Updated: Apr 10, 2020
The reason eggs have had a bad rap over the last few decades is because the yolks are rich in cholesterol. It was commonly believed that dietary cholesterol contributed to elevated cholesterol levels in our bodies. But that’s not necessarily the case. Let’s have a look at some of the research.
A 2013 meta-analysis, or review, of 16 studies concluded that there was no difference between those who did not consume eggs versus those who consumed one or more eggs per day for risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population (1).
Similarly, another study did not find an association between consuming one egg per day and the development of CVD; however, people with type II diabetes had an increased risk (2). The authors of this study suggest that this may be due to abnormal cholesterol metabolism in diabetics (2).
Finally, some studies have found that daily egg consumption raises LDL (“bad”) cholesterol slightly in heathy individuals; however, eggs may also change LDL particles from small, dense (harmful)to large (harmless) (3). So you cannot just look at LDL alone. You need to consider particle size. One recent study, on the other hand, saw a reduction in LDL, an increase in HDL (“good”) and lowered LDL to HDL ratio for individuals eating three eggs per day compared to no eggs (4).
So, can you safely eat eggs every day? There really is no evidence to suggest that eating eggs contributes neither to cardiovascular disease nor to high cholesterol levels. One to two eggs is surely a safe bet. On the contrary, eggs are loaded with nutrients, including choline, which is important for brain health and homocysteine metabolism (5). Unlike eggs, homocysteine is linked to heart disease (6). And let me give you a tip, having a nice poached or scrambled egg with a hearty slice of bread (or no bread at all) for breakfast is way better for you than having a bowl of a so-called “healthy” cereal. There are a couple of cereals I have found to be decent, but most are not great news. Sorry.
The more important thing is to consider your overall diet and lifestyle choices. If the only way you eat eggs is with breakfast sausages, home fries and ketchup, well, that’s fine, but don’t blame the eggs!