The Truth About Eggs: Part 1... Are They Really High in Cholesterol?

The amount of cholesterol in eggs has been a controversial one for decades now. What really is the truth about cholesterol in eggs? Should we be concerned? This excerpt is taken from the article “The Truth About Eggs: How To Tell the Good From the Bad” from Health Realizations 2019.

Are Eggs Healthy?

Eggs have been demonized for years because they contain a lot of cholesterol (about 212 milligrams in an average large egg). But eating eggs is not likely to send your cholesterol levels soaring, or cause you to develop heart disease, as many fear.

Cholesterol is actually an essential part of your body, used to produce cell membranes, steroid hormones, vitamin D and the bile acids your body needs to digest fat. Your brain needs cholesterol to function properly, as does your immune system, and if a cell becomes damaged, it needs cholesterol in order to be repaired. So cholesterol is not only beneficial, it is a vital part of your body.

Further, eating cholesterol is not what gives you high cholesterol. According to the Harvard Heart Letter, it’s a myth that all the cholesterol in eggs goes into your bloodstream and arteries. “For most people, only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes into the blood. Saturated and trans fats have much bigger effects on blood cholesterol levels”, the Heart Letter states. “The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease-not cholesterol levels or other intermediaries-found no connection between the two.”

Eggs are also an excellent source of healthy nutrients, including choline, a B vitamin that may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more. Egg yolks also provide the most readily absorbed form of lutein, a yellow-hued carotenoid that may help to fight everything from cancer to cataracts to macular degeneration and aging.

As Jen Allbritton writes for the Weston A. Price Foundation:

“Besides providing all eight essential protein-building amino acids, a large whole fresh egg offers about six to seven grams of protein and five grams of fat…, which comes in handy to help in the absorption of all the eggs fat-soluble vitamins. One egg also serves up about 200 milligrams of brain-loving cholesterol and contains the valuable vitamins A. K, E, D, B-complex and minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Choline, another egg nutrient, is a fatty substance found in every living cell and is a major component of our brain. Additionally, choline helps to break up cholesterol deposits by preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the arteries. So the bottom line is, don’t be chicken about eating eggs, especially the cholesterol-rich yolks!”

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will talk about different types of eggs and organic versus non.