It is no big secret that eggs are high[er] in cholesterol, which is why cardiologists used to recommend that patients with heart concerns should limit intake. New research, though, sheds more light on this, now suggesting that the cholesterol in eggs may not be quite so harmful after all.
Study author Jyrk Virtanen explains, “It is quite well known that dietary cholesterol intake has quite a modest impact on blood cholesterol levels, and cholesterol or egg intakes have not been associated with a higher risk of heart disease in most studies.”
The University of Eastern Finland Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition adjunct professor in nutritional epidemiology goes on to say, “However, dietary cholesterol intake has a greater impact on blood cholesterol levels among those with [APOE4].”
Basically, he explains, it was just an assumption that consuming high-cholesterol foods would dramatically impact heart disease risk among people who already have higher than normal cholesterol levels. But, he says, “our study did not find an increased risk even among those carrying [APOE4].”
Simply put, he acknowledges that, at some point, it might be true that cholesterol or egg intake could become so high that it might signal an increase in heart disease risk, but this particular study does not provide enough information to effectively assess what this level might be.
In addition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center assistant professor of clinical nutrition Lona Sandon reminds that—as with most other things—moderation is the key. She even goes so far as to advise that “people can feel confident about adding eggs, including the yolk, into their daily diet.”
The registered dietitian also notes, “Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition with much of that nutrition found in the yolk. The yolk has vitamin D, essential fats, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more.” She reminds that these are good for the bones as well as the brain and even the eyes. Eggs are also a good source of protein and B vitamins.
Finally, Sandon advises that dietary cholesterol (what you would ingest when you eat eggs) do not have as much of an impact on blood cholesterol levels as we had thoguht before. As a matter of fact, she also reminds that the American Heart Association had already dropped its daily cholesterol limit recommendations a few years ago, focusig instead on saturated fat and sugars as a more likely culprit of heart disease risk (amont other conditions).