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The Great Debate: Egg-Cellent Choice or Not?

While it can be eaten any time of the day, this popular food is most often enjoyed at breakfast. And, if breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, this recent study isn’t one you’ll be egg-cited about. According to a study published in the medical journal JAMA, eating three or more eggs per week can increase your risk of heart disease, as well as early death.

eggs

The great egg debate has been going on for years. Are they good for you or bad for you? The researchers who conducted the study set out to answer the question once and for all. They examined date from six U.S. study groups including over 29,000 people who were followed for around 17 years, on average. During the follow-up period, they noted 5,400 cardiovascular events, including 1,302 that were fatal, along with 1,897 incidences of fatal and nonfatal heart failure, plus 113 other deaths related to heart disease. Another 6,132 participants died from other causes.

Based on this data, researchers concluded that consuming an additional 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with a 3.2 percent higher risk of heart disease, as well as a 4.4 percent higher risk of early death. For each additional half egg consumed per day, the study showed a 1.1 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and a 1.9 percent higher risk of early death due to any cause. A single large egg contains around 186 milligrams of cholesterol.

The study concluded that the consumption of cholesterol-rich foods should be limited — the latest announcement to scare people away from a healthy food source, simply because it contains cholesterol. Contrary to what your doctor might tell you, cholesterol does not cause heart disease. Heart disease is driven by a chronic inflammatory response in your body. Likewise, eating cholesterol does not make your cholesterol high.

Eggs contain many high-quality nutrients, including proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants, which can actually help prevent disease, including heart disease. There are plenty of reasons to keep eggs in your diet. In fact, most people can safely eat around one dozen eggs per week without any risk to their health. Always opt for organic, free-range, pasture-raised eggs to reap the health benefits they have to offer, for breakfast, lunch or dinner!