In a new study, researchers found eating eggs and other foods high in cholesterol is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and death from any cause.
The finding is against the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which says no limit on how much dietary cholesterol or how many eggs people could eat.
The research was conducted by researchers from Northwestern Medicine.
It is known that egg yolks are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol among all common foods. One large egg has 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol in the yolk.
Other foods high in cholesterol include red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products like cream.
Previous studies showed that whether eating eggs is linked to heart disease and death has been debated for a long time.
The guidelines before 2015 showed people should eat less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day.
The guidelines after 2015 omitted a daily limit for dietary cholesterol. They also suggest eggs are a part of a healthy diet.
In the current study, the team examined data from 29,615 U.S. adults and had about 31 years of follow-up.
Each participant was asked a long list of what they’d eaten for the previous year or month.
The researchers found eating 300 mg of cholesterol per day was linked to a 17% higher risk of heart disease and 18% higher risk of death.
In addition, eating three to four eggs per week was linked to a 6% higher risk of heart disease and 8% higher death risk.
The researchers suggest the findings showed that a high amount of cholesterol is harmful to the heart, and cholesterol happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks.
People should try to have a healthy diet, which contains a lower amount of cholesterol. Less cholesterol means less heart disease risk.
This means they should eat fewer eggs and red meat.
But they don’t need to completely banish eggs and other cholesterol-rich foods from meals. This is because eggs and red meat are good sources of essential amino acids, iron and choline.
In addition, the current U.S. dietary guidelines for dietary cholesterol and eggs may need to be re-evaluated.
One author of the study is Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The study is published in JAMA.
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