Are Eggs The New Cigarettes?
- Posted on: Aug 16 2012
I hope not! This afternoon I did an interview on HLN’s Evening Express (fast becoming one of my favorite news programs) on a new study published in Atherosclerosis. From CNN.com:
A new study suggests eating egg yolks can accelerate heart disease almost as much as smoking.
The study published online in the journal Atherosclerosis found eating egg yolks regularly increases plaque buildup about two-thirds as much as smoking does. Specifically, patients who ate three or more yolks a week showed significantly more plaque than those who ate two or less yolks per week.
The issue is with the yolk, not the egg, says Spence, who is also a professor of neurology at the University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “One jumbo chicken egg yolk has about 237 milligrams of cholesterol.”
Keeping a diet low in cholesterol is key, says Spence. Even if you are young and healthy, eating egg yolks can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases later.
So basically, the study found that people who ate egg yolks regularly (3 or more eggs per week) had a large increase in the thickness of the plaque in their carotid arteries compared to people who didn’t eat eggs. This thickening, defined as atherosclerosis, is a major risk factor in heart disease and stroke. Scary, huh?
The study is limited, however, since they did not take into account exercise and the waist circumference of the subjects. I would also argue that foods people eat with their eggs (like hash browns, bacon, and sausage – yum!) may also be contributing to their findings.
For now, I recommend that you eat your eggs in moderation. Also, consider using egg substitute, like Egg Beaters, whenever possible. Remember, it’s the yolk of the egg that’s the problem, not the egg white.
Tagged with: atherosclerosis, cigarettes, eggs, smoking
Posted in: Dr. Anthony Youn in the Media