The Eggs Cholesterol Myth – Why Eggs Don’t Raise Cholesterol

Daniel Maman May 22, 2012

As far as I can remember, I have been told not to consume too many eggs because of its amount of cholesterol.

So it is this logic true?

Do eggs raise cholesterol?

I dove into this question and read through all the research regarding eggs and its effect on cholesterol.

Check it out below.

How much cholesterol does an egg have?

A typical eggs’ cholesterol amount is 212 milligrams, which is a lot.

However, eggs’ cholesterol levels being high may not equate to higher cholesterol in the body.

Is it a myth that eggs raise cholesterol?

Let’s go over the basics first, and what cholesterol consists of.

First is LDL cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol that you want to avoid.

The “good” cholesterol, called HDL, is the type of cholesterol you want more of.

In most cases, it is beneficial when people have elevated HDL levels and lowered LDL levels.

Eggs’ Cholesterol Myth Debunked – Let’s Over The Research!

Study 1

In one study on eggs and cholesterol published in the European Journal of Nutrition, increased dietary cholesterol (specifically eggs’ cholesterol) was not shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels when accompanied by an energy-restricted diet and weight loss.

The study on eggs and cholesterol consisted of 2 groups. One group was to exclude eggs from the diet and the other group consumed 2 eggs a day.

Both groups consumed less calories than usual to promote weight loss.

Both groups showed significant weight loss and both the egg-fed and non-egg-fed groups showed decreased LDL levels.

In summary, this study showed that when losing weight, consuming 2 eggs daily does not increase cholesterol levels.

Study 2

In another study on the eggs’ cholesterol myth conducted at Mahidol University in Bangkok, sixty hyperlipidemic subjects, with an average age of 61 years old, who had been put on drugs to lower their lipid levels, were assigned to consume 3 added eggs daily to their diet.

The results of the study on eggs and cholesterol levels included increased HDL cholesterol and a decreased LDL-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol ratio.

This is another study showing that the eggs’ cholesterol myth may be a myth.bad versus good cholesterol

Study 3

A 12 week study on eggs and cholesterol conducted at the University of Connecticut showed an increased HDL level.

This study on eggs and cholesterol levels consisted of dividing the participating the subjects into group.

Although both groups were on carbohydrate-restricted diets, one group consumed 3 whole eggs a day while the other group consumed an equivalent amount of egg substitute. After the 12 weeks, subjects consuming whole eggs showed an increase of HDL cholesterol from 50 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL while showing no change in LDL levels.

Study 4

Another 12 week study on eggs and cholesterol was performed at the University of Connecticut.

The subjects were diagnosed with metabolic disorders. They all consumed 3 eggs a day and by the end of the 12 week period, only 3 subjects had the classification of the metabolic disorder while 18 were classified with a metabolic disorder at the beginning of the study.

In conclusion, the study suggests that including eggs in one’s diet may decrease risk factors associated with metabolic disorders without the negative effects of eggs’ cholesterol levels.

Study 4

An interesting case study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on a man who consumed approximately 25 eggs daily showed very healthy cholesterol levels.

This could be a rare case of the eggs’ cholesterol myth being busted as it is just one person, but if eggs and cholesterol increase were in fact correlated, then this man should have had extremely high cholesterol levels.

There is no research showing that eggs raise cholesterol

In my efforts to find a study linking egg consumption to increased LDL cholesterol levels, I failed.

I was not able to find a single published study showing that consuming eggs raises “bad” cholesterol.

What actually causes high cholesterol?

So if high cholesterol foods don’t raise cholesterol (specifically from high egg’s cholesterol levels), then what does?

Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and saturated fat have all been shown to raise cholesterol levels.

Summing it all up

In summary, eggs raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lower the LDL-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol ratio. Eggs contain a ton of vitamins and are a great source of protein and are an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

The eggs’ cholesterol myth that eggs raise “bad” cholesterol is a myth that has little evidence behind the claim!

References

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/2/272.short

http://www.springerlink.com/content/c6287375m6767g80/

www.hindawi.com/journals/jl/aip/672720.pdf

http://news.menshealth.com/the-best-breakfast-for-men/2012/04/26/

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199103283241306

Daniel Maman

Daniel Maman's two biggest passions in life are health and fitness. He is a certified personal trainer, has a degree in exercise science, and spends his free time keeping up to date with the latest research. In his free time, you can find him playing basketball, bouldering, and spoiling his dog, Luna.

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