More Reassuring News About Eggs and Heart Health


Eating an egg a day was not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), early death, or elevated blood cholesterol levels, even in people with a history of CVD or diabetes, according to an analysis of data from about 177,000 people in 50 countries, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Eggs were once seen as coronary landmines because of their high content of dietary cholesterol, but research in recent years has largely exonerated them since it turns out that saturated fat in food, rather than dietary cholesterol, has by far the greater effect on blood cholesterol and the related risk of heart attacks and strokes.

An earlier clinical trial in the same journal in 2018, funded by the egg industry, found that a higher intake of eggs—two a day, in the context of a healthy diet—had no negative effect on blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar control, or markers of inflammation over a year in people with type 2 diabetes, compared to low egg intake (two a week). The new study was not industry-funded.

Bottom line: Abundant evidence now indicates that cholesterol in food, including eggs, has little, if any, impact on blood cholesterol in most people. Still, the 2019 ACC/AHA cardiovascular disease prevention guideline recommends reducing dietary cholesterol intake; less than 300 mg a day is generally advised. If you have cardiovascular disease or multiple risk factors for it, talk to your doctor about whether you should further limit dietary cholesterol.