Do Whole Eggs Cause Heart Disease?

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The Truth About Whole Eggs: Are They Bad For Cholesterol?

On today’s episode, I want to answer the question I’m asked all the time, do whole eggs cause heart disease, increase bad cholesterol, and clog your arteries?

Since there is so much conflicting information about health, fitness, and nutrition, I’m not surprised why some people just give up on trying to eat healthy.

As I mentioned, eggs are one of those foods that have received a lot of negative misconceptions.

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Here are a few of the common “old school” misconceptions about eggs:

  • Eggs make you fat.
  • Eggs are bad for your health.
  • If you eat more than one egg per day, or more than 3 eggs per week, you’ll develop high blood cholesterol and fatty arteries.
  • Eggs are just for breakfast.

So I’ll just say this.

Eggs are one of the staples in my daily nutrition plan.

In fact, I typically eat 3-4 whole eggs every day.

Where Did The Madness Begin?

Back in the 1960’s there was a lot of talk about eggs playing a major role in causing heart disease.

The media jumped all over this, even though there wasn’t any conclusive evidence or proof.

Some people say this theory was created by the sugar industry.

Hello cereal boom!

The thinking was based on the fact that eggs contain cholesterol, so it must cause heart disease.

Whole Eggs - Fitness Superfood #2

It’s Time To Get Educated On The Facts

Please forget what “they” told you in the past.

Eggs are not evil.

They are in fact an extremely healthy and an important food to help us reach our health and nutrition goals.

Here’s why:

High Quality Protein

As you know, always start building your plate with a high quality protein source.

Eggs are an excellent option.

They’re inexpensive, quick, and can be cooked in many different ways (think scrambled, omelette, sunny side up, etc).

Don’t just limit them to breakfast.

Enjoy eggs at any meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

More importantly, in terms of protein quality…

Protein quality is often measured by a term called the biological value, a.k.a. BV.

Eggs top the whole food list of actively available proteins in assisting cellular growth within your body.

Only mother’s milk is of higher quality.

Remember, just because the package says the food contains 15 grams of protein, it doesn’t mean your body can effectively absorb and use all 15 grams for growth.

This depends on the BV of the protein.

Biological Value – Protein Sources

Here’s a chart showing the biological value of different proteins.

The higher quality proteins are listed on top.

High Quality Complete Protein Sources

Protein Source Biological Value (BV)
Whey Protein Isolate Powder 110-159
Whey Protein Concentrate Powder 104
Whole Egg 100
Cow’s Milk 91
Egg White 88
Cottage Cheese 84
Tuna 83
Fish 82
Beef 80
Chicken 79
Turkey 79
Quinoa 75-82
Casein Protein Powder 77
Soy Protein Powder 74
Low Quality Incomplete Protein Sources
Peanuts 68
Yogurt 68
Oatmeal 58
Rice 57
Whole Wheat 54
Beans 49

 

Whole Eggs are a Live Lean Superfood:

Whole eggs were also included as one of the superfoods listed in my Live Lean Fitness Superfoods Series.

Here are a few more reasons why:

  • Eggs are abundant in natural Vitamin D and K: these vitamins help fight cancer and increase life span.
  • They are a high in dietary choline: helps brain and nervous system development, as well as increases the structural integrity of the cell membranes.
  • Good source of healthy fat: some free range organic whole eggs contain higher levels of omega 3 fats (DHA – the healthy ones). Omega 3’s are required by the body for normal function and development and can help prevent depression and memory loss.
  • Eggs are low carb: one egg contains 0 carbs, about 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat (a balance of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat), and a solid mix of nutrients you won’t find in many other foods. These nutrients will keep you satisfied and energized for hours after any meal and will stop you from binging on unhealthy foods.
  • Antioxidant: Contains a high bioavailability of two super antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants contribute to eye health and reduces the risk of age-related blindness.

So to answer the common, “Do Whole Eggs Cause Heart Disease?” question:

Numerous health studies have concluded that consumption of whole eggs do not cause heart disease in healthy individuals.

A study on overweight males, who were at a higher risk for heart disease, showed that consuming eggs regularly, while lowering carbohydrates, actually increased the overweight males HDL cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol is the healthy source of cholesterol as it helps carry away the build up in your arteries.

In conclusion, dietary cholesterol consumed from eggs does not cause heart disease.

The risk of heart disease is increased and caused by lifestyle (smoking, excessive alcohol) and a poor diet consisting of high amounts of sugar, processed foods, artificial chemicals, preservatives, and pesticides.

These lifestyle and food choices can cause inflammation in the body, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, and are the main causes of heart disease.

So there you have it, stop the madness surrounding egg shaming.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

I’m off to make some eggs.

Keep Living Lean!


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