Question: First it was cholesterol that would do you in, then processed grains, then trans fats, and now it's inflammation. Thanks to Eat to Live, I think I have all of the above well under control. However, I have a matter that nags at me: is occasional dietary cholesterol really that bad? Every time I succumb and eat a couple of eggs, I feel that I'm shortening my life a few minutes with every bite. Is this irrational?
Answer: It all depends what you mean by "occasionally." Even though the dietary cholesterol in eggs has only a small effect on blood cholesterol, eggs may have other heart disease-promoting effects. Men in the Physicians’ Health Study who reported eating seven or more eggs per week had an almost 25 percent increased risk of death during the 20-year follow-up compared to men who ate one or fewer eggs per week. For those with diabetes the risk rose even further. Diabetic men who consumed the most eggs had double the risk of dying compared to those who ate the fewest.1 There is also research linking egg consumption to prostate and colon cancers.2,3 If you have any of these conditions or are at risk, you should not eat eggs. Otherwise, in light of these more recent negative studies on the health risks of whole egg, they should not be eaten regularly.
1. Djousse L, Gaziano JM. Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease and mortality: the Physicians' Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 87:964-969.
2. Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, et al. Egg, red meat, and poultry intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the prostate-specific antigen-era: incidence and survival. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2011, 4:2110-2121.
3. Tse G, Eslick GD. Egg consumption and risk of GI neoplasms: dose-response meta-analysis and systematic review. Eur J Nutr 2014.