26 May Will eating eggs increase your cholesterol?
By Hannah Buckland, Healthy Hearts Care Planner
It is a common perception that eggs are a cause of high cholesterol. Although that theory has since been discredited, the idea that eating eggs will increase your cholesterol still persists. We take a look at the evidence to find out the facts.
Cholesterol is typically viewed as a harmful substance that causes heart disease. However, cholesterol is not all bad: in fact, it is an essential component of our cell walls and is also vital for the production of hormones and Vitamin D.
There are two main types of cholesterol: HDL, which is protective against heart disease, and LDL, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Research has shown that dietary cholesterol intake does not have a significant effect on blood levels of total and harmful LDL cholesterol. Saturated fat, on the other hand, does. Egg yolks are rich in cholesterol, but low in saturated fat; therefore, egg consumption does not increase your risk of developing heart disease.
In fact, eggs are an incredibly nutritious food. Egg whites are rich in protein, which can help you to feel fuller for longer. They also contain a complete amino acid profile; containing all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Egg yolks contain vitamins A, D, B2, B12, folate and iodine – all of which are essential nutrients. What’s more, eggs are cheap and versatile – although bear in mind it’s healthier to poach, scramble or boil your eggs rather than fry them.
As it stands, there is no recommended limit on how many eggs you should eat. So, feel free to enjoy eggs as part of a varied and balanced diet. If you’re worried about your cholesterol, remember that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals, and low in saturated fat and salt is key. Following the government’s Eatwell Guide will help you to keep your cholesterol in check. Or why not sign up with Healthy Hearts? We provide 1-1 guidance and online courses to help you achieve a heart healthy lifestyle. Call 020 3434 2500 or visit https://bit.ly/HHapply to join.
Read some more topics Hannah has covered on common misconceptions: Can you trust what you read online?