The common perception of many, that eggs are an unhealthy food choice, may have been proven wrong by new research out of UConn.
Go ahead and scramble those eggs, yolk and all—there’s new evidence that it may lower your risk of heart disease.
Two new studies from the University of Connecticut recently presented at the Experimental Biology conference found that eating eggs actually improved cholesterol levels and reduced disease-producing inflammation in the body.
In one study, researchers asked participants following a carbohydrate-restricted diet to eat three whole eggs per day while another group ate an equivalent amount of egg substitute. After 12 weeks, the whole egg group experienced increases in levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, from 50 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL. (Doctors say men should aim for HDL levels over 40 mg/dL.) Their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels didn’t change at all.
How? Lecithin, a substance found in the egg yolk, might increase HDL cholesterol. “Lecithin helps remove cholesterol from tissue and transport it to the liver, so it doesn’t build up in blood vessels,” says study coauthor Maria Luz Fernandez, Ph.D., a nutrition professor at the University of Connecticut.
In a second similar study, people on a carbohydrate-restricted diet with metabolic disease who ate three eggs for 12 weeks showed a decrease in inflammatory markers in the body, suggesting that their risk for heart disease dropped. Lutein, an antioxidant caroteinoid found in the yolk, likely helped reduce this inflammation, says Fernandez.
Though both studies were done on people on restricted-carbohydrate diets, Fernandez says that you could expect similar benefits by making eggs part of a regular healthy diet.
“People are concerned that eating eggs causes heart disease but they really do the opposite,” says Fernandez.
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