We’ve known for quite some time now that eggs (more specifically egg yolks) are not the healthiest food in the world – but according to a new study, regular consumption has nearly the same adverse effect on the arteries as smoking cigarettes.
The paper, published online in the journal Atherosclerosis, found eating egg yolks regularly increases plaque buildup about two-thirds as much as smoking does. Patients who consumed three or more yolks per week showed “significantly more plaque” than those who ate two or less per week.
“The mantra ‘eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people’ has confused the issue,” says Dr. David Spence, a professor of neurology at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, Ont. “What we have shown is that with aging, plaque builds up gradually in the arteries, and egg yolks make it build up faster — about two-thirds as much as smoking. In the long haul, egg yolks are not OK for most people.”
And what about egg producers? How do they feel about this study? Will they let their chickens go free tomorrow and apologize for giving their product a healthy spin all these years?
“Independent research confirms that dietary cholesterol in eggs has little effect on blood cholesterol levels in adults,” Karen Harvey of Egg Farmers of Canada told TheStar. “These studies have also looked at people with existing heart disease and eating an egg a day did not increase their risk for cardiovascular or stroke either.”
Dr. Spence says consumers should be smart enough to listen to the right source.
“Who are you going to believe, top researchers and doctors who have been telling Canadians that egg yolks are harmful to one’s health, or people who want to sell eggs,” he says. “Some of the research they claim to have only tells half the story.”
You can read the rest of Spence’s slam on the egg industry here – but the takeaway should be this: If you can’t drop eggs from your diet – at least limit your consumption. On that note, here are 10 delicious vegan breakfast ideas.
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