Cracking Open Eggs' Effect On Cholesterol And Heart Health

The world record for most-liked Instagram post (over 53 million) is a photo of a brown egg posted by @world_record_egg. Initially, the likes were fueled by the fact that no one could figure out who posted it or why. (It's an advertising campaign for mental health awareness.)

There has always been a lot of mystery surrounding eggs, and not just about which came first. There's a longstanding debate over whether they're good for your health.

Changes made to U.S. dietary guidelines (2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans) didn't clarify anything. They suggest that eating an egg once a week is part of a healthy diet, and said that the daily limit of cholesterol from food should be 100 mg to 300 mg, depending on your appropriate calorie intake level. Well, folks took that to mean that eating an egg or two some days was OK. One egg has around 187 mg of cholesterol.

Not so fast. A study published in JAMA looked at data on almost 30,000 adults. It found eating three to four eggs weekly was associated with 6 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and 8 percent higher risk of any cause of death. And getting 300 mg of dietary cholesterol daily was associated with a 17 percent increase in your risk of cardiovascular disease. Clearly, more than one egg yolk a week could scramble your health.

A smart alternative: Stick with cholesterol-free egg whites and veggies for a tasty omelet. One egg white delivers 4 grams protein, 17 calories, 2.3 milligrams calcium, 3.6 milligrams magnesium, and 53.8 milligrams potassium.

© 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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