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Does Eating Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol Levels?

Eggs are a great source of protein.   The Serotonin-Plus Dietary Plan encourages eating eggs daily in the various phases of our program.   One medium size egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol which is 62% of the US recommended daily requirement of cholesterol intake.  Therefore, for those people eating 2, 3 or more eggs a day, their cholesterol consumption is much higher than recommended.  If those people already have high cholesterol levels, are they placing themselves in jeopardy?

Cholesterol is often viewed as negative.  This is because some studies have linked high levels of cholesterol with heart disease and early death. However, the evidence is mixed   The truth is that cholesterol plays a very important function in your body. It’s a structural molecule that is essential to every cell membrane.  It is also used to make steroid hormones testosterone, estrogen and cortisol. Because getting cholesterol from the diet isn’t always an option, your liver produces enough to meet your body’s needs. But when you eat a lot of foods containing lots of cholesterol, your liver starts producing less to keep cholesterol levels from becoming excessively high.  Therefore, the total amount of cholesterol in your body changes only very little, if at all. What changes is its source — your diet or your liver .

Studies of people eating 3 eggs a day show:

  • In almost all cases, “good” HDL cholesterol goes up.
  • Total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels usually remain unchanged.
  • Eating omega-3-enriched eggs can lower blood trigylcerides another important risk factor..

The science is clear that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people.  There are few, if any studies that look at people eating more than 3 eggs a day.  

Concerning the association of eating eggs and heart disease there have been multiple studies that examined egg consumption and heart disease risk.  Many of these are observational studies in which large groups of people are followed for many years. These studies, some of which include hundreds of thousands of people, consistently show that people who eat whole eggs are no more likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t.  Some of the studies even show a reduced risk of stroke.

The bottom line: Eggs are a great source of protein for your weight control efforts.  The beneficial impact of your successful weight loss efforts fare exceeds any risk of the use of eggs to help you achieve success in shedding those pounds.

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