If the recent study on the effects of eggs and cholesterol levels has you adding the food to your “do not eat” list, you may want to think again. In fact, the findings—that increased egg consumption could lead to higher risk of heart disease—may not be all they’re cracked up to be, according to an article on Today.com.
Combining the results of six other studies, this recent study, published in JAMA, did pool a significant number of participants: more than 30,000 over the course of 17 years. However, the studies all had different methods of collecting data. Specifically, the JAMA study focused on food recall, where participants recalled their eating patterns, as a method of research collection. Although many studies use this method, it is not always the most accurate. (Can you remember what you had for breakfast yesterday? The day before? Last week?)
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Secondly, eating large amounts of animal products like eggs, dairy, and meats can certainly increase anyone’s risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, so can other dietary components and factors like weight, exercise, and whether or not you smoke; in the recent study’s findings, only eggs were called out to blame.
Previously, U.S dietary guidelines stated that the average American should cap their daily cholesterol intake at 300 mg. For reference, a four-ounce serving of chicken with no skin has about 100 milligrams of cholesterol while a cup of whole milk has about 33 milligrams. But a panel of government nutrition experts have also noted that, “Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.”
In other words, before you swear to give up omelets for life, remember that moderation is key and your overall eating pattern will have more of an effect on your health than eating an extra slice of quiche at brunch will. Instead, consider swapping out the cheddar cheese in your scramble for low-fat feta a few times a week and serving with whole wheat toast instead of fried hash browns.
This article originally appeared on Martha Stewart Living.
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