Throughout the years, the health research on eggs has been fairly up and down. One study says the cholesterol isn’t bad for you as long as you limit it, then the next says it could lead to heart disease. But the newest findings published this week are causing an uproar for one main reason: It’s the exact opposite of what many people want to hear.
In the study published in JAMA, researchers followed nearly 30,000 adults over a 17.5-year period and found each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol eaten per day (one egg, for reference, contains 186 mg) was associated with a 17 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, 18 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality, 14 percent increased risk of heart failure, and 26 percent increased risk of stroke. Eating an extra half an egg per day upped the risk considerably more—especially for women.
While there’s a lot of back and forth on this study in terms of coverage with some places saying it’s misleading while others say it’s time to ditch eggs for good, plant-based doctor Michelle McMacken, MD, decided to break things down on Instagram and offer her expert opinion on the matter.
According to Dr. McMacken, even those eating an overall healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables experienced a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease after eating an extra half an egg or 300 mg of cholesterol per day.
“Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation,” she writes, “but these findings include adjustment for many variables and potential confounders, including age, sex, race, education, smoking, and physical activity, and remained significant even after authors controlled for diabetes, body mass index, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and other cardiovascular risk factors.”
Because of that, her opinion on eggs is staying the same as it has been for years.
“We have no biological requirement to consume cholesterol or eggs,” she writes. “Indeed, this large study—among others—suggests that we’re better off when we avoid them. Our bodies can make all the cholesterol we need, and we can get other nutrients found in eggs from healthier sources.”
So whether you eat eggs or not is up to you. But if you needed any further proof to ditch them for good, this doc makes a great point.
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