The British Medical Journal (www.bmj.com) just reported that a review of studies of egg consumption determined that there was no increase in heart attacks or strokes related to regular eating of eggs.
Egg yolks contain cholesterol
In the past, we have frequently been advised to be careful about having more than an occasional egg because each egg yolk contains over 200 mg cholesterol (2/3 of the recommended daily cholesterol intake). Daily intake of eggs was thought to promote high cholesterol and adverse outcomes such as heart attack and stroke. Two weekly maximum was a frequent recommendation, otherwise use Egg Beaters.
Results of meta-analysis in BMJ
The study, BMJ 2013;346:e8539, just published January 7, has the engaging title of Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. It shows clearly that there is no increase in cardiovascular mortality at least up through 10 eggs per week.
What to think? Or to eat?
Once again, we are rebalancing what is recommended. This analysis strongly suggests that eggs are not inevitable vascular villains, but “nature’s perfect food” should still be consumed thoughtfully. Remember that the bacon and cheese and butter that often come along with the egg did not get a free pass. Those high-saturated-fat foods clearly raise the bad cholesterol (LDL) and contribute to clogging of the arteries with subsequent heart attack and stroke.
My suggestion is to understand that eggs in moderation, cleanly prepared without artery-stuffing accompaniments, are a healthy part of your diet. I’d interpret that to mean 2 poachers on toast two or three times a week, for example, are likely fine if you want, but I’d still suggest that the high-fat bacon and eggs or cheese omelet be a Sunday morning treat, not your regular friend. And I will be watching your cholesterol and weight.