Why eating eggs won’t send you straight to statin city
Before starting a nutrition program with me, I get people to fill out a pre-consultation form. It’s comprehensive, and it’s designed to give me insight before we start working together. One of the questions is “What does a typical day’s eating look like?” I’m always interested to see how often egg whites pop up, and why.
At first, the reasons are vague. Do they like egg whites more? Are they eating a lot of fat with other foods? When I question the reasoning, the truth starts to peep out from behind the chicken wire.
Regardless of education level or interest in fitness, and diet flexibility. The fear that eating whole eggs will affect cholesterol is common. Let’s fix that.
Calories or cholesterol
Eating egg whites so you can stuff yourself with peanut butter without going over your fat macros is one thing. Avoiding egg yolks because you think they’re a one-way ticket to a lifetime of statins is another. And let’s be realistic, you’re not thinking about calories. Six chocolate digestives slip down without even a thought with a cup of tea. Twice a day. But 6 eggs in one go? That’s a heart attack waiting to happen. In the battle of total calories, there’s a clear winner.
Boring a new client to death with a review of the scientific literature isn’t a strong selling point. Not for anyone but the biggest geeks anyway. Reassuring them that what they’re eating won’t cause any harm is. For that, a fleeting glance at some science is still a good idea.
Huge reviews looking at the general population, egg consumption, and risk of cardiovascular disease have been released (1, 2). According to this, you don’t have much to worry about if you’re already watching your weight and staying healthy. Limiting scrambled eggs to twice a week is shouldn’t be a concern.
This is all well and good, but these studies only show an association. They don’t give us the full picture of an actual cause and effect. What if we’re missing something?
The magazines and TV tell you that eating eggs is taking a ticket straight to heart attack city. Meanwhile, the lab coats have been busy.
- First up is a study from 2005. Greene and colleagues found that three eggs a day for four weeks didn’t affect the ratio of “bad” to “good” cholesterol in elderly people when compared to an egg substitute containing no fat or cholesterol.
- Next, a study from 2015, compared a diet of 12 eggs a week to one with less than 2 eggs a week in people with type 2 diabetes. The study found no differences between groups for total cholesterol, “bad” to “good” cholesterol, blood lipids, or other negative blood markers.
Lab coats 1 – media 0.
Friends with benefits?
Now you and eggs are friends again, are there actually good reasons to eat them? Yep.
- Eggs are amazingly nutrient dense and can help increase antioxidants.
- Eggs make you full and are a very good idea to eat on a diet (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
- Where vitamins and minerals are concerned, eggs are big hitters.
If you don’t like eggs, then you don’t need to eat them. A good diet will mean you’re not missing out on too much. But, if you want to eat them, but worry about cholesterol, don’t. As well as tasting amazing, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. Oeufs en meurette anyone?
Want a way to fit pizza and dessert into your diet each week while still losing fat? Download the Ultimate Flexible Fasting System to lose fat easier than ever before.