April 14, 2021

Are eggs good or bad for your health?

2 min read
A new study suggests that regularly eating eggs can increase the risk of early death, but some experts are skeptical about the findings.

Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is one of the skeptics. Willett, who co-authored a study last year that found that eating one egg per day did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, commented on the new findings in a February 9, 2021, CNN article. “The study results are problematic because they only asked people once about their egg consumption, then followed them for many years without checking to see if their diet had changed,” he said. “They’re only getting a snapshot in time.”

While there has been ongoing concern that the cholesterol in eggs could lead to health problems, Willett said that cholesterol’s role in the diet is “more complicated than we used to think.” He said that the key is to look at the overall nutritional pros and cons of a particular food, as well as what that food is replacing in the diet.

“If someone replaces eggs with doughnuts, other refined starches and sugar or saturated fats, I’d rather they eat eggs,” Willett said. “But for someone who really wants to be in optimal health, putting the emphasis on plant-based protein sources like steel-cut oatmeal and nuts would be a better way to go.” He added that certain populations, such as people on cholesterol-lowering medications, “would be better off keeping eggs on the low side.”

In general, he said, “I think the old recommendation of not more than two eggs per week for most people is actually still a good recommendation.”

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