Are eggs health villains once again?
In the latest salvo in the debate over whether eggs are good or bad for you, a new study suggests that people who eat as few as three eggs a week may be raising their risk of heart disease. Researchers examined data from six previous studies, involving some 30,000 people followed for an average of 17½ years. They found that consuming 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day was linked with a 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease over the study period, and an 18 percent higher risk of premature death. Because egg yolks are rich in cholesterol, eating three to four eggs a week is associated with a 6 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease and an 8 percent higher risk of early death. Researchers said previous studies that found there was no health risk to eating eggs failed to take into account that high egg consumption is often related to other unhealthy habits, such as poor diet and limited physical activity. “In contrast, the current study included comprehensive assessment of these factors,” lead author Victor Zhong, from Northwestern University, tells CNN.com. But Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, cautions that the new study shows only an association, not a causal link, between eating eggs and heart disease risk. “Eggs are a nutritious food,” she says, adding that people should “pay attention to how the eggs are cooked and to the trimmings that come with them.”