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“Eggs, Cholesterol, and Confusion”

The health risks of eggs and cholesterol continue to be debated in research and nutrition circles. Here’s what current research says. Over the past decade, nutritional advice has flip-flopped on eggs, reflecting the current research studies of the time. On one hand, eggs have been maligned and linked to heart disease, yet they’ve also been publicized as an integral part of a balanced diet—with some research suggesting that they may actually be beneficial for heart health. Some say eggs on their own are not as bad as you think, as long as you skip the fatty bacon on the side. Others point to eggs as a fairly healthy form of protein that can help build muscle and even improve immune function. However, researchers have found that both the consumption of whole eggs and cholesterol intake were positively associated with all-cause mortality, as well as cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality. They concluded that for every additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol consumed per day, the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality increased by 19%, 16%, and 24%, respectively. Given that a whole egg contains roughly 186 mg of cholesterol, this means eating two eggs each day could be increasing your likelihood of mortality from these causes. Researchers concluded that cholesterol from whole egg consumption contributed to more than 60% of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease deaths in the study. On the other hand, findings indicate that those who consumed egg whites or egg substitutes had lower all-cause mortality, as well as mortality from stroke, cancer, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

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