Many people nowadays seem to have gone back to the adage that eggs are Nature’s “perfect food.” The common view is that the “egg-cholesterol panic wasn’t warranted” – as one newspaper put it.
Anytime you hear this, you should be skeptical and remember that “people love to hear good news about their bad habits” — and of course the media loves reporting that a food previously thought “unhealthy” is now legit to eat.
It would be tedious and unnecessary to debunk every single study on the subject.
Only one example will be required to show the lies and deception behind the re-branding of eggs as “health food.”
Dr. Mercola has an article on his website called “Eggs Are Good for Your Cholesterol.”
“Eggs became a target based on the faulty premise of the medical establishment that eating too many yolks would drive up cholesterol and pack your carotid artery with plaque. As recently as 2012, eggs were still being accused and even deemed as health-damaging as smoking cigarettes, according to a Canadian journal. Many still believe this, and it’s the misinformation that’s damaging health, not egg consumption.
According to a recent study led by Nick Fuller at the University of Sydney, Australia, and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eggs, “despite conflicting evidence continuing around the world,” are not responsible for heart disease or high cholesterol. In fact, they’re one of the most nutritious foods in your kitchen.”
Behind the Studies
Anytime I hear such a claim, all I have to do is to check the study quoted, and find the full text of it — not just the abstract.
What’s behind this study?
1) First, it says on the first page “Supported by a research grant from the Australian Egg Corporation.”
2) The high-egg group had a cholesterol level of around 191 mg/dl and the low egg group 183.022 mg/dl. However, both groups were taking cholesterol lowering medication!
3) Both groups had a high cholesterol intake (around 300 mg. a day) and high saturated fat intake (20-22 g. per day).
4) The results were that eating eggs did not significantly increase the cholesterol levels in the “high-egg” group, who were consuming two eggs a day.
Why This Study Is Deceitful
This study, like all other studies supporting eggs, is duplicitous because it’s set up to fail and show what the authors want.
Both groups had high dietary cholesterol and saturated fats intake, and were taking cholesterol-lowering medication. They had serum cholesterol levels significantly above the optimal level (150 mg/dl). Without medication, their serum cholesterol levels would be even higher.
Here’s the crux of the matter: we know that adding cholesterol to a diet already rich in cholesterol and to someone with elevated serum cholesterol level does not make a difference.
And in fact, this is what ALL studies which support eggs show.
In this case, adding oil to the fire doesn’t make it worse! However, what’s wrong is that they are leaving out the crucial part:
The eggs, cholesterol and saturated fats that they were eating in the first place CAUSED their high cholesterol.
Only eliminating those foods would bring down their serum cholesterol to healthy levels.
It’s interesting to note that even on medication, those people could not achieve truly healthy cholesterol levels.
A Challenge to Egg Lovers
I challenge Chris Kresser, Dr. Mercola and other cholesterol apologists to find one credible study:
- Where people with healthy cholesterol levels (150 mg/dl or under) ate eggs, and this did not raise their cholesterol levels.
- OR: where people gave up all eggs, cholesterol-containing foods, and saturated fats and did not see dramatic improvements in their cholesterol score.
- Not funded by the egg, dairy, or meat industry.
You won’t find those studies because they don’t exist.
In human beings, eating cholesterol-containing foods and saturated fats raises our cholesterol levels, which is the building block of heart disease.
However, because there’s a threshold in this effect, meaning that beyond a certain point, adding more cholesterol to the diet doesn’t make a difference — does not say that the mechanism isn’t there.
And of course, it hides the truth that only a diet free of cholesterol and low in saturated fats can naturally lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease without medication.
Yours for health,