Old medical myths die hard. And they keep coming back from the dead like Dracula rising from his coffin. You’ve probably heard them all:
- “Salt causes high blood pressure.”
- “Eating meat is as bad as smoking cigarettes.”
- “Fruits are bad because they contain sugar.”
- “All alcohol is harmful.”
- “Vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters.”
The list goes on and on…
I’ve decided to call these medical myths “legends of the Fall,” because there was never any real evidence to support them. And in the coming weeks, I’ll revisit some of the worst myths that still roam around the internet ¾ and your doctors’ offices.
Today, I’ll focus on the myth that eggs are “bad” because of “all the cholesterol.”
The “experts” still get it wrong about eggs
More than 30 years ago at the National Cancer Institute, I worked on a team assigned to conduct research on dietary fats, protein, and cancer. We studied foods like dairy, eggs, and meat. (We certainly couldn’t touch sugar or carbs, which received a free pass from government health experts, despite evidence linking them to cancer and chronic disease.)
We spent billions of dollars on research over many decades. But no definitive evidence ever emerged to make a case against dietary sources of protein, including eggs.
What did emerge was evidence about the many health benefits of eggs.
However, government health experts continued to harp on the cholesterol myth. And they warned Americans against eating cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs, shellfish, lobster, and shrimp.
But the science shows eating foods with high levels of cholesterol does not increase blood cholesterol. Nor does it increase the risk of heart disease. (In any event, high blood cholesterol isn’t even the real risk factor for heart disease, as I often report.)
The evidence is so clear, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines no longer place a daily limit on cholesterol intake…or on egg consumption. This change occurred two years ago. So, you would think more of the “experts” would begin to get the message by now.
An egg a day increases longevity
Studies show eating eggs actually helps lower cardiovascular disease risk. In fact, a new study found that eating eggs significantly reduces the risk of stroke, the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
In this meta-analysis, researchers reviewed data from studies conducted between 1982 and 2015. They evaluated the link between egg intake and coronary heart disease in 276,000 participants and stroke in 308,000 participants.
Turns out, eating one egg per day did not increase heart disease risk. But it did lower stroke risk 12 percent.
Of course, some so-called experts point to old, poorly designed studies that found eating eggs raises cancer risk. But they probably never considered the idea of competing risks.
Let me explain…
Research confirms that eating eggs significantly lowers cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. So ¾ people who eat eggs regularly live longer. And the biggest risk factor for cancer is increased age.
Now ¾ we have all these healthy men and women who eat eggs daily and live longer…long enough to get prostate cancer, for example. Mind you, virtually every man will get prostate “cancer” eventually if he lives long enough. (And he will live longer, if he eats eggs regularly.)
But the eggs have nothing to do with the development of prostate cancer. The “cancer” is just a result of living longer.
Plus, as many experts now point out, prostate cancer is typically a benign, slow-growing, non-fatal condition in most older men. They’re more likely to die with prostate cancer than from it.
It really baffles me…
Technology, statistics and political correctness now drive the field of modern medicine, instead of any real understanding of the human diet, nutritional biology, and physiology.
Of course, entire industries, government agencies, and careers depend on continuing to promote politically correct propaganda, not science. Since many never knew the truth, can’t tell the truth, and can’t handle the truth, it’s in their best interests to continue on their same, old, lucrative paths.
But that’s not in your best interests. Especially when it comes to following their “advice” to limit eggs in your diet.
Nature’s perfect food
As I often repeat, eggs are nearly a perfect food. They’re low in calories and high in vitamins A, B12, D, and E, as well as antioxidants. They’re also high in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which account for the bright yellow color of the yolks. (I helped discover the role of red-orange-yellow carotenoids in human nutrition and metabolism 30 years ago.)
So, this Fall, break away from any myths you may be holding onto about eggs. Go ahead and enjoy them as much as you want! And remember, they’re not just for breakfast.
As a matter of fact, I recently enjoyed some deviled eggs for lunch with colleagues at the historic Owl Bar in Baltimore. They make the perfect “power lunch,” and certainly helped power me through a busy afternoon in the sound booth, recording my two upcoming protocols on heart health and diabetes. (Stay tuned for more information on those, coming soon!)
“Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2016; 8(35)