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An Egg a Day – Safe for Your Health

Does eating eggs increase your risk for heart disease or stroke? The answer from a large-scale analysis of decades’ worth of data is: No.

“Higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke,” explain researchers in a study just published in the British Medical Journal.

Public confusion about eggs and heart disease may stem from the fact that an egg contains cholesterol. However, research continues to demonstrate that diet does not necessarily raise blood cholesterol or lead to heart disease. Explain the researchers, “Dietary cholesterol has only a modest contribution to plasma concentrations of LDL [‘bad’] cholesterol.”

Why this egg study is unique

Unlike individual, small-scale studies about eggs and cardiac wellness, this study examined data from multiple research projects, spanning 46 years and hundreds of thousands of people. It included men and women. Researchers carefully cross-checked information about egg consumption. Investigators included only data where dietary intakes of eggs (specifically) were validated. They used the longest available timeframes.

Eggs – reducing stroke risk

For someone with diabetes who eats egg daily, researchers found there could be a statistically significant increase in risk of heart disease, but a lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke. More research is needed, they said, because there is little definitive data for this group.

For all other adults, the analysis was definitive in showing that egg consumption does not increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

For the general population, the researchers note that data collected in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988-1994 (NHANES III) and other studies indicates eating eggs reduces risk of stroke.

Egg nutrition and a healthy diet

The researchers point out that as an inexpensive source of protein, eggs are nutritious — a “low calorie source of many other nutrients, including minerals, proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids, which could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The conclusion: Eating an egg a day is not a risk factor for heart disease or stroke.  In fact, dietary guidelines from several other countries incorporate eggs every day or regularly as part of healthy diet recommendations, note the scientists.

What’s in your healthy diet?