Egg Yolk & Cholesterol


Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods. A whole egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into an entire chicken. Chicken eggs are an affordable source of protein and other nutrients. However, much of the confusion around eggs has stemmed from the fact that egg yolks contain cholesterol. But the cholesterol in eggs does not seem to raise cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol-containing foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats. For this reason, eating a few eggs would not cause a high rise in cholesterol levels.

Are eggs healthy?

Eggs are a nutritious whole food which are an inexpensive source of protein and contain other nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin D, B12, selenium and choline.


When eating eggs, it is also important to pay special attention to the foods you eat alongside them such as, white bread, butter, salt, and/or processed meats like bacon or sausages, which are not so good for our hearts.

Body & Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is often viewed as bad. As, some studies have linked high levels of cholesterol with heart disease and early death. However, the evidence is mixed.

The truth is that cholesterol plays a very important function in your body. It is a structural molecule that is essential to every cell membrane. It is also used to make steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen and cortisol. Cholesterol from the diet is not always an option, your liver produces enough to meet your body’s needs. But when you eat a lot of cholesterol-rich foods, your liver starts producing less to keep cholesterol levels from becoming excessively high. Therefore, the total amount of cholesterol in your body changes only very little, if at all. Nevertheless, you should still avoid eating excessive amounts of cholesterol if your blood levels are raised. A high intake may cause a moderate increase in blood cholesterol levels.

[View More: Mediterranean Diet & Cholesterol]

People & Whole Eggs

People have been advised to limit their consumption of egg yolks. A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). In contrast, the white is mostly protein and low in cholesterol. Common recommendations include a maximum of 2–6 yolks per week. However, scientific support for this limitation is lacking. So, sharing here a few studies have examined the effects of eggs on cholesterol levels, studies divided people into two groups — one group ate 1–3 whole eggs per day while the other ate something else, such as egg substitutes. These studies show that:

  1. In almost all cases, “good” HDL cholesterol goes up.
  2. Total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels usually remain unchanged but sometimes increase slightly.
  3. Eating omega-3-enriched eggs can lower blood triglycerides, another important risk factor.
  4. Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin increase significantly.

It appears that the response to eating whole eggs depends on the individual. In 70% of people, eggs had no effect on total or “bad” LDL cholesterol. However, in 30% of people — called hyper-responders — these markers do go up slightly. People who have large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease. So even if eggs cause mild increases in total and LDL cholesterol levels, it is not a cause for concern. The science is clear that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people.

Eggs & Heart Disease


Multiple studies have examined egg consumption and heart disease risk. So, large groups of people followed these for many years. Researchers found that diet, smoking or exercise are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of certain diseases. These studies — some of which include hundreds of thousands of people — consistently show that people who eat whole eggs are no more likely to develop heart disease than those who does not. Some of the studies even show a reduced risk of stroke. However, this research suggests that people who have type 2 diabetes and eat a lot of eggs have an increased risk of heart disease. One controlled study in people with type 2 diabetes found that eating two eggs per day, six days a week, for three months did not significantly affect blood lipid levels. Health effects may also depend on the rest of your diet. On a low-carb diet — which is the best diet for people with diabetes — eggs lead to improvements in heart disease risk factors.

Health Benefits of Eggs

Do not forget that eggs are about more than just cholesterol. They are also loaded with nutrients and offer various other impressive benefits:


  1. They are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce your risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
  2. They are very high in choline, a nutrient that plays an essential role in all cells.
  3. They are high in quality animal protein, the benefits of which include increased muscle mass and better bone health.

Studies show that eggs increase feelings of fullness and help you lose weight. In fact, eggs are tasty and incredibly easy to prepare.

How much is too much?

No studies have fed people more than three eggs per day. Eating more than that could negatively impact your health. Consuming more than three is scientifically speaking. However, one case study included an 88-year-old man who consumed 25 eggs per day. He had normal cholesterol levels and was in very good health. It is also important to keep in mind that not all eggs are the same. Most eggs at the supermarket come from factory-raised chickens fed grain-based feeds. The healthiest eggs are omega-3-enriched eggs or eggs from hens that are raised on pasture. These eggs are much higher in omega-3s and important fat-soluble vitamins. Overall, eating eggs is perfectly safe, even if you are eating up to 3 whole eggs per day. Quality eggs may be among the healthiest foods on the planet.

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