Recently, headlines like “Eating many eggs linked to elevated risk of earlier death” were pretty much all over the place. I, and many others with me, firmly believe that eggs are extremely beneficial – so what’s the deal here? Well, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
For quite some time, most official dietary recommendations have been advicing against consuming more than one egg a day – the US Departement of Agriculture have been even more restrictive in their recommendations. The sole reason for this is the fact that eggs have a high cholesterol content, combined with the wide-spread myth that cholesterol per se increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. I will dedicate an upcoming post to the debunking of this myth, but for now, let us just ascertain that the western world in general and the US in particular suffers from a severe case of cholesterol fear.
It is true that eggs are rich in cholesterol – but the bodily-specific production of cholesterol is lowered as we consume more in our food, so its really not an issue. What is an issue, is that eggs also are very rich in high-quality fats, essential minerals and vitamins.
So, this new alarming research report, what does it really say? It indicates elevated risk of death in those eating more than seven eggs a week, along with an elevated risk in diabetics eating eggs at all. But – and this but is big; the egg consumtion does not correlate with an increase in stroke or cardiovascular diseases – and hence the classical cholesterol myth, the myth which also forms the basis for official dietary advice against eating eggs, is not given any support from this report. On the contrary.
So when the claim is made that eggs are bad for diabetics, no model of explanation is provided. The study has lasted for twenty years, so we have to weigh in the atrocity propaganda aimed at eggs; during the study, eggs have been slandered. Those who ate eggs anyway probably share the common trait that they disregard dietary advice, and maybe this trait is associated with other dangerous behaviour? Maybe they exercise less, eat more candy, eat less vegetables and smoke more than the other participants? And reading the report, one finds that only 8% of the male doctors studied had an egg consumtion higher than seven eggs a week. The most egg-consuming group where older, smoked more often, had higher blood-pressure and exercised less. The study was also lacking in information on their other dietary habits.
Amazingly enough, this report has been used as an argument for recommending “heart friendly” egg-white omelets – even though the only conclusion to be made is yet another indication that the cholesterol hypothesis is dead wrong.
One should note that US eggs in general are not as beneficial as for instance Swedish eggs – they are lower in Omega 3 and higher in their content of Omega 6. Eggs are extremely beneficial food, and should be eaten in abundance – but don’t worry about cholesterol, worry about choosing the best quality eggs – that is where you can make a real difference.