At Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola discusses the historical reliance of American homesteaders on the nutrition supplied by eggs and the more recent focus on eating chickens themselves. But Mercola asks, “What happened to eggs?” He explains that eggs became an easy target and were “maligned and even deemed as health-damaging as smoking cigarettes.” He writes:
Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint. It was originally published May 21, 2018.
Chicken as the foundation of a delicious home-cooked meal has been an American mainstay for decades. Not centuries, you might ask? As a matter of fact, up until the 1920s, homesteaders filled chicken coops with chickens to fulfill one main purpose: to produce eggs.
Chickens weren’t regarded as much beyond egg production until a new concept featuring chicken as a main course took flight in the late ’40s. It was based, not surprisingly, on the food industry’s initiative to find more uses for said chickens. Today we have a plethora of chicken recipes, from broth to casseroles to fried, not to mention nuggets. But what happened to eggs?
Eggs became a target based on the faulty premise of the medical establishment that eating too many yolks would drive up cholesterol and pack your carotid arteries with plaque. As recently as 2012, eggs were still being maligned and even deemed as health-damaging as smoking cigarettes, according to a Canadian journal.1 Many still believe this, and it’s the misinformation that’s damaging health, not egg consumption.
According to a study2 led by Nick Fuller at the University of Sydney, Australia, and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eggs, “despite conflicting evidence continuing around the world,” are not responsible for heart disease or high cholesterol.
In fact, they’re one of the most nutritious foods in your kitchen. When he led the first portion of the study, Fuller wrote that eggs can support several aspects of health, including eye, blood vessel and heart health, healthy pregnancies and fat regulation, noting:
“Despite being vilified for decades, dietary cholesterol is understood to be far less detrimental to health than scientists originally thought. The effect of cholesterol in our food on the level of cholesterol in our blood is actually quite small.”3
No Matter How Many, Egg Intake Shows No Negative Results
The latest study notes that people with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes ate a dozen eggs a week for a year, at which point a series of tests showed no negative results whatsoever. Study participants consumed high (12), medium and low (two) eggs per week for the first three months. Times Now News explains:
“This was aimed at maintaining optimal weight for the three months. In a bid to lose weight, the same members were asked to embark on a weight loss plan while consuming the same amount of eggs they were consuming earlier. For six months, the participants continued on their consumption of eggs while they were monitored by the researchers.”4
Prior to the study, Australian Men’s Health observes, cardiovascular risk factors such as blood sugar and blood pressure levels were taken into account when the researchers gathered the results, as those are considered risk factors associated with egg consumption.
Interestingly, the study concluded that the 128 individuals in the study lost weight even on a high-egg diet and continued to lose when the study came to a close.
Backing up the study results, the Australian Heart Foundation notes that “Eggs can be included as part of a heart healthy eating pattern, and can be chosen as one of a variety of protein foods including fish and seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds, and poultry, in preference to unprocessed red meat.”5 As for the cholesterol content:
“Eggs don’t altercate the LDL levels in blood. An egg contains only 212 mg of cholesterol which is lesser than even the half recommended dietary allowance of cholesterol for a day. Since the liver already produces a large amount of cholesterol every day, consumption of eggs balances the ratio with the liver’s production. In fact, eggs increase the HDL or good cholesterol levels in your body.”6
Cholesterol in your blood known as LDL is narrowed down to two subtypes: dense, small particles and large, fluffy particles. The dense small-particle LDL type is what can be identified as a risk factor for increasing your heart disease risk, while people with large LDL particles have a lower risk, but here’s the kicker: Eggs convert small LDL particles to large particles.7
Perception Is the Problem
One of the biggest problems in the discussion regarding saturated fats and cholesterol is that the medical community hasn’t explained it to the public very well, probably because there’s a lot of confusion on the part of this collective majority.
The fact is, even though it may raise cholesterol, your lipid profile may actually improve when you eat more saturated fat, especially when you cut the amount of carbohydrates you consume, according to Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiologist consultant at Croydon University Hospital in London.
Saturated fat not only increases your HDL, it also increases large, fluffy LDLs, which is what you want. On top of that, LDL has been grossly exaggerated as a risk factor for heart disease, with the exception of people who have a genetic abnormality. Malhotra notes:
“The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades. Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks.
Furthermore, the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol, which has led to the overmedication of millions of people with statins, has diverted our attention from the more egregious risk factor of atherogenic dyslipidaemia [elevated levels of triglycerides and small-dense LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol].”8
Interestingly, many of the scientists who are noting the increase in egg consumption and its role in causing “high cholesterol” talk about saturated fat as if it’s still an enemy. Body and Soul explains:
“The truth is that cholesterol is a very important part of the body — and an essential element to good health. It is a structural molecule that is an essential part of every single cell membrane.
It is used to make steroid hormones such as testosterone, (estrogen) and cortisol; helps your metabolism work efficiently; and produces bile acids, which helps the body digest fat and absorb important nutrients. The truth is, without cholesterol we wouldn’t even exist.”9
Read more here.
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for my free weekly email.