If you ask most health professionals or even the somewhat health conscious lay person about the nutrition properties of eggs, you could be certain you’d hear the following responses:
“Eggs are a good source of protein, but they are high in cholesterol, so have them only once in a while or avoid them to keep your heart healthy.”
Some may even go a step further, and offer the following advice:
“Just eat the egg whites to get the protein, because the fat and cholesterol are in the yolk.”
On principle, whenever I hear someone say some food is bad, I want to know why, who said so, and what the proof is.
Let’s apply that principle here and see if egg consumption is really related to cardiovascular disease.
Is egg consumption related to heart disease?
I Zazpe, et al. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition/ advance online publication
23 March 2011
This one is pretty straight forward – the authors studied a huge population of people by assessing their egg ingestion habits, then tracked the incidence of cardiovascular disease over the next 6 years. According to specialists like the , they found that there was absolutely no correlation between egg consumption and incidence of heart disease.
Are egg whites better than whole eggs?
Some of you may recall that I’ve written on this before, in my egg phobia post, addressing the correlation between cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and other health markers between those who ate egg whites versus those who ate whole eggs.
Do I have some vested interest in eggs?
No, but in full disclosure, I do have a really good friend that raises chickens in his back yard.
I actually hate eggs- just the taste. If they are in the ingredients of something, like a stir-fry, I’m ok with that, but otherwise, I can’t stomach them. They are a great food, though, and I often put them in some clients’ meal plans.
I’m not going to say that everyone must eat eggs, and that they are essential for health either. In fact, some are allergic to eggs and should avoid them
The point is that there are many common beliefs about food that aren’t deeply rooted in truth. It’s hard enough to find good sources of quality food – we shouldn’t be discarding food options based on weak evidence, especially ones that may actually be good for you.
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