Tuesday, 26 March, 2019

Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes heart disease and death risk

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Johnnie Parks | 16 March, 2019, 19:42

Instead, choose egg whites instead of whole eggs or eat whole eggs in moderation.

Eating 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day - the average intake of adults in the U.S. - is associated with a 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18 percent higher risk of death from any cause, according to the study. On average, participants were followed for about 17 years.

However, she told Newsweek, "Factoring dietary cholesterol together with egg consumption was somewhat "stacking the deck" statistically speaking", but added that the study was still "very well-designed".

A new, large study may serve up some confusing advice for egg lovers. Older studies suggesting that link led to nutrition guidelines nearly a decade ago that recommended consuming no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily; one egg contains about 186 milligrams. They include the way the eggs were cooked, or changes to peoples' diets that occurred after the study information was gathered. But in a big boost for eggs, guidelines instituted in 2016 omitted the limit and included weekly egg consumption as part of a healthy diet.

The findings suggest it may be time to re-evaluate the current USA dietary guidelines that no longer limit cholesterol or eggs, the researchers say.

In a large trial published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it appears that too much cholesterol in our diets, especially from egg yolks, can lead to both an increased risk of coronary artery disease and dying, with the degree of the risk correlated with how much cholesterol we eat.

Eggs are a leading source of dietary cholesterol, which once was thought to be strongly related to blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.

"The main message for the public is not to select a single type of food as "bad" or "good" but to evaluate your total diet in terms of variety and amount".

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"Our study showed if two people had exact same diet and the only difference in diet was eggs, then you could directly measure the effect of the egg consumption on heart disease", Allen said.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans said that cholesterol is no longer a "nutrient of concern", but that individuals should "also eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible". That's because the average United States adult now gets 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day and eats three or four eggs a week - and their data indicates it's bad for them.

Dr. Terrence Sacchi, chief of cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City and was not involved in the research, said this study is a "wake-up call not to overdo high-cholesterol foods".

Should I stop eating eggs?

Allen and her team pooled data on almost 30,000 racially and ethnically diverse adults between 1985 and 2016. By the end of the follow-up period, the group had experienced 5,400 cardiovascular events and 6,132 deaths from any cause.

Some people think '"I can eat as many eggs as I want'" but the results suggest moderation is a better approach, she said.

The researchers based their conclusions on what participants said they ate at the start of each study. "These new findings provide one piece of evidence", Allen says.

You might be forgiven for thinking of eggs as beyond reproach. However, that study was done on people who weren't eating a typical Western diet.

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