Researchers at Northwestern University analyzed 30,000 USA adults over three decades and found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to increased cholesterol and a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease. Still, since higher consumption than average of either cholesterol or eggs is related to an increase in cardiovascular disease incidents like stroke and early death, the new finding is significant when considering the population at large, he said.
The researchers said their study looked at almost 30,000 racially and ethnically diverse United States adults from six separate studies with as much as 31 years of followup. Whereas consuming an additional half egg per day was associated with 1.1 per cent higher risk of the disease. Older studies suggesting that link led to nutrition guidelines nearly a decade ago that recommended consuming no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily; one egg contains about 186 milligrams. "As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol".
A recent Chinese study even concluded cholesterol decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Eating 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day was associated with a 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease incidents (stroke and heart attack, for example) and 18 percent higher risk of death generally, researchers said.
"We want to remind people there is cholesterol in eggs, specifically yolks, and this has a harmful effect", added Allen. According to industry data, the average American will eat more eggs in 2019 than any time for the past 20 years.
Zhong, however, emphasized that the study was observational and couldn't prove dietary cholesterol or egg intake could cause cardiovascular disease or death.
The researchers based their conclusions on what participants said they ate at the start of each study.
The researchers suggsted that people don't have to ban eggs and other cholesterol-rich foods from their diets because they do contain important nutrients. "Good" cholesterol made by the body helps with digesting food and making hormones.
The new findings contradict the latest dietary guidelines for Americans, released in 2015; in them, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that Americans no longer had to worry about keeping their cholesterol intake within a certain limit.
"This study does a good job of parsing the data and identifying dietary cholesterol as an individual and independent component of diet" that's linked with heart disease and mortality, said Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Nutrition experts say the new study is unlikely to change that advice.
So, is there a simple answer to whether you should be eating eggs or not? Of course, cheeseburgers have many other dietary problems, including saturated fat and sodium. "We've always said you can have egg whites but you should probably limit your amount of egg yolk consumption". WW (formerly Weight Watchers) tells its members to eat eggs with abandon, counting them as a free food in its diet plan. Eggs, a breakfast staple for many, can be included but other options should also be considered, "like whole grain toast with nut butter, fresh fruits, and yogurt", Hu said.