Scientists from McMaster University found that eating an egg every day is not linked to heart disease or death risk.
An egg is rich in phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, and contains moderate amounts of sodium (142 mg per 100 g of whole egg).
It also contains all essential trace elements including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc (Table 3), with egg yolk being the major contributor to iron and zinc supply.
Eggs are a rich source of essential nutrients, but they are also a source of dietary cholesterol. Therefore, some guidelines recommend limiting egg eating.
However, there is contradictory evidence on the impact of eggs on heart diseases, largely based on studies conducted in high-income countries.
For example, a recent study found that the higher the consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs, the higher the risk of heart disease and stroke, and death from any cause among U.S. adults.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the association of eating eggs with blood cholesterols, heart disease, and death risk in large global studies involving populations from low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
They used data from 146,011 people from 21 countries in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study.
Egg eating was recorded using country-specific validated food questionnaires. The team also studied 31,544 people with blood vessel disease.
The team found higher intake of eggs (≥7 eggs per week compared with <1 egg/week intake) was not strongly linked to blood cholesterol levels, death risk, or heart disease.
Similar results were found in the other two studies for death risk and major heart disease.
The researchers conclude that in three large international studies including ∼177,000 people, 12,701 deaths, and 13,658 heart disease events from 50 countries on 6 continents, there were no strong links between egg intake and blood cholesterols, death risk, or major heart disease events.
Researchers also suggest that it matters greatly what you eat with your eggs.
The saturated fat in butter, cheese, bacon, sausage, muffins, or scones, for example, raises your blood cholesterol much more than the cholesterol in your egg.
And the highly refined “bad carbs” in white toast, pastries, home fries, and hash browns may also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
The study was conducted by Mahshid Dehghan et al and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and what you need to know about Omega-3 fatty acids and heart health.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blackcurrants can reduce blood sugar after meals and results showing these antioxidants could help reduce the risk of dementia.
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