Pros: My recent “science experiment” – and my doctor’s general “take” – suggest that chicken eggs (including the yolks) are unlikely to worsen “cholesterol” levels in most people. Moreover, eggs constitute a relatively affordable, low-fat source of protein and other nutrients.
Cons: None for me.
Prefatory note: I’ve never taken any sort of “cholesterol” drug (e.g., “statin”). Also note that the “eggs” that I’ve eaten have always been of the most commonly available (not the costlier “organic”) variety in American supermarkets.
Speaking as a 60-year-old, six-foot-one, 163-pound male, I’ve got one or two health concerns (primarily some idiopathic [evidently largely genetically influenced] “foot” neuropathy that’s intermittently uncomfortable but doesn’t significantly hinder my mobility), which I’m striving to ameliorate through several means. But, on the proverbial good side, I’ve also got various things for which to be thankful – including satisfactory “cholesterol” [and normal “blood-sugar” and “blood-pressure”] numbers that make it possible for me to continue avoiding any prescription medications.
As far back as the mid-1960s, I can recall people being advised by doctors or sundry “experts” to reduce or even eliminate their consumption of eggs (not only the faultless whites but particularly the cholesterol-containing yolks) in order to improve their cholesterol numbers and cardiovascular health. In more recent years, however, advice from analogous sources has been confusingly inconsistent. But the general impression I’ve derived is that only a modest minority of the population could actually find their LDL (the so-called “bad-cholesterol”) number worsened by the consumption of “dietary” cholesterol – e.g., egg yolks.
A couple of months ago, I decided to arrange (with my doctor’s cooperation) a little “science experiment” of sorts: I would increase my longstanding consumption of egg yolks from just one per day to exactly four per day (two at lunch, and two at dinner). Then – about two months later – I would see how my borderline-healthy “cholesterol” levels responded.
Mind, I never prepare my eggs with any “cooking” oil or fat; instead, I always basically poach them. Nor do I subsequently add any “butter” (instead, I add a bit of black pepper plus perhaps a modicum of the “light” version of Kraft’s Miracle Whip.) Also, I was steadfastly careful not to change any other aspects of my daily routine – and I’m speaking not only of the “dietary” but also the “exercise” and “lifestyle” components. For I wanted to discover precisely what effect quadrupling my egg-yolk consumption would have on the following (loosely speaking) “cholesterol” numbers: LDL (“bad” cholesterol); HDL (“good” cholesterol); and triglycerides.
The following two typical “lipid-panel” tests were done via my longstanding primary-care physician’s office, which promptly sent my blood samples to a particular nearby Quest Diagnostics lab:
May 19, 2014 (after having eaten approximately one egg yolk daily for many, many months):
CHOLESTEROL TOTAL: 214
July 10, 2014 (after having eaten four egg yolks daily since May 19th):
CHOLESTEROL TOTAL: 197
Being merely an average (?!) layperson, I don’t hereby mean to postulate any scrupulously “scientific” conclusions. But I do find the above numbers intriguing; and I’m frankly more confident than ever that I myself – and presumably the majority of the population – should henceforth relish eating a reasonable daily number of whole eggs without fretting about any ostensibly bad health consequences.
Note that, for many years, I’ve pretty strictly limited my daily consumption of saturated fat. Also – somewhat more for basic “budgetary” reasons than pretentious “philosophical” ones – I’ve long eaten relatively little “meat” (much less than the average American, anyway). Instead, eggs (formerly mostly just the whites) have constituted my main source of “non-vegetarian” food. Additionally – at both lunch and dinner – I always eat a sensibly sized serving of beans (not only for supplementary protein but also for fiber to promote dietary-tract regularity); mixed “frozen” vegetables; shelled English walnuts; and about two or three tablespoons of peanut butter (always Smuckers “Creamy Natural,” which contains a smidgen of salt as its only added ingredient). [However, for some years I’ve generally eschewed bread – not because I don’t savor it, but because it always raised my bodyweight somewhat above the reportedly “ideal” level. So, I’ve alternatively learned to relish “natural” peanut putter [not to mention blueberries and chilled bananas] in much the way other folks relish ice cream or pudding. And I alternatively derive my daily “grains” with “hot,” “natural” cereal including old-fashioned oatmeal and wheat germ.]
Also, since about five months ago [when I reluctantly gave up coffee (that reportedly prevents Alzheimer’s in mice but isn’t ideal for “peripheral neuropathy” sufferers)], I’ve been eating not only the usual banana or two but also some (“frozen”) blueberries [because they reportedly prevent Alzheimer’s in rats] together with my longstanding consumption of “old-fashioned” (not “instant”) oatmeal (and/or some wheat germ and sometimes a sprinkling of ground flax seed). Note: Although my lab-determined blood-sugar numbers have long placed me in “fully normal” range, I’ve recently gone so far as to totally stop my longstanding modest consumption of “one to several” teaspoons per day of ordinary “table sugar” (on the assumption that topping my oatmeal/wheat germ not with “refined” sugar but rather a sensible amount of natural berries should be more healthful generally).
Also, I’ve continued my longstanding consumption of two to three gel capsules of pharmaceutical-grade (highly purified) fish oil daily. [This might have something to do with my above-noted “triglycerides” number remaining rather low (always within a range between about 36 and 78), but I’m not really sure.]
Incidentally, I’ve never taken any “blood-pressure” medication (my diastolic and systolic numbers have long been within “normal range,” and they’ve remained there since I’ve increased my daily consumption of whole eggs).
If you or a loved one happen to have any concerns about your daily consumption of “cholesterol” – perchance in the form of eggs – you might want to discuss this with your doctor. My doctor’s general take on “eggs“ has been, from the outset: “I think they’re good for you!”