Why Eggs May Be Bad For Your Cardiovascular Health
Coming in at approximately 72 calories, 4.8 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein, eggs are a highly-efficient, rich source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, and zinc. From omelets and casseroles to quiches and strata, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes in which you might find this standard breakfast fare. However, eggs might not be all they’re cracked up to be in terms of your cardiovascular health.
A typical large egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol — more than half of the amount recommended for daily consumption. While your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells and regulate membrane fluidity, high levels of cholesterol can also drastically increase your risk of heart disease. In this brief article, we’ll be reviewing the insights of a recent study that found an association between intake of eggs and a higher mortality risk. For more information regarding your heart health, get in touch with the best interventional cardiologist in Tampa — Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC.
Egg Consumption Linked to Higher All-Cause Mortality
On February 9, 2021, PLOS Medicine—a peer-reviewed weekly medical journal published by the Public Library of Science—published a study entitled “Egg and cholesterol consumption and mortality from cardiovascular and different causes in the United States: A population-based cohort study.” In this study, Pan Zhuang from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and his colleagues from the National Engineering Laboratory of Intelligent Food Technology set out to examine the relationship between egg consumption and dietary cholesterol intake. The analysis included 521,120 participants between the ages of 50 to 71 that were followed for an average of 16 years.
The results were shocking. What these researchers found is that, during the period of follow-up, there were a total of 129,328 deaths, with an intake of whole eggs and cholesterol positively associated with increased mortality. For example, for each additional intake of half a whole egg, there was a 7 percent increase in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and cancer mortality. In fact, according to a mediation analysis, 63.2 percent of all-cause mortality, 62.3 percent of CVD mortality, and 49.6 percent of cancer mortality associated with whole egg consumption was positively linked to cholesterol intake.
What You Should Be Eating Instead of Eggs
In the conclusion of their study, the researchers stated that their findings ultimately support limiting cholesterol intake and replacing whole eggs with egg whites/substitutes or alternative protein sources in order to facilitate long-term survival and health. Dr. Popat, for example, one of the top Tampa Bay cardiac specialists advocates for a whole-food, plant-based diet that centers around whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. Instead of eggs or meat, you focus your diet on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes. Not only is this diet a great way to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, but it can also boost your energy levels and help the environment in the process.
To consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, the best cardiologist in Tampa, please call (813) 344-0934 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
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