Crack open the research on eggs and cholesterol

The research is in:

You can tell your patients to enjoy eggs as part of a balanced diet. The latest science shows that eating eggs has a minimal impact on blood cholesterol and does not increase heart disease risk.

Insights

  • A 2018 Nutrients Journal review of recent intervention studies with eggs demonstrate that the cholesterol in eggs does not negatively affect serum lipids.
  • A 2019 prospective study published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal looked at over 400,000 individuals with an average follow-up of 12 years, and showed that consumption of eggs does not increase the risk for heart disease.
  • Results from a 2020 analysis in the BMJ of three large cohorts (>215,000 individuals with a follow-up of up to 32 years) and from an updated meta-analysis show that intake of up to one egg per day is not associated with cardiovascular disease risk.
  • In 2020, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the conclusion of three large international prospective studies of 177,000 individuals that found no significant association between egg intake and blood lipids, mortality, or major cardiovascular disease events.
  1. Blesso, C. N., & Fernandez, M. L. (2018). Dietary Cholesterol, Serum Lipids, and Heart Disease: Are Eggs Working for or Against You?. Nutrients, 10(4), 426. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040426
  2. Key, Timothy J. “Consumption of Meat, Fish, Dairy Products, and Eggs and Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease: A Prospective Study of 7198 Incident Cases Among 409 885 Participants in the Pan-European EPIC Cohort.” Circulation Journal, Apr. 2019, https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038813
  3. Drouin-Chartier Jean-Phillippe, Chen Siyu, Li Yanping, Schwab Amanda L, Stampfer Meir J, Sacks Frank M et al. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: three large prospective US cohort studies, systematic review, and updated meta-analysis BMJ 2020; 368 :m513 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m513
  4. Mahshid Dehghan et al. Association of egg intake with blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in 177,000 people in 50 countries, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 111, Issue 4, April 2020, Pages 795–803, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz348
Current dietary guidelines by leading Canadian health organizations like the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Diabetes Canada do not recommend limiting egg consumption for healthy adults.

Patient Resources

Healthy You: A health and wellness guide to understanding cholesterol

Healthy You: A health and wellness guide to understanding cholesterol

Healthy You: A health and wellness guide to understanding cholesterol is a patient guide that offers tips for managing cholesterol levels through healthy eating and lifestyle habits. This guide is available for distribution to patients and can be ordered at www.physiciansonline.ca.
Download PDF
Eggs: A Heart-Smart Choice

Eggs: A Heart-Smart Choice

Eggs: a heart-smart choice is a patient factsheet that shows how eggs fit within heart-healthy eating patterns. This factsheet can be downloaded and distributed to patients.
Download PDF
Eggs and Type 2 Diabetes

Eggs and Type 2 Diabetes

Eggs and type 2 diabetes is a factsheet for healthcare professionals to learn of the most recent recommendations and research around eggs and type 2 diabetes. This factsheet can be downloaded and shared with healthcare professionals.
Download PDF
Tips for Heart-Healthy Eating with Eggs

Tips for Heart-Healthy Eating with Eggs

Patient factsheet providing tips for heart-healthy eating with eggs. This factsheet can be downloaded and distributed to patients.
Download PDF