Is it Harmful or Good to Eat Eggs?
Eggs have a lot of protein and nutrients, but there is cholesterol. How does this affect our health — the researchers figured out.
Is there a lot of cholesterol in eggs?
Cholesterol is a wax-like substance found in food and is also produced by the body. Several decades ago, researchers found a link between high cholesterol and heart disease. Since then, it was believed that eggs are harmful to the heart.
Yes, whole eggs have a lot of cholesterol. They are the main source of this substance in the diet of most people. In two large eggs (100g) contains about 422mg of cholesterol. For comparison: at 100g minced meat 30 percent fat only 88mg.
Until recently, the maximum dose of cholesterol was considered 300 mg per day. And for people with heart disease, even less.
In the body, cholesterol is produced by the liver. When we eat more foods high in cholesterol, the liver simply reduces its production. Conversely, when less of this substance comes from food, the liver produces more of it. Therefore, the level of cholesterol in the blood practically does not change from the use of foods with cholesterol.
Cholesterol is not a harmful substance. It is involved in the production of vitamin D, steroid hormones, and bile acids, which help digest fats. It is present in all cell membranes. Without cholesterol, the body cannot exist.
Is there a connection with cardiovascular disease?
According to studies, one or two eggs per day do not affect blood cholesterol and do not increase the risk of heart disease. Moreover, eating eggs with a low-carb diet improves markers of heart disease. This was noted in people with impaired insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes.
In one study, patients with prediabetes were monitored. Those who consumed whole eggs improved insulin sensitivity compared to those who ate only proteins. In another case, patients with prediabetes ate three eggs a day for 12 weeks. They found fewer markers of inflammation than people who at the same diet ate egg substitutes.
When eating eggs, the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) does not change or increases slightly. But the content of "good" cholesterol (HDL) usually increases.
According to research, regular egg consumption is safe for those who already have cardiovascular disease. Moreover, an analysis of 17 non-experimental studies found no relationship between egg consumption and heart disease.
Is there a connection with diabetes?
Studies do not give unambiguous results. In one case, they noticed that those who consume one egg each day are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This is compared to those who eat less than one egg per week. Another study found a correlation between cholesterol use and an increased risk of diabetes.
It turns out that eggs can be harmful to people with diabetes and prediabetes. However, it is worth noting that these studies were not experimental. They only indicate a relationship between egg consumption and increased likelihood of developing diabetes. They do not take into account what else the participants ate, whether they were involved in sports and what other risk factors they were exposed to.
During controlled clinical trials, it was found that a healthy diet, including eggs, is useful for people with diabetes. So, in patients with diabetes who ate 2 eggs a day, fasting blood sugar, insulin and blood pressure decreased, and the level of “healthy” cholesterol increased.
How does genetic predisposition?
For people with certain genetic characteristics, a sharp increase in cholesterol after eating eggs is possible. However, there is not enough research on this topic.Apolipoprotein E gene
People with the Apolipoprotein E gene have an increased risk of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers observed people with normal cholesterol. For three weeks they ate 3.5 eggs a day. In people with the Apolipoprotein E gene, LDL and total blood cholesterol levels more than doubled. Perhaps one or two eggs a day would not have led to such a significant effect.Hereditary hypercholesterolemia
This is an increased level of cholesterol in the blood and, accordingly, a high risk of cardiovascular disease. People with this diagnosis need to lower their cholesterol levels with food and medicine. They better avoid eggs at all.Hypersensitivity to food cholesterol
In some people, blood cholesterol levels increase in response to eating cholesterol products. The study participants who ate three eggs daily for a month increased the content of large particles of LDL. However, they are not considered as harmful as small particles.
What is the use of eggs?
Eggs are a source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. One large egg contains:
- Calories — 72.
- Proteins — 6 g.
- Vitamin A — 5% of the recommended daily intake.
- Riboflavin — 14% of normal.
- Vitamin B12 — 11% of normal.
- Folic acid — 6% of normal.
- Iron — 5% of the norm.
- Selenium — 23% of the norm.
In addition, eggs:
- Helps Stay Fed Longer.
- Accelerate metabolism due to the protein contained in them.
- Useful for the brain as it contains the substance choline.
- Protect eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration due to the content of lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Reduce inflammation.
What is the result?
Eggs are one of the most healthy and nutritious foods. In most cases, they do not significantly increase cholesterol.
But, as with everything related to nutrition, there are no universal recommendations. If you have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, you will have to limit your egg intake.