HealthExonerating eggs: Not the breakfast villain in cholesterol war, study indicates

Exonerating eggs: Not the breakfast villain in cholesterol war, study indicates

Exonerating eggs: Not the breakfast villain in cholesterol war, study indicates
Images source: © GETTY | SOPA Images

10:27 AM EST, January 16, 2024

Cholesterol is a lipid that plays a critical role in the structure of cell membranes and functions as a precursor for numerous important hormones and vitamins. Although it is produced in the human liver, we also acquire it from our diet.

Having too much cholesterol in our diet increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Consequently, many people attempt to avoid high-cholesterol foods, such as eggs. But are eggs really to blame?

Foods rich in cholesterol

If we are concerned about our cholesterol levels, we should be mindful of other foods that frequently find their way onto our plates:

Fatty cold cuts. Foods like bacon, lard, sausages, and pâtés are high in cholesterol and rich in saturated fats. These fats significantly affect our blood cholesterol levels.

Animal fats. Tasty but high-cholesterol commodities like butter and cream also contain considerable saturated fats.

Yellow cheeses. Rennet cheese-like products and processed cheeses, often used as sandwich fillers, can increase cholesterol intake.

Are eggs really that scary?

A single egg contains around 185 mg of cholesterol, primarily in the yolk. However, it's essential to distinguish between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol that the body produces in response to consuming saturated fats.

Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels in the blood twice as much as dietary cholesterol does.

Therefore, eating an egg in combination with foods high in saturated fats, like bacon or buttered toast, may pose a risk. However, consuming an egg by itself, without these additions, may not be as harmful as once believed.

The American Heart Association suggests that most individuals can safely consume one egg per day. Limitations mainly impact those with high cholesterol, diabetes, and those at a high risk of heart failure.

Nevertheless, it's essential to consider our overall diet and avoid combining foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Although eggs contain cholesterol, they can be a healthy component of our meals when eaten in moderation and paired with a balanced diet.

Related content