The study, conducted by the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and released Friday, reveals that adults who eat more eggs have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease - and even death.
It was discovered eating an additional 300mg of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with a 3.2 per cent higher risk of cardio vascular disease and a 4.4 per cent higher risk of early death. The study results were drawn after looking at data from 29,615 adults pooled from 6 prospective cohort studies in the United States, over a time period of 17.5 years.
The researchers found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease, and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause, according to HealthDay. In 2015, the experts who compile the U.S. Dietary Guidelines largely gave cholesterol a pass, saying there wasn't enough evidence to support telling Americans to stick to a certain daily limit.
Whether or not dietary cholesterol is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke has been debated for decades.
The researchers calculated that those who ate 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily - about 1 ½ eggs - were 17 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who didn't eat eggs. The average egg contains 200 milligrams - more cholesterol than is in most fast-food double cheeseburgers.
The researchers say the culprit is cholesterol, found in egg yolks and other foods, including shellfish, dairy products and red meat.
Eggs, especially egg yolks, are high in dietary cholesterol. That's because the average USA adult now gets 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day and eats three or four eggs a week - and their data indicates it's bad for them.
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Zhong, however, emphasized that the study was observational and couldn't prove dietary cholesterol or egg intake could cause cardiovascular disease or death.
But the Northwestern researchers said their study suggests those guidelines may have to be looked at yet again. Risks were found with eggs and cholesterol in general; a separate analysis was not done for every cholesterol-rich food.
"This study does a good job of parsing the data and identifying dietary cholesterol as an individual and independent component of diet" that's linked with heart disease and mortality, said Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. "It is nice to get clearer data on this controversial topic to better inform future guidelines and our patients", Martin said of the new study.
"The main message for the public is not to select a single type of food as "bad" or "good" but to evaluate your total diet in terms of variety and amount".
Newer research questioned that relationship, finding that saturated fats contribute more to unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol that can lead to heart problems. You're getting a lot of protein, though you can get that from egg whites, too.
In France, national nutrition guidelines refute the idea that you should not eat more than two eggs a week: "You can eat them regularly".
She recommends sticking to a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in heart-healthy plant-based foods that are also low in cholesterol, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.