Q. I gave up eating eggs years ago due to high cholesterol. I have only been eating egg substitutes. I recently heard that eating eggs doesn’t really raise cholesterol. If this is true, I would love to go back to eating real eggs again.
A. For decades dietary dogma has kept many people from eating eggs. Because egg yolks are rich in cholesterol, some scientists assumed that eating whole eggs would raise blood cholesterol and increase the risk for heart disease. This assumption was accepted without evidence.
When investigators looked at the data, they found that eating up to one egg daily had little impact on stroke or heart disease risk (Journal of the American Medical Association, Apr. 21, 1999). There is even an experiment showing that egg consumption is linked to higher levels of good HDL cholesterol and markers of improved retinal health in the eye (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov. 2009).
People vary in their response to eggs, so it is important to monitor blood lipid levels. Those with diabetes should exercise particular caution, since studies suggest eggs do raise their risk for heart disease.