Transcript: Egg Cholesterol in the Diet
The egg industry got their huevos handed to them last fall in a devastating review published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology by three academic heavy hitters. David Spence is the Director of the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre; David Jenkins, the guy who invented the glycemic index; and Dr. Davignon, the Director of the Hyperlipidemia and Atherosclerosis Research Group at the Montreal Institute for Clinical Research.
The last time Dr. Spence spoke out publicly against eggs, his house got its cholesterol raised too. But the reason they felt the need to set the record straight is that “Recent media reports reflect the remarkable effectiveness of the sustained propaganda campaign of the egg producers’ lobby” to downplay the risks of cholesterol.
The fundamental flaw of the studies the egg industry uses to muddy the waters on the issue is that they tend to only measure fasting cholesterol levels, which just reflect what’s happening to your arteries for the last few hours of the night, not after you’ve eaten breakfast. Not only do eggs make your bad cholesterol go up, but for hours after you eat, dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of LDL (bad cholesterol) to oxidization, vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, and postprandial hyperlipemia, and potentiates the harmful effects of saturated fat, impairs endothelial function, and increases cardiovascular events (meaning heart attacks).
Dietary cholesterol may only increase our fasting cholesterol levels 10%, but it may increase the susceptibility of our bad cholesterol to oxidize by 37% to 39%, and that’s what triggers much of the arterial inflammation that leads to the artery-clogging plaque development.
So maybe an omelet might not be good, but how much dietary cholesterol is in just, like, one egg? A single egg yolk contains approximately 215mg to 275mg of cholesterol (depending on the size). The yolk of a large egg provides more than the 210mg of cholesterol in a Hardee’s Monster Thickburger, which contains two-thirds of a pound of beef, three slices of cheese, and four strips of bacon. The media storm that followed compared an egg to the fast food monstrosity du jour, the KFC Double Down, where even the bun is made out of meat. What came worst: the chicken or the egg?
A single egg yolk thus exceeds the recommended daily intake of cholesterol. So you could eat just, like, celery the whole rest of the day, and you could still be over the limit.
Despite the harassment he’s gotten, “he remains unperturbed. He said [egg] ‘yolks shouldn’t be regarded as an item that’s suitable for human diets’ for anyone at risk of vascular disease. ‘And you name me [one person] that isn’t.'”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.
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