Are Eggs Good for Cholesterol?
January 13, 2023
January 13, 2023
Despite having a high cholesterol content, eggs can still be a part of a healthy diet. As they are a high-protein food, they can help with weight loss while providing essential nutrients. Furthermore, eggs can turn an ordinary meal into a feast, making them a necessary part of Indian cuisine.
India is a culinary wonder with the coexistence of various eating patterns. While vegetarianism is quite prevalent in India, on the other hand, eggetarians are vegetarians who eat eggs. Ultimately, eggs can be part of a healthy diet, but individuals should consider their own concerns about cholesterol levels before consuming them.
Are eggs bad for cholesterol levels? That is a common question, and this article will explain everything you need to know about how eggs affect cholesterol.
There is no doubt that eggs contain a substantial amount of fat, but the question remains: are they good or bad for cholesterol? People concerned about their risk of heart problems may have reservations about consuming this food. However, if you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle with the right fats, you should know how eggs affect your cholesterol.
Eggs are a healthy food and an excellent source of proteins, good-quality fats and minerals. So, for those with high cholesterol levels, are eggs bad for them?
The possibility of an egg increasing cholesterol in your body is minimal. In other words, eating eggs alone cannot put you at risk of high cholesterol. Also, eggs give you the essential cholesterol beneficial for cell buildup. Dieticians recommend people intake at least 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol daily to aid effective body function. Regardless, with any food diet, one must ensure that one eats eggs in moderation.
Regarding eggs and cholesterol, it is essential to consider the preparation method. When eggs are cooked with saturated fat from butter, ghee, lard, sausages, and processed cured meats like ham and salami, the fat in the egg transforms into unhealthy fat. The healthiest way to prepare eggs is by boiling them (hard-boiled or soft-boiled). Furthermore, scrambled eggs or omelettes made without butter, ghee, or oil (with coriander and onions) are also healthy. Frying an egg should be avoided, as it involves interacting with fat.
An egg has more nutrients than one can imagine. The following values are from USDA for 100 grams of egg:
Eggs are a perfect source of nutrition. Although there are fats in it, the significant fats are in its yolk itself. Therefore one usually thinks that the egg yolk is bad for cholesterol. However, on the contrary, yolk, the bright yellow substance, is loaded with good quality fats and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc, along with trace elements Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are great for eye health.
Nutritionists suggest that an average healthy person can consume 200 milligrams of fats daily. And the maximum can go up to 300 and not more than that. But those with severe heart risks and cholesterol issues must limit their fat intake below 200 milligrams. That means one can eat the white part in an egg and the yolk part in a lower quantity or skip it if you have fulfilled your fat consumption for the day.
Before anything, cholesterol is of 2 types, good and bad. Dietary cholesterol, which one obtains from ingested food, reacts differently depending on the food quality. When you ingest good cholesterol, your body burns the accumulated fats in your blood vessels.
And in case of bad cholesterol (LDL) combined with limited physical activity, it gets stored. It is dangerous as bad cholesterol usually accumulates in blood vessels tampering with blood flow. Over time it could lead to strokes and other cardiovascular issues.
One who wants to keep their bad cholesterol or plaque in check should make necessary changes in their diet. Good fat, complex carbs, lean proteins and fibre make a healthy meal. But, for almost half a century, an egg has been the centre of debate regarding its role in cholesterol management.
The good news is that eggs are good for fitness and wellness. In fact, including them leads to more health advantages. Although there is a fair amount of cholesterol in an egg, that cholesterol still works to make you healthy, not fat.
Following are some cholesterol facts about eggs:
Fats we get from food are generally of two kinds—saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are unhealthy. Their consumption poses a risk to your heart’s wellness. So ensure to eat foods that are low in saturated fats.
Eggs are the perfect example of foods low in saturated fats. As per this study, eggs are higher in monounsaturated fats. These fats aid in your health and fitness. So all the more reason for you to consider eating eggs.
Bad cholesterol means bad news to you and your heart. Most heart failures and issues are a result of bad cholesterol. LDLs and triglycerides are common types of bad cholesterol. Their prevalence makes you sick.
Although high in fats, eggs do not significantly change your blood cholesterol levels. This journal says there is no clear evidence of egg consumption and blood cholesterol level. That means there is no potential risk to your cardiovascular functioning with eggs.
HDLs, the best friend that any heart needs, is high-density cholesterol. Expanded into High-Density Lipids, this cholesterol is good for your heart. In addition, these lipids promote the removal of bad cholesterol in your body.
When consumed daily, eggs can lead to your body generating high-density lipids. And these lipids will break down the low-density lipids, the agents of bad cholesterol. Thus, eggs are essential for your diet. So, in moderation, anyone can enjoy an egg daily without worry.
Even though packed with high levels of fats promoting cholesterol, eggs give you only good cholesterol. Also, these nutritious foods have tons of proteins, minerals and vitamins.
Along with them, they also have sufficient calories to keep you active. Thus, one who eats eggs will feel full for extended periods. Regardless, the following are some key points you must note to understand why eggs are good for cholesterol:
Are eggs bad for cholesterol? No. A study proves that there is no relationship between egg and heart issues.
Furthermore, in contrast to those traditional beliefs, eggs do not make you prone to strokes and increased blood pressure. Thus, heart strokes, hypertension, and heart failure won’t happen just because you eat eggs.
People with diabetes have to be careful about their food intake. Foods high in fats and sugars can make them vulnerable to chronic illnesses. Thus they must follow strict diets sometimes.
But in such cases, they may have access to limited proteins and fats. Thanks to eggs, they do not have to lose those nutrients. Eggs prove to increase good cholesterol and make diabetes healthy.
It would help if you stuck to a strict diet when planning to shed your extra pounds. Sometimes fad diets and calorie-restrictive diets make you lose out on essential nutrients.
However, if you include eggs in your diet to lose weight, you can get good fats. Those fats will give your body the required nutrition and energy to aid your physical activities.
Cells are essential to keep the body functioning all the time. Cells make up tissues, and those tissues make up organs. Thus, the core part is a cell. So proper nutrition is necessary for cell development.
Cholesterol, a waxy form, aids in that development. Without adequate cholesterol production, the cells may not develop. Thus, the fats from eggs are good and promote cell development in your body.
Besides giving your body the essential nutrients, including fats, eggs fight bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density cholesterol are the energy stored in blood vessels.
So the more of that bad cholesterol stored, the lesser the free flow of blood. Thus, your body requires HDL, high-density lipids, to remove the stored bad cholesterol. And an efficient consumption of eggs leads to increased levels of HDLs in your body.
Eggs play a significant role in our wellness. So instead of eating a traditional carb-rich Indian breakfast, pair it with a whole egg. For example, a bowl of poha, an egg and fruit can give your mornings a healthy kickstart. Most importantly, how you cook your eggs can impact your health. Deep-fried eggs, using inferior quality cooking oil or leftover oils from a previous cook, not eating enough vegetables and fruits and leading a sedentary lifestyle can affect one’s health. So eat your eggs healthily. Boil or scramble it and pair it with the right carbs and fibre.
Whenever one hears cholesterol, one often mistakes that there is only one kind of cholesterol, which is bad. But that is a total myth. Cholesterol is available in high-density and low-density lipids.
Low-density lipids play a significant part in giving your body the energy it requires. That is because they store themselves in your body. And those accumulated lipids provide you with the energy needed when you are fasting.
But too much of those lipids accumulation can lead to adverse effects like heart disease. Thus they are called bad cholesterol.
In comparison, high-density lipids work differently. They burn down the accumulated low-density lipids. The perfect example of foods that have high-density lipids is eggs. The unsaturated fats promote the thriving of high-density lipids in your body.
A. Eggs are good for health in many ways. So one can eat them daily. According to a study, two eggs per day do not significantly impact the body’s cholesterol level.
A. With cooking, the nutrient values of eggs will change. When overcooked or fried, eggs lose their nutritional value. It does not happen with boiled eggs. Hence boiled eggs are a safe option. Following a low-fat diet, an egg without the yolk is even safer. Regardless, eggs do not have any role in changing your cholesterol levels. Boiled eggs do not lower or raise one’s cholesterol levels rapidly.
A. In a nutshell, a healthy lifestyle reduces cholesterol quickly. It means indulging in physical exercises, preferring foods with more nutrients and taking measures to lead a stress-free life. Furthermore, quitting smoking and decreasing alcohol consumption can also help lose weight.
A. Any foods high in fats, especially saturated fats, raise cholesterol. These saturated fats are abundant in quantity under the dairy category. Also, certain meat types, like red and processed meat, can increase your cholesterol levels. Also, fast food, fried items, foods with refined flour and added sugars etc., can be risky for you.
A. No, eggs are not harmful and do not increase cholesterol. The low-density lipids in your body do not increase with egg consumption. If anything, eggs make your high-density cholesterol levels increase in abundance, which is good news for you. So it is a myth that eggs can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol.
1. USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, 1.0. 2004. Beltsville, MD: Agricultural Research Service, Food Surveys Research Group.
2. Miranda JM, Anton X, Redondo-Valbuena C, Roca-Saavedra P, Rodriguez JA, Lamas A, Franco CM, Cepeda A. Egg and egg-derived foods: effects on human health and use as functional foods. Nutrients. 2015 Jan 20;7(1):706-29. doi: 10.3390/nu7010706. PMID: 25608941; PMCID: PMC4303863.
3. Mahshid Dehghan, Andrew Mente, Sumathy Rangarajan, Viswanathan Mohan, Scott Lear, Sumathi Swaminathan, Andreas Wielgosz, Pamela Seron, Alvaro Avezum, Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo, Ginette Turbide, Jephat Chifamba, Khalid F AlHabib, Noushin Mohammadifard, Andrzej Szuba, Rasha Khatib, Yuksel Altuntas, Xiaoyun Liu, Romaina Iqbal, Annika Rosengren, Rita Yusuf, Marius Smuts, AfzalHussein Yusufali, Ning Li, Rafael Diaz, Khalid Yusoff, Manmeet Kaur, Biju Soman, Noorhassim Ismail, Rajeev Gupta, Antonio Dans, Patrick Sheridan, Koon Teo, Sonia S Anand, Salim Yusuf, on behalf of the PURE investigators, Association of egg intake with blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in 177,000 people in 50 countries, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 111, Issue 4, April 2020.
4. McNamara DJ. The Fifty-Year Rehabilitation of the Egg. Nutrients. 2015 Oct 21;7(10):8716-22. doi: 10.3390/nu7105429. PMID: 26506379; PMCID: PMC4632449.
5. Ma Z, Wu W, Zhang D, Wu P, Guo Y, Li D, Yang F. Daily intake of up to two eggs for 11 weeks does not affect the cholesterol balance of Chinese young adults. Food Sci Nutr. 2022 Jan 17;10(4):1081-1092. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.2734. PMID: 35432976; PMCID: PMC9007305.