The evidence on eggs

For years, eggs have had a bad reputation among doctors and nutritionists because of the cholesterol content of the yolks.

One large egg contains about 190 milligrams of cholesterol.   The U.S. dietary guidelines recommended healthy adults eat no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day, and those at risk for heart disease eat no more than 200 milligrams a day.  (You can see how a three-egg omelet would be out of the question under the current guidelines.)

But a review published by the British Medical Journal this month questions whether egg consumption actually leads to heart disease and stroke. In the article, the researchers reviewed eight prospective studies that included a total of more than 260,000 people.

What did they find?  Eating one large egg a day did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke for healthy adults. The study did find, however, that egg consumption was associated with high levels of heart disease among diabetic patients, but this subgroup also showed a reduced risk for stroke when eating more eggs.

The take-home message: Further studies are needed to clarify the risks for people with health conditions like diabetes.  But overall, eggs aren’t a risky food to eat everyday.

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