Health Concerns With Eggs
Eating Eggs Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
The fat and cholesterol found in eggs can harm heart health and lead to diabetes, as well as prostate and colorectal cancers.
About 60% of the calories in eggs are from fat—much of which is saturated fat. Eggs are also loaded with cholesterol—about 200 milligrams for an average-sized egg. That’s more than double the amount in a Big Mac. Fat and cholesterol contribute to heart disease.
Eating eggs increases the risk of dying from heart disease, according to research published in Circulation. Researchers compared egg and cholesterol consumption and blood cholesterol levels with death from cardiovascular disease in over 27,000 participants and conducted a systematic review of existing research. Eating one egg per day significantly increased the risk of dying from heart disease. Higher blood cholesterol levels and higher intakes of dietary cholesterol were also associated with an elevated risk of death from heart disease. These findings support limiting dietary cholesterol intake for improved heart health.
A 2021 study found that the addition of half an egg per day was associated with more deaths from heart disease, cancer, and all causes. For every 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol consumed per day, mortality risk increased by up to 24%. A study published in JAMA found that that each 300 milligram dose of dietary cholesterol was associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality by 17% and 18%, respectively. When it came to eggs, each half egg caused a 6% and 8% increased risk, respectively. A study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found that those who eat the most eggs have a 19% higher risk for cardiovascular problems.
Industry-funded research has downplayed the effects of egg consumption on cholesterol levels. A Physicians Committee review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine examined all research studies published from 1950 to March 2019 that evaluated the effect of eggs on blood cholesterol levels and examined funding sources and their influence on study findings. Research published prior to 1970 showed no industry influence on cholesterol research. The percentage of industry-funded studies increased over time, from 0% in the 1950s to 60% in 2010-2019. More than 85% of the research studies, regardless of funding sources, showed that eggs have unfavorable effects on blood cholesterol. But 49% of industry-funded publications reported conclusions that conflicted with actual study results, compared with 13% of non-industry-funded trials.
Consuming one or more eggs per day may increase the risk of diabetes by 60%, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Researchers compared egg consumption with blood glucose levels in more than 8,000 participants from the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Those who habitually consumed the most eggs increased their risk for diabetes when compared to those who ate the fewest eggs.
These results support similar findings. A review of 14 studies published in the journal Atherosclerosis showed that those who consume the most eggs increase their risk for diabetes by 68%. Another review found similar results: a 39% higher risk of diabetes in people who eat three or more eggs per week.
Egg consumption also increases the risk of gestational diabetes, according to two studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Health Concerns With Eggs Fact Sheet
There are several reasons to consider eliminating eggs from your diet. Recent studies link them to heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
More About Eggs
DID YOU KNOW?
One egg contains more cholesterol than a Big Mac?
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