Eggs have had a very bad reputation with the ‘health experts’ constantly ‘changing their minds’ (well not really, actually just responding to updated research).. so what is the story now?? Can I eat eggs?
We have long known that the humble chicken egg contains cholesterol. It also contains a long list of less ‘frightening’ nutrients including protein, B group vitamins including B12 (very important for vegetarians), Vitamin D (increasingly an issue for Aussies as we Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek & Slide through our long summer months of sunshine), iron, folate, phosphorous and selenium.
There is also an ongoing flip flopping of research outcomes about eggs, most of which are the result of poorly designed studies and dietary assumptions (for example only asking basic questions about egg consumption and not looking at peoples entire eating pattern).
You are right, humans haven’t changed, neither has the humble egg. However the research has, and as scientists, when research gives us better outcomes we change our message in response to that. The long standing assumption has been that because eggs contain cholesterol they then in turn increase blood cholesterol levels. However more recent research has shown that the cholesterol in eggs makes no difference to the cholesterol in your blood.
In turn the National Heart Foundation in August 2019 moved eggs from the cardiac harmful to cardiac neutral columns and recommend they be included in an overall heart healthy diet strategies.
But I need to lower my cholesterol.
There are multiple different components to our blood cholesterol levels. Most people refer to one number: “Total Cholesterol”, but that really only describes part of the cholesterol picture. If you have heaps of “Good Cholesterol” (HDL-C) that of course will push up the total cholesterol (which is a good thing). So make sure you ask your GP to check the whole picture.
If you have high amounts of “Bad Cholesterol” (LDL-C), this might need some diet tweaking. The most significant change you can make is to lower your intake of saturated fats (generally the fat associated with animal based products + coconut and palm oils). Reducing your intake of saturated fats is much more powerful at improving cholesterol profiles, than simply removing eggs.
I have diabetes, what then?
Due to the very high association between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the National Heart Foundation continues to more cautious on it’s egg message of no more than 7 per week for people with diabetes or pre-existing heart disease (meaning if you have heart disease or have had heart surgery).
So in answer to the question “Can I eat eggs” the answer is, limitlessly, unless you have diabetes in which case you are limited to 1 per day! For more information about your diet contact us