Over the years, it has been a general recommendation that the ingestion of eggs should be limited due to the cholesterol content of eggs, specifically the yolks.
First, a few words about cholesterol in general: There are a number of different cholesterol particles,, but the main ones reported on blood testing are: 1- Low density lipoprotein (“LDL”) and 2- High density lipoprotein (“HDL”). LDL is often referred to as the “bad cholesterol” as higher blood levels are linked to an increase risk of heart disease whereas HDL is called the “good cholesterol” because the higher the levels, the less risk of heart disease.
The cholesterol that we measure in our bloodstream is NOT cholesterol that we brought into our bodies via our diets. The stomach and intestines break down dietary cholesterol to “fatty acids” and the fatty acids are brought to the liver. The liver produces the cholesterol that appears in our bloodstreams.
There are two components that lead to our cholesterol levels: 1- the liver will make more cholesterol the more fatty acids it receives (the dietary component) and 2- there is a genetic component to this, meaning that the liver will make more or less cholesterol based on hereditary factors. There are many people that follow very low cholesterol containing diets yet have very high serum cholesterol levels. This is the genetic factor.
Back to eggs: Numerous studies have shown that the ingestion of eggs does NOT lead to a less favorable cholesterol situation. The LDL cholesterol levels may rise but so does the HDL levels, negating any harm to people. These studies have included hundreds of thousands of people.
So, the bottom line: Eggs are a great source of protein and will NOT adversely impact your cholesterol levels. If you are trying to shed weight, include eggs as part of the strategy.
In 1967 John Lennon penned, while under the influence of LSD, his summer of love song “I Am The Walrus”…however, he also included the EGGman in his lyrics. Enjoy!