Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe?

Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Peeks Behind the Egg Industry Curtain

The American Egg Board is a promotional marketing board appointed by the U.S. government whose mission is to “increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers.” If an individual egg company wants to run an ad campaign, they can say pretty much whatever they want. But if an egg corporation wants to dip into the 10 million dollars the American Egg Board sets aside for advertising every year, because the board is overseen by the federal government, corporations are not allowed to lie with those funds. This leads to quite revealing exchanges between egg corporations that want to use that money and the USDA on what egg companies can and cannot say about eggs.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act I was able to get my hands on some of those emails. Of course a lot of what I got were pages with nearly all of the text blacked out (you can see these in my video, Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe?). But I did find some illuminating correspondence. For example, one email shows an egg company trying to put out a brochure on healthy snacking for kids. But because of existing laws against false and misleading advertising, the head of the USDA’s poultry research and promotion programs reminds the company that eggs or egg products cannot be couched as being healthy or nutritious. “The words nutritious and healthy carry certain connotations, and because eggs have the amount of cholesterol they do, plus the fact that they’re not low in fat, [the words healthy and nutritious] are problematic.” This is the United States Department of Agriculture saying this!

However, the USDA official helpfully suggests, “I believe you can say something that’s just as strong if not stronger, that is ‘naturally nutrient-dense.’” Why can we say eggs are nutrient-dense but not nutritious? Because there’s no legal definition of nutrient-dense. We can say Twinkies and Coca Cola are nutrient dense, but legally, we can’t say something is nutritious unless it’s actually… nutritious.

For example, the egg industry wanted to run an ad calling eggs a nutritional powerhouse that aids in weight loss. The USDA had to remind the industry that they can’t portray eggs as a diet food because of the fat and cholesterol content. In fact, eggs have nearly twice the calories of anything that can be called “low-calorie.”

“Nutritional powerhouse” can’t be used either. Fine, the industry said, they’ll move to plan B, and headline the ad “Egg-ceptional Nutrition.” They couldn’t say that either because, again, given the saturated fat and cholesterol you can’t legally call eggs nutritious. So the headline ended up as, “Find true satisfaction,” and instead of weight loss they had to go with “can reduce hunger.” The USDA congratulated them on their cleverness. Yes, a food that when eaten can reduce hunger—what a concept!

They can’t even say eggs are “relatively” low in calories. Can’t say eggs are low in saturated fat—they’re not. Can’t say they’re relatively low in fat, they’re not. Can’t even call them a rich source of protein, because, according to the USDA, they’re not.

It’s illegal to advertise that eggs pack a nutritional wallop, or that they have a high nutritional content. Eggs have so much cholesterol, we can’t even say they “contribute nutritionally.” Can’t say eggs are “healthful,” certainly can’t say they’re “healthy.” Can’t even say eggs contribute “healthful components.”

Since we can’t say eggs are a healthy start to the day, the USDA suggests a “satisfying start.” Egg corporations can’t call eggs a healthy ingredient, but they can call eggs a “recognizable” ingredient. Can’t truthfully say eggs are good for us, either. By law, according to the USDA, the egg industry “needs to steer clear of words like ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious.’”

For a food to be labeled “healthy” under FDA rules, it has to be low in saturated fat (eggs fail that criteria) and have less than 90mg of cholesterol per serving (even half an egg fails that test). For the same reason we can’t tout ice cream for strong bones, we can’t say eggs are healthy because they exceed the threshold for cholesterol.

Egg corporations aren’t even allowed to say things like “Eggs are an important part of a well balanced, healthy diet” on an egg carton because it would be considered misleading according to the USDA’s National Egg Supervisor, since eggs contain significant amounts of fat and cholesterol and therefore can contribute to the leading killer in the United States, heart disease.

The industry can’t afford to tell the truth about the eggs, or even the hens that lay them. The industry crams five to ten birds in cages the size of a file cabinet their whole lives, but when providing footage to the media, the American Egg Board instructs, “do not show multiple birds in cages—they look too crowded and open us up to activist criticism.”

Not only is the industry barred from saying eggs are healthy, they can’t even refer to eggs as safe because more than a hundred thousand Americans are food poisoned by Salmonella from eggs every year.

The egg board’s response to this egg-borne epidemic is that Salmonella is a naturally occurring bacterium. An internal egg industry memo didn’t think that should necessarily be the key message, fearing that “it may be counterproductive by implying there is no avoiding Salmonella in eggs aside from avoiding eggs altogether.”

The food poisoning risk is why the American Egg Board can’t even mention anything but eggs cooked hard and dry. No soft-boiled, no over-easy, no sunny-side up—because of the Salmonella risk. The American Egg Board’s own research showed that the sunny-side up cooking method should be considered “unsafe.”

In light of bird flu viruses, both the white and yolk must be cooked firm. The VP of marketing for the Egg Board complained to the USDA saying they’d “really like to not have to dictate that the yolks are firm,” and cites a Washington Post article saying runny yolks may be safe for everyone except pregnant women, infants, elderly, or those with chronic disease. It turns out it was a misquote—eggs can’t be considered safe for anyone.

Instead of safe, they can call eggs “fresh,” the USDA marketing service helpfully suggests. But they can’t call eggs safe, and they can’t say eggs are “safe to eat.” They can’t even mention safety at all.

Wait a second, not only can eggs not be called healthy they can’t even be called safe? Says who? Says the United States Department of Agriculture.

For more peeks behind the egg industry curtain see:

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

55 responses to “Peeks Behind the Egg Industry Curtain

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  1. So, with this recent change in lowing concerns about cholesterol from what you eat, does this mean the Eggs Industry is going to make claims on health that they previously couldn’t? Or is this reduction in concern for dietary cholesterol just a political thing?

    1. We’ll see what claims they start making. Regardless, it seems the Egg Industry is being deceptive when it comes to public knowledge. Cholesterol guidelines are a subject that many researchers are debating. Dr. Greger discuss optimal cholesterol levels, here.

      1. Thanks. I have seen that video before, in fact just shortly before the announcement by National Nutrition Advisory panel that dietary cholesterol isn’t a concern. In fact that report really created a conflict at home where I was pointing out how bad eggs really were, and then they came out with a report that said they are fine.
        Do we know what study(S) the Advisory Panel was relying on for their decision?

        1. Hey MikeOnRaw. Glad you saw that video! Have you seen any of the communication from Dr. Greger testifying at the DGFA meetings? It was just a few days back. This may help. I think he is at 2:06:00 . Another speaker is Dr. Barnard who address the issue at hand. He is probably like 15 min before Dr. Greger. He addresses the AHA/ACC report directly and Dr. Greger follows-up on it. Hope that helps!

          Thanks for your comments!

          1. Go Dr. Greger!

            Thanks for the link to this testimony. Also, thanks for pointing out the times that Dr. Barnard and Dr. Greger spoke. I would not have had the patience to find that myself.

        1. Perhaps. Most studies fail to separate organic vs non-organic. They both probably have the same amount of cholesterol and saturated fat, as seen with grass-fed organic beef and conventional beef.

      2. Don’t forget that just a few years ago the Harvard Physicians’ Study determined that that although infrequent egg consumption caused no detectable harm, eating just one egg a day would increase risk of both heart disease and all causes of mortality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18400720 In fact, there are thousands of other studies which say much the same thing, warning against regular consumption of eggs and cholesterol-bearing foods. How the nutritional advisory council can disregard all these studies and be so callously caviler with Americans’ health is beyond my comprehension. I’ll be maintaining my abstinence from animal products whether they or their sponsors in the food industry like it or not.

    1. Explorer: I’m not sure if you would get notified of this or not, but I posted about egg whites separately on this page. There are lots of compelling reasons to stay away from egg whites.

      1. Thanks Thea. You can always right click on a comment (on the time) and copy link address. You probably know that as you have been here a while :) either way is fine. I appreciate your input.

  2. In the United States, the vast majority of soybeans, 87 percent, are genetically modified organisms, also known as GMOs, according to GMO Compass. GMO soy is also found in up to 70 percent of food products in U.S. supermarkets, including cereals, breads, soy milk, pasta and meat.

    Have fun with your tofu – I’ll stick with pastured duck eggs.

  3. I thought high cholesterol foods were no longer a problem? Not that I want to eat eggs, but I tend toward high cholesterol and I’m still confused about it, sorry! If we don’t get high cholesterol from dietary cholesterol, as they now say, then how do we get it? Saturated fat? Is it just in our genes?

    1. Hi Susan, Cholesterol guidelines are a subject that many researchers are debating. We’ve known for a long time saturated fats boost cholesterol more than just dietary cholesterol. Dr. Greger discuss optimal cholesterol levels, here.

  4. In practically all poultry farms retroviruses, which are closely related to mouse mammary tumor retrovirus (MMTV), can be found. Laying hens have a high rate of ovarian tumors, but such tumors are uncommon in hens less than 2 years old. Oviductal and ovarian tumors are generally not differentiated, and genital tumors occur mainly in hens above the age at which most are slaughtered. In commercial poultry operations, hens are usually sacrificed after their first year as layers, aged between 22 and 24 months. Battery-egg laying hens attract retroviruses of mice on the grain stocks. Eggs are therefore permanently infected. Retrovirus secreting mice also come into contact with free-range chickens. Free-range chickens are often kept outdoors so that the risk of contamination through the pollution of food on the ground may be greater from mice feces. In the winter months, mice more than likely go to aviaries and poultry farms to collect scraps of food.

    Virus bearing and virus-secreting mice, cereals, chicken feed, poultry infection, vertical transmission of retroviruses via eggs and processing of raw protein in Bavarian cream and other confectionery products occur, man being the terminus. By consumption of undercooked egg- proteins, there is an increase of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer in humans.

    Humans are commonly exposed to potentially oncogenic viruses that naturally infect and are frequently endemic in animals, which are part of the food chain, such as laying hens, chickens and eggs.

  5. This is ridiculous! Eggs have been eaten in the human diet since agriculture was developed, and probably before. There is nothing wrong with eating eggs. Salmonella in eggs is from unhealthy living conditions, just avoid commercially grown and eat organic pasture raised. The world today is obsessed with “what’s healthy” that I believe they lost sight of what’s natural for our species and how we’ve developed into the master race over the last few million years, it wasn’t by watching cholesterol, counting calories and eating GMO/processed foods.
    – I don’t eat eggs because I had a stomach injury and can no longer digest them, but I do feed them to my family.

    1. Thanks Lena. You are certainly welcome to make any dietary choices as you see fit. Dr. Greger is simply reporting on the Egg industry. He is not saying we should or should not eat eggs. You make great points and I appreciate your comments!


    2. lena: re: “…what’s natural for our species…” I agree with you on that point. But the devil’s in the details. How do you determine what is natural? I can think of two good ways: 1) by looking at our biology, 2) by looking at which foods promote health and which foods promote disease.

      The problem with using history as your guide is that humans are not natural creatures in that we do lots of things, including eating, based on custom and availability, not biology. Then add in that we have so many years worth of history over such a wide variety of geographies and thus availability of food, that you have to be very careful about what lessons you take from looking as specific populations that lived a long time ago. It’s not that you can’t learn any lessons. But it does mean that you can’t conclude much with the simple idea that humans have been eating eggs for a long time. So? Humans in some populations have been dieing of heart disease and cancer for a long time too (while other populations avoid these diseases by eating extremely small amounts of eggs and other animal products). What humans have been doing for a time in and of itself is not a selling point.

      We do have answers to the two good ways of determining what is “natural for our species”. For a great primer on what our biology tells us concerning humans eating meat, check out:
      Humans Are Naturally Plant Eaters

      And for what science tells us about which foods promote health vs promote disease, you are in the right place. Keep watching videos and reading the articles. The more you take in, the more you will understand this point. Good luck.

  6. For people asking about egg whites, here is a repost from me, where I quote other people:

    There are two problems with eggs, the yolk and the white. (To paraphrase Dr. Barnard.)

    According to Wikipedia, here’s what’s in egg beaters:
    “”Egg Beaters is primarily egg whites with added flavorings, vitamins, and thickeners xanthan gum and guar gum. It contains no egg yolks.”

    Since egg beaters do not have egg yolks, the cholesterol issue is not in play. But egg whites are just as bad for you. Dr. Barnard talks about the problems that animal protein presents for kidney health. Other experts talk about the (strong in my opinion) link between animal protein and cancer. The question scientists then want to answer is: Is there a causal link? If so, what is the mechanism by which animal protein might cause cancer?

    If memory serves, Dr Campbell in The China Study mentions several ways in which we think that animal protein causes and promotes cancer. Here on NutritionFacts, you can get a great education on how animal protein is linked to the body’s over-production of a growth hormone called IGF-1. IGF-1 helps cancer to grow. To watch the series about IGF-1, click on the link below and then keep clicking the “next video” link on the button to the right until you get through the bodybuilding video. Then you will have seen the entire series.

    And Darryl recently reminded me about the methionine issue. Egg whites have *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:
    Dr. Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and cancer. So, there are two clear pathways linking animal proteins, especially egg whites, to cancer.

    Darryl also pointed out that, “…high methionine diets increase coronary risk in humans. In its associations with cardiovascular disease and other disorders, homocysteine may be functioning partly as a marker for the major culprit, excess methionine.”

    And while I can’t find it right now, I believe that Toxins has pointed out two other health issues with egg whites.

    Dr. Greger recently posted some videos on how animal protein can raise insulin levels. I’m not sure if that applies to egg whites or not. But here is one of the videos. I can’t find the other one.

    With all of the information we have about the harmful effects of animal protein in general and egg white in particular, I think it’s best to stay away from egg white. Why not get your protein from safe sources? Sources which are known to have lots of positive health effects and will naturally give you a balanced amount of protein? (ie: whole plant foods) Make sense?

    1. DuWayne: I don’t know specifically about “protecting the remaining pancreas”. What I can say is that Dr. Barnard has had great success in reversing Type 2 diabetes with a whole plant food based diet. (I presume the success he has seen involved protecting the pancreas, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean by that nor could I probably answer if I was.)

      Dr. Barnard wrote a book, complete with recipes, on this very topic if you are interested in learning more:

      Good luck.

  7. Hello,

    if hibiscus tea is great and green tea is amazing what do you think about the combenation of the tow in one cup? does the vitamin c in hibiccus halps for the absorption of the green tea nutriants ?

    is it the new best beverge ? :)

  8. Hmmm…just how BIG is the egg industry? Could their influence, ahem, have possibly swayed the recent “cholesterol decision” that will surely be another green light to gobble down still more tortured animals and their byproducts?

    1. I agree strongly with your
      comment. There is a book on how to control Cholesterol without diet.
      “Cholesterol Control Without Diet. The Niacin Solution” by W.
      B. Parsons. For more than 50 years, controlling Cholesterol has been
      easy, with the use of mega doses of Niacin (2-3 grams a day). This has
      also been lampooned by big business and big pharmacy, as being unpractical.
      Perhaps that is what the committee is trying to report. That high
      triglycerides, high LDL, low HDL, are all about a Niacin deficiency. Niacin
      therapy is no longer considered safe perhaps because of the flush and the risk
      of nausea if taking Niacin without food. Also, most people will have to step their way up to these doses, this is not considered practical by modern medicine. However, a vegan diet may not be
      as effective as the mega doses of Niacin, or maybe as effective. It seems
      that big business wants to have it all the way around. Surely the dairy
      industry, egg industry, and meat industry are horrified by the benefits of less
      meat consumption. Surely they would encourage people to use Niacin
      therapy to aid their blood test results. Did you know that nearly 2/3 of
      Americans have a milk intolerance? I was surprised to find myself among
      them (I found I am a candidate for Lactaid treatment, though), and I feel
      better when I eat less meat I am sure vegetarians at this site would love
      to present an alternative, which is also sunk by the modern money making
      machine, Niacin therapy can extend life of those with unhealthy diets and
      taking Chromium Picolinate may
      blunt any IGF-1 spike from eating animal protein.

      1. I am another one who cannot stomach milk, and have disliked it since I was a small child. My mom and I did daily battles over it because in the late 50’s you did not question authority, and mom ruled! LOL! I used to give away my school milk to a friend who promised he wouldn’t tell! I know this is disgusting, but for me it was like swallowing mucus! As I got older, I found I was lactose intolerant, no surprise there, and no tears either! I never liked meat either so being vegan works for me in a myriad of ways! I am healthier now than I was 20 years ago, and certainly lighter!
        Even being vegan, my cholesterol tends to be on the high side, so I do take niacin, I just have to watch the dosage because of the flushing! Thanks!

        1. Dr, Abram Hoffer found that Niacin can cure a myriad of mental disorders, including schizophrenia, some depression, anxiety, most kinds of addiction, and bipolar disorder in the early 1950s and six years later he found that this miracle drug is good for blood chemistry as well. Men and women who have done Niacin therapy for heart disease probably have very good emotions. Prescription Niacin has been proscribed to many people without any concerns for over 70 years. The American Psychological Association tried to discredit him and his journal in the 1970s, a decision that still stands to this day and to Wikipedia. He has treated thousands of patients successfully with the premise that they have a deficiency. The APA said that if patients respond to one gram of Niacin, possibly even for addiction, they had pellagra and were downgraded as being never mentally ill. Perhaps this is true. Perhaps one fourth of Americans have chronic pellagra and not mental illness and one third get this in each year. Niacin is stripped from our whole grains in refineries and we are supposed to eat 6-11 servings of this a day. Perhaps this was good too, we have more protein from milk, which has been good for mankind for the past 100 years. Speaking as a botanist, fertilizer for plants (is fertilizer cheating?) is just mineral nutrition, elements. What if there was fertilizer for people? According to Abram Hoffer, there is, and he worked to established what would fertilize people for different diseases. This is called Orthomolecular medicine. It is as alternative as nutrition therapy like that found at this site, but as profoundly beneficial. Main stream medicine, like that for cancer, involves using steroids, which are a kind of fertilizer, and radiation therapy, which in a way is a kind of addition that nutrition therapy harnesses, there are poisons in plants to foreign bodies called phytonutrients. Congratulations on your many years as a vegan. Would you be surprised to learn that Americans are deficient in many elements on average? I think it is possible to say of the 20-60 nutrients that are essential, that is, must be eaten, cannot be made by the body like Niacin and Vitamin C, Americans are deficient in most of them and these deficiencies are building in the form of chronic illness..

  9. The eggstraordinary lengths the egg industry resorts to polish the image of their beloved product of chicken menstruation borders on chickanery.

  10. I am a first grade teacher and everyday my students, all public school students, are exposed to every food group that you fight so hard to expose and discourage. I see the results of “food poisoning” every week. Students have all the symptoms of consuming unhealthy meals and results are found in poor academic performance. The problem seem so massive, what can be done to help change food laws in one of Americas largest institutions?

  11. The way our industrial farms raise our food is nothing less than a crime. If you refuse to buy eggs
    from these and only buy from local farmers or those who are cage free, there will be more humanely grown
    food and more nutritious and safer food. Eggs contain 6-7 grams of high quality protein each, one of the best food sources on the planet. If Chickens were allowed to eat their natural diet, eggs would be high in omega 3 fats. Cholesterol is needed by every cell in your body, especially the brain. The brain makes it own cholesterol, but statins stop this production, and cholesterol is such a large moleule that it can not cross the blood brain barier. What happens? Memory loss, dementia, etc. Elderly with the highest cholesterols live the longest….Check out Anthony Colpo’s book, THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL CON, and read the research findings on Cholesterol and heart disease. Why is it France enjoys such a low incidence of heart disease and has one of the highest intakes of Cholesterol and Saturated fat? Find out about Ancel Key’s, the great lier!
    How our Government adopted standards based on assumption and then tried to prove their hypothesis. 50 years of lies and billions of $ for the pharmaceutical industry. AND worst of all focusing on a lie and ignoring what really does make a difference. A high carbohydrate diet is a killer!! Stop eating sugar, and that low fat/high carbohydrate diet..it’s not working!! Stop Smoking, Exercise daily, Decreasing Stress, correct your Omega 3/6 ratio!, Eat more Omega-3 fats (Saturated fat intake helps improve Omega3 status and immune function, PUFAs suppress your immune system). Get adequate Magnesium, CoEnzymeQ10, Selenium, L-Carnitine and Nitric Oxide, Vitamin and minerals in the right amounts, GARLIC and a diet full of vegetables and fruits to provide the powerful phytonutrients our bodies need to stay healthy.
    The lie is being revealed, find out more:

    1. Anthony Colpo? LOL! On his blog and videos Plantpositive has slain Colpo’s bogus research and “theories” and totally laid to rest any doubts about WHY Keys opted to eliminate certain radically changed populations from his studies! Don’t believe what you WANT to read or hear, do the science! PLEASE, especially HERE! Other than that, a lot of what you say has validity, but some of it is just misinformation that the paleo crowd loves to re-chant, ad nauseum!
      Plants heal, animals are foreign proteins and harm us in many ways. Any benefits they confer can more easily be gotten from not killing a living being. A balance will help, but why not just go all plants? It is totally doable, stop kidding yourselves and spreading silly disinfo!

      1. The 77 pages of scientific references in The Great Cholesterol Con are quite credible. Colpo is not alone in his findings. I appreciate the reference to the plantpositive website. I will check it out. Thanks! I have yet to read anything good about Ancel Keys so it should be interesting. Eating animal flesh is not my thing either. I do free range eggs every once in a while……..and then NON-GMO organic plants. But the idea that cholesterol causes heart disease is like blaming the paramedic for the accident. My point isn’t to eat paleo, my point is we need to be looking elsewhere and quit wasting our money and lives on a lie. Stress, Sugar & obesity, PUFA, smoking, inactivity, environmental toxins, etc these are the killers.

        1. Your body would probably love to turn all the Cholesterol it makes into Vitamin D3. Too little time too little sunshine. The meatless diet can add more than 10 years to your life.

        2. I am in total agreement with you on the “killers” and I personally think the cholesterol issue is a smokescreen for eating animal products in general. Good, bad or indifferent, it only comes from animals, besides what we ourselves produce, the issue isn’t just cholesterol. Glad to hear you are primarily plant based too! The garbage they call our “food” supply is getting more frightening, it isn’t even food anymore, and it’s devastating when you see so many sick kids. We never heard of asthma, allergies, autism, and the list goes on, when I was a kid in school in the 60’s, but now the school nurses can’t keep up with doing out all the medications in my grandkids school! It really scares the bleep out of me!

      2. I think this person represents what most Americans eat and do. I like this site because it gives me hope that I am not going to get many chronic diseases and have lots of options in health. You will not find many friends here for your ideas that a plant based high carb diet is bad. This is not a pro paleo or Adkins site. Dr. Greger is hoping to instill healthier living in all Americans. I would say that rich people live longer and western Americans have less disease than the third world. I would also say our diet is a factor. I would say for the first time our children are not going to live as long as us, and this is when smoking is declining. Why are the wealthier healthier than the poor when the poor eat so much less meat? Well, if you lived in the depression according to one poster, your increased consumption of beans would mean you would live five years longer than any other time. Statistically, I would rather be rich than poor for my health. However, the rich are not the blessed of modern religion. Why are the poor not healthier if they are more blessed? Why do those who go to Harvard live longer than any other cohort group in the country? This disjunct keeps priests awake. If you work in the egg industry, eggs are probably a big factor in what nourishes America. I would say the FDA might say that it is okay to call an egg nourishing. I would also say that they are not something that is going to keep you alive into your 100s. Is this your goal? Eggs have fed Americans. Are they part of a complete diet? Maybe not according to the food groups the vegans of this site are drawing. It is possible that Cholesterol is made by the liver to fed something in the body that is not well fed by Cholesterol as Vegans, who do not eat cholesterol, still have cholesterol in their bodies. In this way, Cholesterol is not an essential element, but it is a nutrient on food labels. Vegans do not have any Cholesterol at all in their diet. .

  12. So what they do is focus on protein in eggs. But a recent study that I don’t think the egg industry had any part in hinted that eggs might help prevent type 2 diabetes. (You are aware I’m sure). What are your thoughts?

  13. I don’t get it. Eggs have always been a big part of my family’s diet. I’ve eaten eggs regularly my whole life. I do not have issues with cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. My health is very good and I still eat eggs daily. I don’t understand how they can be so bad for us.

    1. gsd: It’s possible that you are one of those people who are just lucky. I’m sure you heard of so and so who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day his entire life and lived to be 101. There are people like that. But that doesn’t mean that cigarettes are good for you. I just means that some people win the genetic lottery and do OK despite their smoking. But you know how many people win the lottery…
      I’m happy to hear that you consider yourself healthy. I do have some thoughts for you. 1) Eggs do not kill anyone after a day or a week or even a year of consumption. It is the slow buildup over decades that kill us. While it is never too late to eat healthy in terms of starting to lower one’s disease risks, it is easier to prevent a problem than to reverse one. Sometimes it is too late to stop a disease. The wise person eats healthy from the start.
      2) Sometimes the devil is in the details. Is your cholesterol *really* OK? Many doctors will tell their patients that their cholesterol levels are “normal” because their cholesterol levels are similar to the levels seen in the rest of the population. But when you are in a sick population where the number one premature killer is heart disease, “normal” is not a helpful measure. NutritionFacts has several videos that cover what human-normal cholesterol levels are and how we know what is human-normal and how protective it can be to have human-normal cholesterol levels. If you want to be heart-attack proof, you may want to find out your total cholesterol and LDL numbers. The typical goal given is 150 or less for total and 60-70 or less for LDL. Less (not zero, but less) may even be better. Here is the summary page for cholesterol if you want to learn more from Dr. Greger: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cholesterol
      3) There are only two problems with eggs: the yolk and the white. You are currently focusing on the yolk (cholesterol and saturated fat) and saying that it isn’t hurting you. But there are serious health risks with the white part of the egg as well. The white is strongly believed to be linked to increased disease risk, specifically cancer. I have a whole post I can share with you on the risks of egg whites if you want it. Just let me know.
      You may want to watch more videos on eggs than just this one. You can get good perspective that way. Here is the topic page for eggs: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/eggs
      Hope that this reply gives you some helpful perspective. I hope you stay healthy far into the future. Good luck!

  14. I haven’t read all the responses and replies so if this has been answered, forgive me. But all the info on how bad eggs are, is this the entire egg only? Is there a difference in the effects when you only eat the whites? Just looking for clarification.

  15. Hi Alexandra – I’m Janelle, a Health Support Volunteer for Dr. Greger and a Registered Dietitian. Thanks for your question! If you are interested in reading the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines in more detail, here is the link: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf.

    If you scroll to page 32 about dietary cholesterol, it states “people do not need to
    obtain cholesterol through foods”. It also states “The Key Recommendation from the 2010
    Dietary Guidelines to limit consumption of dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day is not included in the 2015 edition, but this change does not suggest that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider when building healthy eating patterns. As recommended by the IOM, individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible while consuming a healthy eating pattern. In general, foods that are higher in dietary cholesterol, such as fatty meats and high-fat dairy products, are also higher in saturated fats.”

    So although the formal recommendation for limiting cholesterol intake is no longer included in the current guidelines, it is still something that needs to be considered to promote a healthy diet. I hope this provides further insight to answer your question!

  16. I’ve been hearing an ad for Eggland’s Best and they say “Better taste and nutrition.” Aren’t they breaking the law? And if so, will someone please go after them?

  17. Hi Olivia, thanks for your comment. According to USDA law they can not claim nutritious on their ad. Perhaps you could write to them as a conscious consumer and include explanation that, according to the USDA, the egg industry “needs to steer clear of words like ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious.’”

    For a food to be labeled “healthy” under FDA rules, it has to be low in saturated fat (eggs fail that criteria) and have less than 90mg of cholesterol per serving (even half an egg fails that test).

  18. I am watching an egglands best commercial right now that says
    Better Taste
    Better Nutrition
    Better Eggs
    in tiny type compared to ordinary eggs. So discouraging.

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