When a new patient comes into the SP Program that has high cholesterol, perhaps even taking a statin such as Lipitor, and sees our sample meal plans, a common question/concern is this: “If I eat eggs for breakfast or for a snack, won’t this raise my cholesterol levels and this is bad for my health?”
Eggs are a great source of protein. A single egg has 6 grams of protein and does contain 5 grams of fat and 187 mg of cholesterol. So, here are some questions and answers:
- Does eating eggs make the blood cholesterol levels rise? The answer is “yes”, BUT the “good” cholesterol (HDL) rises whereas the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) remains the same.
- Does the liver compensate by making less cholesterol when more cholesterol is consumed? Yes…studies show that the liver manufactures less cholesterol hence the reason why total cholesterol levels do not change much.
- Doe studies show that eating eggs increases the risk of heart disease? For people that do not have diabetes mellitus, studies show NO increase risk of heart disease with increasing consumption of eggs. Diabetics can safely eat up to 2 eggs a day without seeing any adverse blood lipid changes.
- Are there any other benefits of eating eggs? YES.
- They’re high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce your risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts
- They’re very high in choline, a nutrient that plays an essential role in all cells
- They’re high in quality animal protein, the benefits of which include increased muscle mass and better bone health
- Studies show that eggs increase feelings of fullness and help you lose weight
So, for those egg lovers out there, go for it…protein is your major “friend” during your long-term weight control efforts and eggs are a great protein source, easy to prepare and helps you get to those 14 or more proteins we are asking you to eat during Phase One of our plan!