Though egg yolks are a rich source of iron, calcium, phosphorus, folate, vitamin D, and other nutrients, they have been demonized for years because they are also a rich source of dietary cholesterol, which may up the risk of cardiovascular disease. But a recent study found that there’s not enough evidence to back the association between egg yolk consumption and high risk of heart disease.
Because some health-conscious people are concerned that egg yolks may boost their risk of heart troubles on the long run, they removed egg yolks from their diets completely. For instance, some of them currently make omelets, cakes, and other foods from egg whites alone.
But this is no longer necessary, a new study suggests. According to the new research, dietary cholesterol doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease. Apparently, the new study carried out by a team at the University of Eastern Finland and published this week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out that the health community might have been wrong on the issue.
Dr. Luc Djoussé, a cardiologist at the Harvard Medical School who has conducted separate research on egg yolks’ long-term impact on heart health, noted that dietary cholesterol does not necessarily lead to high levels of bad cholesterol in ones’ blood.
Djoussé added that past studies did not present enough evidence to back the link between egg consumption and high risk of heart disease. The latest research echoes’ national health officials’ stance on dietary cholesterol as it has been laid out in the latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Finnish researchers also found that eating an egg per day (yolk included) does not up the risk of heart disease even in patients that are genetically prone to develop a heart condition.
Dr. Jyrki Virtanen, lead author of the study, explained that it is not enough to focus on a specific food item to make sure that you have a healthy diet. Dr. Robert Eckel of the University of Colorado School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, agrees.
In a recent editorial, Dr. Eckel acknowledged that he doesn’t recommend his patients at high risk of heart disease to trim their egg consumption. He thinks that eggs have been vilified for so long just because they are a tremendously popular food item.
Dr. Eckel said that people on a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet, which involves consuming more fruits and vegetables, may have even a higher risk of developing heart disease if they go for the wrong lifestyle choices.
Image Source: Flickr