not only does the study rely on unreliable self-reported data, but it doesn’t look at any additional sources of cholesterol along with those eggs. That makes it pretty hard to see it as a reliable source in a search for the truth about eggs and cholesterol.

Bacon is a really common breakfast pairing with eggs for instance. It’s not too unreasonable to assume many of the people reporting eggs were also consuming some bacon. It’s likely they had coffee with cream as well and who knows, maybe there was some buttered toast mixed in there too.

The point is that the eggs may not be the problematic factor here at all, but there’s no way to know without examining the other foods in the person’s diet as well.

It’s also important to mention that the study didn’t look at other factors that increase the risk of heart diseases like smoking, body weight or the overall intake of saturated fat. It’s possible that the egg-eaters in the study just happen to be more likely to be overweight smokers that enjoy many sources of saturated fat. There’s just too many questions about the study participants and that’s why we’re not buying the study claims one bit.

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What the Other Studies Found

Remember those other studies we linked to quickly up above? Well they paint a very different picture for egg consumption. The first of the two looks at diabetic and pre-diabetic patients and tests their risk factors for developing heart disease with a high-egg diet and a low-egg diet.

Some of the participants ate 12 eggs a week, others had 2 eggs a week for three months. What the study found was that the high egg group was no more at risk for developing cardiovascular disease than the low egg group. That seems like a more reliable study if you ask us because it’s comparing people of similar health with controlled diets.

That second study looked at people that consumed 3 eggs a day for many weeks in a row. While it did find a link between egg consumption and higher cholesterol levels, it also noted that the high-egg eaters had higher HDL and LDL levels to maintain the same ratio between both types of cholesterol no matter what their egg intake was.

By maintaining the same ratio between HDL and LDL cholesterol types researchers theorized that the risk for developing cardiovascular disease was no worse than the patients with lower overall cholesterol levels.

The Truth About Eggs And Cholesterol Takeaway

What all these different studies tell you is that eggs likely aren’t as bad as some people would tell you they are. It’s easy to assume that egg yolks are terrible for you, especially with so many researchers trying to prove just that, but we’re not buying it just yet.

We’ll keep making up our omelettes and using them as part of our overall diet and muscle-building routines. Who knows, maybe eggs will end up being the healthy and beneficial foods that we expect them to be.

Until we know the truth about eggs and cholesterol for sure we’ll keep enjoying the affordable source of protein while we focus on reducing other for-sure risk factors like obesity and smoking.

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The truth about eggs and cholesterol

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