In case you haven’t heard the news, eggs aren’t bad for you anymore.
Of course, they never were. The whole cholesterol scare — which began in the 1960s and saturated the public with misinformation – was always based on faulty research, on half-baked studies that either ignored or suppressed contrary evidence, or manipulated data to show reductions in heart attack risk.
Not only is cholesterol unrelated to heart disease – but eating foods like eggs that contain a lot of cholesterol doesn’t raise your blood cholesterol levels!
So I urge you — for a quick, easy breakfast filled with protein and valuable nutrients, eggs are a standout. They’re tasty and filling and they’re good for your cardiovascular system.
Eggs reduce stroke risk
Although eggs were considered a cardiovascular no-no years ago, a large review of egg studies now indicates they may lower your risk of heart problems.
The review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition analyzed egg research over the course of more than 30 years, conducted from 1982 to 2015 and involving about 300,000 people. It found that a daily egg did not increase the risk of coronary heart disease and dropped the risk of stroke by 12 percent.1
According to researcher Dominik Alexander, “Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure.”
He notes that an egg provides about 6 grams of protein, along with the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein. Both of these nutrients have been shown to reduce the chances of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (a common cause of blindness).2
Give Your Vitamin E a Massive Boost
Adding eggs to a meal can also improve your absorption of vitamin E – a crucial nutrient that many Americans are lacking.3
A useful tip is to eat eggs along with a salad. A study at Purdue demonstrates that an egg’s ingredients help the body take in vitamin E from salad vegetables. Otherwise, much of the vitamin just passes through the digestive tract.
“Vitamin E is the second-most under-consumed nutrient in the average American diet, which is problematic because this fat-soluble nutrient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says researcher Wayne Campbell.
The study showed that vitamin E absorption was multiplied four times over when egg was added to salad.
Other research at Purdue shows that eggs can increase the absorption of carotenoids from salad, too. In that analysis, eggs multiplied by three to eight times the body’s absorption of these phytochemicals, including lycopene, lutein, alpha and beta carotene – all nutrients that may help the body fight cancer.
Now that the cholesterol panic is over, it’s clear that egg consumption doesn’t do bad things to the cardiovascular system.
A study at Yale found that eating two eggs a day doesn’t seem to produce any ill effects on the cholesterol circulating in your blood. It also doesn’t increase blood pressure or harmfully impact the function of the arterial walls. And eggs aren’t linked to weight gain either.4
Meanwhile, research at the University of Connecticut suggests that eating eggs every day may make your HDL (good) cholesterol function more effectively in helping your arteries stay clear. In this investigation, people with metabolic syndrome cut back on the carbohydrates in their diet and ate three eggs a day. Metabolic syndrome, which is basically pre-diabetes, increases the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Make Sure You Buy Organic Eggs
To lower the chances that your eggs may contain pesticide residues, hormones and antibiotics, I recommend that you purchase organic, free range eggs when possible. This type of egg is also likely to be richest in beneficial nutrients.
You may also be reassured that the oldest person in the world, Emma Morano, who lives in Italy, eats two eggs a day. That’s about all she eats. And she just turned 117.