How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies

Image Credit: Kate Ter Haar / Flickr. This image has been modified.

The Effects of Dietary Cholesterol on Blood Cholesterol

Blood cholesterol levels are clearly increased by eating dietary cholesterol. In other words, putting cholesterol in our mouth means putting cholesterol in our blood, and it may also potentiate the harmful effects of saturated fats, meaning when we eat sausage and eggs, the eggs may make the effects of the sausage even worse. If you eat the saturated fat and cholesterol found in two sausage and egg McMuffins every day for two weeks, your cholesterol would shoot up nearly 30 points. If you eat about the same amount of saturated fat without the cholesterol, some kind of cholesterol-free sausage McMuffins without the egg, what would happen? Now the egg would have saturated fat too; so, to even it out, we have to add three strips of bacon to the comparison. Same saturated fat but two-eggs-worth less cholesterol would bump us up only around five points. So, saturated fat may increase fasting cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol, but especially in the presence of dietary cholesterol.

And this is measuring fasting cholesterol, meaning the baseline from which all our meal-related cholesterol spikes would then shoot. Heart disease has been described as a postprandial phenomenon, meaning an after-meal phenomenon. Milky little droplets of fat and cholesterol, called chylomicrons, straight from a meal can build up in atherosclerotic plaques just like LDL cholesterol. So, what happens after a meal that includes eggs?

In my video How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies, you can see what happens to the level of fat and cholesterol in our blood stream for the seven hours after eating a meal with no-fat, no-cholesterol. There are hardly changes at all. But when you eat a meal with fat and more and more egg, triglycerides and blood cholesterol shoot up.

That’s the kind of data that’s bad for egg sales; so, how could you design a study to hide this fact?

What if you only measured fasting cholesterol levels in the morning, seven hours after supper? You wouldn’t see a big difference between those that ate eggs the night before and those that didn’t. As the lead investigator of a study which compared the cardiovascular health effects of smoking versus eating eggs pointed out, measuring fasting cholesterol is appropriate for measuring the effects of drugs suppressing our liver’s cholesterol production, but not appropriate for measuring the effects of dietary cholesterol. After a cholesterol-laden supper, our arteries are being pummeled all night long. Then, think about what’s happening during the day. There may be only four hours between breakfast and lunch. So, if we had eggs for breakfast, we’d get that big spike and by lunch start the whole cycle of fat and cholesterol in our arteries all over again. So, most of our lives are lived in a postprandial state, in an after-meal state, and the graph I show in the video shows that the amount of egg in our meals makes a big difference when it really matters—after we’ve eaten, which is where we spend most of our lives. So, that’s why when the Egg Board funds a study, they only measure fasting cholesterol levels of the next day.

Doctors are so used to testing fasting cholesterol levels to monitor the effects of drugs, they too often fall for these egg industry tactics hook, line, and sinker. Please share the video with anyone who tries to downplay the risks of eggs or dietary cholesterol in general.

The smoking study I mentioned can be found here: Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis.

For more videos on eggs for those who just desperately cling to egg industry propaganda, please see a few of my latest:

For another jaw-dropper as to the gall of corporate interests to use the veneer of science to downplay the risks of their products, check out BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol?

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review 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.

272 responses to “The Effects of Dietary Cholesterol on Blood Cholesterol

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  1. Thanks for the reminder to review “How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies”–lots of important stuff in there. Since blood cholesterol and triglycerides spike for 7 hours after a meal of saturated fat and cholesterol (eggs), for comparison what does postprandial cholesterol and triglycerides look like after meal of beans, grains, nuts, fruit and vegetables?

    1. Hi Julie,
      There would be no increase in postprandial cholesterol after a meal you described, since dietary cholesterol is only found in animal products. Nuts would cause some increase in postprandial triglycerides (depending on what kind, how many you ate, whether they’re roasted in oil, etc), whereas the beans/grains/fruits/vegetables are generally so low in fat (with exceptions such as avocado) that you’d see very little change in postprandial triglycerides from them. Please check out this link where Dr. Greger discusses postprandial arterial function after a high fat meal.

  2. So coconut should be fine to eat as long as there is no sources of cholesterol in the diet? A small increase in cholesterol, but it seems the meat, egg, etc. is the big cause?

    1. They say that dietary cholesterol and eggs yolks are not for people at risk of developing vascular disease. What they don’t really mention is the fact that the at-risk population is everybody who eats a diet that contains significant sources of cholesterol, saturated fat, and animal protein, so basically everybody who eat a standard diet.

      Bottom line, don’t eat eggs, they are bad for you, full stop!

      1. I cannot honestly say that I know much about the influence of K2 and magnesium on plaque. It seems that the current focus on the role of vitamin K2 in cardiovascular disease primarily concerns calcium regulation. K2 deficiency is reported to increase calcium deposition, ie arterial calcification. Similarly, research around magnesium deficiency tends to highlight cardiac arrythmia and ischemic heart disease as the areas of greatest concern.

        However, both have multiple effects that include affecting lipid metabolism in ways that influence plaque deposition. Below are some articles that you might find helpful. I have included two from the Life Extension Foundation magazine even though they are in the business of selling supplements. This is because I thought their summaries of the roles of K2 and magnesium in health were both short and informative (as long as one remembers they will stress the potential benefits of supplements). Their list of references is also useful.

        People on a WFPB diet will have no problem obtaining sufficient dietary magnesium. However, vitamin K2 may appear to be a challenge for vegetarians because the only DIRECT dietary source (excluding animal foods) appears to be natto. I’d nevertheless suggest reading Jack Norris’ take on this particular issue.

        1. Hi Tom

          Thanks for the links. I should have mentioned that I had done some research on it a few years ago and didn’t find much that was credible at that time except one pubmed study that talked about K2 from cheese. I remember reading about the Rotterdam study as well, where fermented cheese was found to be associated with a lower all cause mortality, especially heart attacks, and that this surprised researchers who said that they would have thought it would have increased the risk of a heart attack.

          I take a man-made K2 that is derived from some fermented something (not natto or anything usually mentioned. It creeps me out a little because it doesn’t sound like a natural product. There is a Jarrow brand one that is (I think) a liquid capsule from from natto. But the capsule is cow gelatin and has other bad coloring agents and things. I just noticed a new one ther other day at my Whole Foods Markete and I think I’m going to give that one a try. It’s a natto source in a clean looking capsule.

          In the meantime I’ll go through the links. I was hoping you were already a little familiar with it since I think you always have good insight into things.

          Thanks again, wherever you are. ;-)
          Mark G

    1. When I look around at people in public I’m always amazed at what the body can put up with, as it constantly tries to balance us out, given whatever nutrients it gets. But eventually it all catches up.

    2. About 1/3 of all heart attacks occur with a total cholesterol between 150-200 mg/dl. For many of these the first symptom is death. The only safe level, according to the 70 year Framingham Study, is below 150 mg/dl. My advice – get your will up to date. Best wishes.

      1. LOL! All my tests come back fine. Your looking in the wrong place. People have lived with high and low cholestrol for ever! Not so with high calcium levels and high unbound Iron and low ceruloplasmin.

        1. Yes, people are walking around with high and “low” (150-200) cholesterol levels who have never yet had a heart attack or stroke. However, they are setting themselves up to be “walking time bombs” as they are still at risk for a heart attack. Thank you, Dr Dave, for referencing the Framingham Study. Dr. Esselstyn also has helpful advice on his website

        1. Julia: From what I can tell, lower than 150 is not a risk for stroke. Here is a copy of an old post from Rami, one of our moderators: “Cholesterol can be as low as the 10 range and you will still live a perfectly healthy life. This is evident in those who have genetic disorders resulting in extremely low cholesterol, thus, the argument that below 150 is too low is simply untrue. I would see this video for the evidence.

          Darryl, another high-tecky poster once wrote the following, but I don’t have studies to back it up: “For heart disease and for ischemic (clotting) strokes, lower total and LDL cholesterol seems to always confer lower risk.”

          This is also from Darryl: “If I were to take a global snapshot of the population’s cholesterol, both the healthiest (on risk lowering plant based diets) and the sickest would have unusually low cholesterol. As the sick ones would have a high morbidity/mortality in the next few years, it might create the impression that low-cholesterol is a risk factor, whereas the causation is in the other direction (those with failing bodies produce less cholesterol). This problem of “reverse causation” is well understood in epidemiology, which is one reason you won’t find graphs like those linked in the peer-reviewed literature with claims that the healthiest cholesterol level is > 200 mg /dl.”

          While the following NutritionFacts video is talking about low cholesterol and cancer, it is still interesting and on the topic of low cholesterol: Can Cholesterol Be Too Low?

          I’m interested to hear Dr. Dave’s answer. I just thought I would share “mine” (where I’m really just quoting others) too.

        1. So the “egg board designing misleading studies” video did not sway your view on eggs? Sounds like you just don’t want to give up the unhealthy foods you love. Maybe a “flow mediated dilation” test can give you window into your artery health. I would ask your doctor for one. Cost about $300 bucks if you really want to see what your caked up arteries look like or maybe you don’t want to see and just keep on love’in your eggs for the time you have left. That’s a valid argument for some food addicts.

          1. OMG! It is Calcium that is the problem. EXCESS Ca. Low Magnesium and K2. Ca can’t be stored in the bones where it should go because it of low Mg and K2, so it freely hangs out in the blood and gets transported to the weak spots like artery walls, Kidneys as Kidney stones and Gall stones and joints. Get plenty of Mg and K2 for proper Ca storage in bones. I am not concerned by cholestrol at all. It is not the real problem. Playing with it like doctors do with statins and you will be dead soon enough. And have fun with the symptoms!

            But I am sure you take allot of Ca! Keep it up!

        2. One thing I will mention are a couple friends of mine. My son in law a 6′ 180 lb 34 years old guy at the time out of the blue had a heart attack. Dr. found allot of blockage and could do nothing but suggest change in diet and specific supplements. What was he eating that could cause all the blockage? His diet for 10 years was mainly a large cheese pizza daily 6 out of 7 days a week for all those 10 years! He ate the whole large pizza!

          Then recently a friend, male age 68 about 6′ 200 lbs had a heart attack and stents put in. We had dinner out a few weeks ago and I asked how he was doing. He said fine, so I asked what his diet was. He said he drank allot of milk and other dairy daily and for many years!

          See where this is going? Dairy and what is in dairy? CALCIUM. Cheese, CALCIUM and both contain Fat too. But without Magnesium and Vitamin K2, that calcium will not get stored in the bones and deposits in other areas. Is it the fat? Maybe contributes in combination. But the lack of important minerals makes me think that is the problem.

          I drink or eat very little dairy. I eat very little grain. I eat no sugar and no artificial sweeteners. Meat off and on but eat allot of veggies and some fruit. I drink very little Alcohol and no soda or any processed or man made drinks, but drink 100 OZ water daily.

          The point is, both these people ate a diet high in Calcium and fat. One ate allot of grains and the other I don’t know. So common sense suggests to eliminate most dairy and anything high in calcium but get your calcium that is in green leafy veggies and keep it on the low side. Calcium/ Mg go together like Potassium/Sodium do. Get your minerals tested properly and know your mineral status and how to get it correctly balanced and this will go a long way towards a healthy body!

          1. Dairy contains calcium AND cholesterol AND saturated fats so it is just a deadly combo for CVD for most people.
            Eggs, who also contain all of the above, are not as benign as you make them look like.

    3. ‘Not dying’ is not a proof of anything. I see people that eat pure junk and are still alive. They don’t die right away. Instead, they live poorly compared to others.

    4. “…after eating eggs every week….” At first I read that as every DAY, but no, Alan wrote every week. Maybe Alan eats ONE egg “every week”?

  3. All the new literature suggests that you need cholesterol to make Vitamin that not correct? With that in a society that has massive amounts of Vitamin D deficient individuals..wouldn’t we want to keep our cholesterol in an optimum range..whatever that is? I thought that there was a study that disproved high cholesterol being a major factor in heart attacks? Could be wrong but I believe many autopsies done on heart attack patients had low cholesterol as opposed to high. I have low blood pressure and 2 autoimmune diseases and my cholesterol is slightly elevated. My ENDO put my numbers in some database which churned me out as a 1% risk.

    1. That is correct – our bodies do use cholesterol to make Vitamin D, as well as certain hormones. Cholesterol is also in the membranes of all of our cells (as well as every other animal) However, cholesterol is a non-essential nutrient. That means our liver can make all the cholesterol we will ever need to use. When we eat cholesterol from outside sources (meats, eggs, dairy) or when we eat excessive amounts of saturated fats (oil, for example) our blood cholesterol levels become too high which leads to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and multiple other cholesterol-related conditions. If you do not consume animal products and avoid oils or other fatty foods – meaning you consume a whole food, plant-based diet, you should have a safe cholesterol level of <150mg/dl and still have all the cholesterol you need to perform the functions listed above. I hope that answers your question.

      1. “cholesterol is a non-essential nutrient. That means our liver can make all the cholesterol we will ever need to use”

        Very well said. =) Thank you.

      2. I am a whole food plant based, no oil, low fat vegan. I am not trying to say that is not the best way to eat. But in the interest of science and truth, my cholesterol is high in spite of the way I eat. More confounding than that, it is almost perfect when I eat the standard American diet. What am I supposed to do with those facts? The first time I ate this way back in 1989 and got told my cholesterol was high, I went back to my original way of eating. Gained weight, got sick, etc. I have been eating this way now for 3 years, lost 60 lbs, reversed diabetes and I think congestive heart failure and yet my cholesterol is high. I may be the only one in all humanity to whom this happens but I doubt it. I have to assume there are pieces of the puzzle missing from what we think we know about this subject. Also I got my arteries checked by ultrasound and they are CLEAR of plaque. So what you say SHOULD happen doesn’t always. Just thought you should know.

          1. Yes but I pay for this test and if left to the doctor, I would be scared into taking statins, not knowing the state of my arteries. Even though I know I don’t have plaque, still I read how cholesterol damages organs and makes me feel nervous. I do wonder if they are stiff but I don’t know how to find out or what to do about it if they are because, see, I also have high blood pressure. But there is no way I can believe people were created or evolved to need statin drugs or any other kind, for that matter.

            1. Wilma: I believe there is some test that can measure how flexible? your arteries are and how much plaque is sticking to them. I don’t remember the name(s) of the tests, though. Hopefully someone can jump in with that information if you are interested.

            2. “Even though I know I don’t have plaque”…” I also have high blood pressure.”

              The way I see it, high blood pressure is a strong indicator of ‘plaque’.

        1. How is your vitamin D level Wilma? Because a negative correlation between high cholesterol and low vitamin D is known, which is logical at least in theory because the body makes vitamin D from cholesterol and when the body can’t make enough vitamin D due to underexposure to sunlight, to compensate the body would make more cholesterol hoping to increase the conversion.

          1. My doctor hasn’t tested it lately but it was low. Isn’t everyone’s? Dr. McDougal says that taking vitamin D can be harmful. I have followed him for over 30 years and have never yet found him to be wrong. I did go to tanning salon and also in summer lay out as much as I can. Will do the same this summer. I will ask my doctor to test again after summer.

            1. Have you considered two grams a day of Niacin for high cholesterol? It has been used by over 50 million people for this purpose. It is in many ways superior to any statin. Thank you. You clearly are very health conscious.

              1. Matthew, I had forgotten about niacin. TWO GRAMS?? I have a huge bottle of those pills – I was taking them for some reason that I can’t remember. I started low with 100 mg and was trying to work up to 1000 mg,, which I read was the goal. Also same source said you had to use the kind that causes flushing or it is useless. I accidentally took 1000 mg instead of what I thought was 100 mg and I honestly thought I was going to die. I haven’t taken them since. I guess I could go back to the drawing board. I’m not really convinced that my high cholesterol is bad – if you look at the components. Triglycerides 66 (very good), HDL 96 (very good) LDL 134 (160 high, 129 near optimal). I guess LDL is the only one I would want to lower.

                1. You have superior cholesterol numbers. I am taking high dose niacin to treat schizophrenia in me. My mental health disorder was so similar to pellagra. It works in me to a large degree. Dr. Hoffer, the man who invented vitamins as therapy, died. It is a sad day for medicine. He said he wanted to train more doctors to use vitamins, boasting of his ninety percent recovery rate. I believe his work is a live and well in I am sorry this site takes a no supplement stance. I think at the very end. Dr. Greger will tell us all we need Iodine. Even vegans, and vegans especially, need Iodine. Doesn’t that mean we all do? I would love to spread the word about Niacin. I am sorry the flush was hard for you. Niacin treats pellagra. You are superior.

          2. I suspect that IF people really are low on D (doubting), it is more to do with the daily shower than blood cholesterol. It is the cholesterol ON the skin where D is made. Possibly, cholesterol washed off, no D.

        2. Same with me:
          on the standard American diet, either fasting or not, my cholesterol was around 200, triglycerides were a bit above the norm limit,170.
          I was eating 3 eggs per day, 5-7 days a week, for at least 15 years. But not much meat, a lot of fish.
          Sugar, either fasting or not, was never above 100. I ate fruits 2 hours before blood test, and it came out as 95.

          Now, after being vegan for 10 month, my fasting cholesterol is 213, fasting triglycerides shoot up to 412 (norm is <150). Fasting Sugar got to 103.
          I take suppl D and B12, They are in norm.
          What is wrong here?

          1. Interesting. Thought I’m the only vegan havin “high” cholerstol. Mine is at 224 mg/dl, while HDL is at 43, LDL at 147 and trygliceride at 168. I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years now and I’m trying to eat as healthy as possible. Almost no sugar in my diet and hardly any processed stuff. But what’s interesting about this is, that around 14 months ago my LDL was at 128, HDL at 49, so 194 mg/dl cholesterol. Maybe there are differences if you check it at another lab. Also, I read you musn’t eat 13h before they take your blood…usually they tell you not to eat anything the evening before. That might as well be just 8 or 9 hours…

            1. I am usually fasting for more than 13H (from 6pm to 10 am next morning) and I do Blood Tests at 2 different labs.
              I think everyone has his own genes. Mine were good to me so far, so I don’t fight the nature – let its be.

          2. I suspect you are ApoE 4/4 carrier which makes you having elevated cholesterol levels.
            If your triglycerides are this (sky) high you seem to gorge on fast carbs (fruit juices as opposed to whole fruit?).
            Swap high-GI with low-GI foods , add extra fiber, 1g instant release niacin (endure the flush) and re-test in 3-4 months.

            1. Beware that advice about the 1 g of niacin, work up to it gradually. When I accidentally took a gram, I couldn’t breathe or felt like I couldn’t and suffered very hot, very itchy-tingly skin. I felt soo bad I thought I might really die.

          3. Not an expert but due to advice from Dr. McDouigall, I would suggest you stop the vitamin D (which is really a hormone) and see if that helps.

              1. From Cleveland Clinic: our total blood cholesterol is a measure of the cholesterol components
                LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, HDL (high-density
                lipoprotein) cholesterol, and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein, which
                is the triglyceride-carrying component of lipids). Total cholesterol
                values cannot be interpreted in the absence of the cholesterol
                components listed below.

                1. I’m sure there are people in this group who can explain what that means, but I know you don’t count HDL, LDL AND triglycerides. I just got extensive blood work back yesterday and my total cholesterol (176, down from 211 a year ago) is actually a few points LESS than my HDL and LDL added together. If I added in the triglycerides the total would be 249. Of course, they break the fractions down much further than they used to, and they have added in a lot of other items under the lipids profile. I don’t understand what they all mean. But my doctor was thrilled that so many of my numbers have improved considerably since last spring.

                    1. There’s still something weird going on, When I do that calculation my total cholesterol comes out 20 points higher than reported. Maybe different labs use different calculations, but it seems like something that would be standardized.

                    2. It would probably be easier to email her. I could ask exactly how total cholesterol is measured, though it doesn’t seem to be too important to know that number. Mine was broken down into so many types of LDL and HDL that I have no idea of the meaning of each.

                    3. I’m not convinced that any of it is that important but I have heard of HDL (only one kind) and LDL and VLDL (low and very low) and that’s the only types I have heard of. Some people think fluffy vs non-fluffy is important so maybe that is also included. Good luck figuring it out.

                    4. My report doesn’t even show VLDL. Under Lipids it shows: Total Cholesterol; LDL-C Direct; HDL-C; Non-HDL-C;

                      Under Lipoprotein Particles and Apolipoproteins it shows: Apo B; LDL-P; Small LDL-P; sdLDL-C; Apo A-1; HDL-P; HDL2-C; ApoB:Apo A-1 Ratio; Lp(a).

                      It’s all a mystery to me.

          1. Well I was just looking at my diet (which I keep a running record of) in 2008 to 2011. I tried to stay away from transfats – used butter not margarine, used grapeseed oil to make my own mayonnaise, ate mostly whole foods but was not vegan. I avoided starches.

        3. You are not alone. I am WFPB, minimal oil, exercise regularly, and my cholesterol is consistently in the 190’s fasting. It is extremely discouraging. I eat this way mostly for ethical reasons, so it doesn’t make me want to go back to the SAD, but it is frustrating anyway. I am hypothryroid a bit, on a low amount of synthroid, and that may be part of it, and maybe the rest is genetic. I really don’t know.

          1. Did I say I am hypothyroid? I take Armour Thyroid. Thyroid is related to cholesterol in some way for sure. Just not sure of all the science or what can or should be done about it.

        4. Me too, LDL is up and TSH too. I’ve been supplementing iodine but the jury’s still out. I do have ApoeE 3/4. Will try niacin next.

          1. Suggestion: look up Stop The Thyroid Madness. There is quite a lot online about that book, which I’ve been meaning to read. Bottom line: TSH is the worst possible thing to go by when checking thyroid.

        5. Somes studies have proove that cholesterol is not harmfull for the body (that why we produce our own). For my part i think high cholesterol is not a “pathology” but an effect on a other “pathology”. Cholesterol is apparently used for repair somes damages in the body. So high cholesterol is not a danger but a sign of other pathology… I think cholesterol drop on a vegan diet not because the cholesterol free diet but because the less inflamation…

          1. Amo: You wrote: “Somes studies have proove that cholesterol is not harmfull for the body (that why we produce our own).” I explained in the previous post found here: that the studies claiming that cholesterol is not a problem are bad/invalid studies. You can learn more from that other post.
            Here I will address your point about the body making our own cholesterol. Please note that no one is claiming that all cholesterol found in the body is bad. What the science is telling us is that excess cholesterol in our body is bad. We know that people who have total cholesterol of 150 or below and LDL of 70 or below do *not* get heart attacks. And above 150/70, people do get heart attacks. This is very clear data. The right amount of cholesterol is good. Too much is bad.
            How do you make sure your body keeps the healthy amount of cholesterol, the amount we are born with? By eat a whole plant food diet. When people stray away from a whole plant food based diet, their cholesterol levels go into the unsafe range.
            Think of it this way: Your body is made up of water and needs water. So, yes, water is good for us. But even too much water can kill us. We need the right amount of water to be healthy. Hope that makes sense.

    2. Maureen: To expand a bit on part of what Stephanie was talking about and responding to your statement: ” I thought that there was a study that disproved high cholesterol being a major factor in heart attacks?” No, this is not true if “high” is defined in a sane way. People get heart attacks in the 150-200 range but that *is* “high”, because it is the range in which heart attacks still occur. A *safe* level as Stephanie described it (or “low” level if you prefer that term) is below 150. That’s the range which you are born with and the range in which you would stay your whole life if you ate a healthy diet. We know this because we can test babies and because there are populations for which their cholesterol levels do not go higher than birth. There’s a NutritionFacts video about this. Somewhere… (So many videos now, it can be hard to find that perfect one.)

      1. What about people who have heart attacks above the 200 range or don’t they? And people below 150 really don’t have heart attacks? I wish they would do a study on plaque versus cholesterol. They are not synonymous. What do you think is more important, low cholesterol or no plaque with high cholesterol? Not to mention oxidized versus not. I get tested by ultrasound to see if my arteries have plaque. I think that is more important and useful to know than what my cholesterol is.

        1. Wilma: It’s my understanding that about 2/3s of heart attacks occur in people above 200, with the remaining third occurring in people with total cholesterol between 150 and 200. That statistic/percentage breakdown may not be 100% correct, but I’m guessing it is close enough for this dicussion. And it explains one of the reasons why Dr. Greger suggests that we all (though I think you may be an exception) try to get our cholesterol below 150. Because below about 150 is the level that most of us are born with and is the level that is generally heart-attack-proof. (Of course, there is no doubt the extremely rare example of someone with a heart problem below 150. But the 150 or so number is generally the safe upper number for most of us.)
          But that does *not* mean that just because your number is above 150 that you *will* have a heart attack. It just means that the risk goes up for the average person. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t know how much science there is to back it up, but some people believe that a person who is on a low fat, whole plant food diet doesn’t need to worry about cholesterol levels, because they are not likely to have a heart attack. Again, though, I’m not quoting from a study. So, please keep that in mind.
          It is interesting to me that you make the distinction between plaque and cholesterol. I looked it up on WebMD (not my favorite or most trusted source, but seems like a safe bet for this basic kind of medical question). The following page shows some distinction, but they are also very interrelated. Consider this quote: “Cholesterol plaques form by a process called atherosclerosis. … LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’ is the raw material of cholesterol plaques. Progressive and painless, atherosclerosis grows cholesterol plaques silently and slowly. The eventual result is blocked arteries, which places blood flow at risk.” from
          I interpret this quote to mean that cholesterol can get stuck on the artery walls and start to build up. And it is at the point that cholesterol sticks to the artery walls that we can change the name a bit and call the cholesterol, “plaque.” So, I can see your point about wanting to see how much plaque you have on your artery walls as being more important than your high cholesterol given your very interesting case. And I totally agree with you. I think that was one of the points I was trying to make in a previous post. a) If you are eating a diet of low fat whole plant foods and b) if your cholesterol is still high because of genetic reasons despite your healthy diet and c) if your arteries look clean, then you really should not be stressing about your cholesterol levels. Says the non-medical lay person. (But you did ask. :-) )
          Thank you for your post as it caused me to do some thinking. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your arteries look clean as a whistle! Given your worry over the topic, I think you are very wise to get this test done.

    1. veg_runner: I respond with my jaw dropping to the floor.

      I know you are looking for actual suggestions on the best replies. But really, ti is very hard for me to wrap my head around such thinking. If Dr. Greger changed the date of his video, would your group come up with another excuse? Or would they actually have to take note?

      The problem in generation a response, in my opinion, is that the reply is not a 30 second sound bite. It has to do with the conflicts of interest within the government (other videos here on NutritionFacts), and likely that media report getting things wrong (deliberately or not) about the government report, and the government report being based on the same misleading studies that Dr. Greger is talking about. But for someone who doesn’t want to hear it, explaining all this will just sound like a wild conspiracy theory.

      I hope someone else has some better ideas than me. I’m very interested to hear how others would respond.

      1. My jaw did hit the floor. The proof is there but they don’t want to hear it because Mr. Nutritionist/Dietitian/Gov Agency say they’re good for you. I did point out the conflict. Even going back to the bird flu that hit the prior summer and caused higher prices. It would be a perfect time to capitalize.

      2. The most recent reply: I’m a nutritionist and will tell you that dietary cholesterol in eggs and shellfish do not clog your arteries like saturated and Trans fats. Lots of research has proven this. Genetics and bad fats are much more impactful. Also eating soluble fiber will help remove bad fats from your blood stream. Eggs got a bad rap that is being disproven with modern research. Enjoy!!

        1. If nothing else, does it blow your mind that a “nutritionist” acknowledges that saturated fat is particularly bad for one’s cholesterol, but doesn’t seem to know that eggs are high in saturated fat? Or that all the food sources which have cholesterol also happen to have a large amount of saturated fat? Or that animal sources of food have trans fats? *Etc.* The amount of ignorance in that reply just takes my breath away.

          If I have time, I’ll look up some studies for you that shows a link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. But if I don’t have time, I’m pretty sure Dr. Greger has at least one video including that information. And Plant Positive covers the topic in detail: The challenge is finding those particular bits of information in Plant Positives vast coverage of the general topic.

          1. Wait: I just had a chance to read the blog above. Dr. Greger points to at least one of those studies in the links above and it’s his opening point. There is no modern research to disprove these points. There is only other faulty research leading to incorrect claims.

        2. I’m a registered dietitian and it frustrates me when dietitians ignore the mountains of holistic evidence that implicates animal products as a major cause of chronic disease.

          Here is how I would respond to that nutritionist.

          Why I Continue to Avoid Animal Products

          Back in 1993, upon the conclusion of the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, T.Colin Campbell hypothesized that instead of indicting fat as the sole nutrient responsible for contributing to diseases such as a heart disease, cancer and diabetes – as has been the trend of many Western researchers – they should consider that “an improper balance of `animal’ to `plant’ foods is the chief cause”. He went on to state that his hypothesis relies on “overwhelmingly compelling observations” that the nutritional characteristics of animal-based foods such as meats and dairy products may enhance degenerative diseases while plant foods may protect against them”

          The research of Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. and Dr. Neal Barnard certainly supports Dr. Campbell’s hypothesis. The results of the China-Cornell-Oxford Project have been instrumental in helping many Americans become as healthy as the rural Chinese in the 1980s.

          As China has become more industrialized, they are eating more like Americans and are beginning to see large increases in cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

          How unfortunate that China did not heed the warnings of Dr. Campbell about the dangers of a diet high in animal protein.

          What’s happening in China further supports my decision to eliminate, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and extracted oils.

          I would then direct her to this article that shares how well I’ve done the past 7 years on a an egg-free, meat-free and dairy free WFPB diet.

      3. You are so right Thea. People need to hear good news about their bad habits, and will challenge anything that doesn’t support what they WANT to be true, regardless of how recent or scientific. I was trying to explain to someone I know who was recently diagnosed with heart disease why he should consider taking a dietary approach instead of counting on the pills and surgery route. He laughed sarcastically and said that’s what he pays his doctor for, and anyway, every week “they” contradict what they swore by the week before, so it’s just a waste of time. I tried to explain how we are intentionally confused and misled knowing the end result will be exactly what he just said… people get so confused and frustrated they just give up, so better for profits all around. He rolled his eyes up in his head, did a face-palm, and said, “Great, another conspiracy theory!” And he knows my story! So frustrating.

    2. Yep the old con game of bait and switch is alive and well with the Egg Board. And they are aided and abetted in their criminal activity by the commercial press who don’t care what they print as long as they can make money by doing it.

      My response is that eggs aren’t just packets of cholesterol. There are plenty of other things in eggs that will damage your health, saturated fat, choline (which is converted to TMA by gut bacteria and then to TMAO (an even more strongly associated with heart disease than cholesterol is) by the liver), and animal proteins with their high sulfur content contributing to a very high acid load on your system (with impacts on bone, kidney and liver health). Eggs are held up as if they were the ideal food, but only if by ideal you mean ideal at damaging your health.

      I would then add to that by saying dietary cholesterol does indeed have a significant impact on blood cholesterol in the hours following a meal and only returns to baseline after an overnight fast (which is when they took their measurements). And even then only if you have elevated cholesterol to start with. The egg industry researchers, that gave a “scientific” fig leaf the USDA could hide behind, had no interest in finding out what the impact of the cholesterol in eggs (or even more so eggs as a whole food) have on healthy. They were paid to help find ways to sell more eggs.

      1. Jim: So many of your posts are just awesome! I love how you take the time to write such well thought out and intelligent responses. You are a great addition to this community.

        1. Thai, Thanks for the kind words. It is either write comments here or keep it all bottled up inside and watch my BP go through the roof. So I look at my comments as therapy.

  4. Dietary cholesterol is what sent me to a plant based diet. My brother got me on a popular diet where I ate two dozen eggs a week. A few weeks later I got my physical and my total cholesterol shot up about 40 points to 242. My doctor got all excited and prescribed me double statins (40 mg of simvistatin) and my cholesterol dropped about a 100 points and declared me out of the danger zone. I tried to tell him that I stopped eating eggs but he just didn’t get it. The statins were making me so tired so I dropped them and now my cholesterol is in the 160’s. My brother who is 6 years older than me is still eating eggs and taking Crestor just had another heart scan and it showed that even with Crestor his arteries are getting more clogged although at a smaller rate. I have not had another heart scan because I am afraid of the radiation but I feel my heart is better than ever. All those things they tell you have happened to me, I have lost weight, feel better, and have better blood flow in my body. Thank you so much for what you do. Plant based since February 2009.

    1. Hi David. Congratulations on changing your diet. If you haven’t already, you might want to also check Dr. McDougall or something by Dr Dean Ornish (who showed reversal of coronary heart disease on his protocols. DrMcDougall advocates a start based WFPB diet with no oil and very little fat from nuts or seed or other whole foods. In this way, you can one cholesterol their lower cholesterol & triglyceride potential. Some plant based doctors recommend an approach like Dr McDougall’s in order to clear out the arteries. Then, after several months, people can go on a “maintenance” diet, more like what Dr Greger advocates for.

      As for me, I like Dr McDougall’s starch based diet, but I also like to eat the most nutritionally dense foods I can. So I combine Dr G and Dr McD. Plus, after seeing Dr McD’s video on youtube about cancer, which includes a segment around the 15 min mark where he shows the increased risk of cancer from consuming any kind of man-extracted oil (ie, olive, corn, canola, etc) I won’t touch the stuff.

      Anyway, if you continue with a WFPB diet I don’t think you’ll need another radiation scan.
      Mark G.

      1. Dr McDougall got me to eat a few pieces of potato every day this last winter with my “greens and beans” to boost my caloric intake. One note about triglycerides I just had my lab tests done a couple of months ago and I was always puzzled by my triglyceride level (about 157) but last year I started taking iodine supplements ( I had signs my iodine was low) and my triglycerides dropped clear to 87

          1. We have a Natural Grocers here in town and I just get the cheapest they have. I was taking the tablets but I recently ran out and I got Liquid iodine Plus by Life-flo. 150 mcg a day. Its pretty rare you know to be iodine deficient. A person has to not eat any prepared foods and not put any salt on the food they eat. As I understand it also takes a while for iodine to be depleted in the body. So I looked it up for this post and I found what seems to be a good article on this subject.


            it appears that according to them I lucked out. They seem to like an iodine supplement that has both iodine and iodide in it.

            1. It’s not rare to be iodine deficient, especially vegans. Some advocate a much higher dose. The studies that show problems with higher doses are usually short term case studies. It can take a long time to replenish supplies. If you take iodine make sure to get enough selenium. The entire body needs iodine, not just the thyroid.

          1. We have a Natural Grocers here in town and I just get the cheapest they have. I was taking the tablets but I recently ran out and I got Liquid iodine Plus by Life-flo. 150 mcg a day. Its pretty rare you know to be iodine deficient. A person has to not eat any prepared foods and not put any salt on the food they eat. As I understand it also takes a while for iodine to be depleted in the body. So I looked it up for this post and I found what seems to be a good article on this subject.


            it appears that according to them I lucked out. They seem to like an iodine supplement that has both iodine and iodide in it.

        1. Have you considered high dose Niacin for triglycerides? Two grams a day? Niacin does wonders for mood disorders as well. Niacin can cut triglycerides in half. You should beware of the Niacin flush.

          1. One note about triglycerides I just had my lab tests done a couple of months ago and I was always puzzled by my triglyceride level (about 157) but last year I started taking iodine supplements ( I had signs my iodine was low) and my triglycerides dropped clear to 87

            1. Congratulations on dipping or dropping. Iodine supplementation profoundly regulates and normalizes your heartbeat. You are not alone. In many movies I see people who seem to be French explaining the benefit of dipping lost to history. You are not alone in dipping. They seem so forlorn. So lonely. So profoundly gifted, so willing to remember, so mocked, so understood. You who have taken Iodine supplements are part of an elite cadre who know that it has many benefits, including heart benefits and benefits to pain and goiter. Congratulations on your Iodine supplementation. It causes emotional healing. You may be reviled for it. It seems that Christ says the reviled are blessed. You are blessed in that way.

        2. Wow. That’s really interesting. I’m going in for my annual physical in a few weeks. I’ll ask my doctor to check my iodine level, as he does my B12. I don’t think I’ve ever checked it before. I’ve been using some of that kelp flakes that you sprinkle on things like salt to get your daily iodine. But I don’t like that it’s imprecise. I’m thinking of switching to a tablet, but I worry about the man made stuff because so much of it is synthetic or full of harmful fillers and blah blah blah.

          I love a good yukon gold (yellow skinned) potato but they either sprout or turn green so quickly (making them toxic) that I was reluctant to eat them often. Then I watched a few of Dr Gregers videos on whether or not potatoes cause cancer and are safe. The only “potatoes” I know eat are sweet (purple are my favorite). And since sweet potatoes are much more nutritious, and also favorites of Dr McDougall, I’ve made that change. But I sometimes still miss a yukon gold topped with a little organic nutritional yeast (no synthetic vitamins added).

          Mark G

  5. How does this information go with the new dietary recommendations (I might not remember the name correctly, they were published in the end of 2015), which says that dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern any more?

    1. It is related to the fact that the USDA is a political organization long before it is a scientific organization. So the dietary recommendations that come out of it are first and foremost political documents and only health document if the recommendations can be phrased so as not to threaten the income of the animal and processed food corporations they represent.

      As Dr. Greger said above dietary cholesterol doesn’t affect your blood cholesterol but only if you measure cholesterol after an overnight fast (ie no breakfast before your test) and already have elevated cholesterol to start with (throwing more matches on a burning fire doesn’t make it burn much higher). So if you slant your study just right, like the egg industry does, to only include people already suffering from the effects of a poor diet then additional dietary cholesterol won’t make them terribly sicker. This then gives the industry operatives in the USDA the cover they need to remove cholesterol from the list of problematic nutrients.

      Now note, industry will use the standard sleight of hand these jokers usually practice to make the statement that eggs are now healthy to eat as if cholesterol was the only thing in eggs that impacted health. Do you see how this con works?

  6. I love reading these articles but I wonder if more studies
    are needed. Last April I had a physical. I was overweight at 264 pounds (which
    I knew) and my total cholesterol came back at 268. I started an Atkins type low
    carb diet on April 23 and begin to lose weight after only a week on the diet. I
    have been following the low carb approach about 95% of the time since then. I
    recently had another physical and since starting the diet, my weight has went
    from 264 pounds down to 224 pounds. My total cholesterol has went from 268 down
    to 201. How can this be if eating eggs raises cholesterol in all people? I eat
    eggs about three or four days per week. Also, last year my C-Reactive protein
    level was slightly elevated but is now completely normal. My doctor has advised
    me to continue with my current diet but wants to repeat my blood work in three

    1. Greg: It is known that just losing weight by any means lowers cholesterol in people. It sounds like your weight loss effect is (at least for now) outweighing the effect of eating the eggs and other food choices on your low carb (yikes!) diet.

      Something to think about: there are all sorts of ways to lose weight. Some are healthy and will lead to long term health. Some ways of losing weight are not healthy and can have long term negative health consequences. People who get cancer often lose weight (and lower their cholesterol levels). But that’s not a good thing long term…

      There are several videos and articles on this site about the Atkins/paleo diet. I invite you to check them out.

      1. I should add: If you would like pointers on how to lose weight in a healthy way and maximize your chances (there are no magic bullets) of long term health, I have some great ones to share! Just let me know.

        1. Wilma: I believe you. But it is also well known that when people lose weight, they tend to have their cholesterol go down. I’m not surprised that there is an outlier (congratulations?). I’m just talking about trends / well known phenomenon. I’m helping Greg to understand his situation. I’m not saying anything about yours.

          Please note that talking about the typical relationship between weight and cholesterol does not mean I am discounting your experience. I do believe you. And I feel for you too. How frustrating to be eating a healthy diet and get better in so many areas only to have one key indicator get worse. My advice wold be to focus on what Julie was getting at – that cholesterol levels are just one indicator. There are other indicators that you could look at–if you felt it was even worth it. I heard a speaker recently say something like, “If you are eating a low fat whole plant food diet, you don’t need to worry about cholesterol levels, because your cholesterol is not going to oxidize…” I don’t know how true that is. But maybe that idea is something for you to work with.

    2. Greg: Congratulations on your weight loss. Now it is time to kick it up to the next level with a trial of whole-food, plant-based diet. A cholesterol of 201 is much better than 268, but it leaves you at high risk of advancing heart disease. The goal should be a total cholesterol under 150 that studies reviewed on this website show is a threshold below which heart disease and especially heart attack just don’t seem to happen. And if you don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you since you haven’t been diagnosed with heart disease, autopsy studies show that 95% of people eating a western diet rich in animal foods have atherosclerosis (visible plaques and varying degrees of artery blockages) by the time they are in their 20s, with steady progression as we age. Most don’t know that because their disease isn’t yet bad enough to land them in the doctor’s office with angina or worse the ER with a heart attack. But arterial disease is in nearly all us.

      As for your C-Reactive protein being normal, the question is normal relative to what. You have to be very careful with US doctors definition of normal since they mostly compare to you to others in a sick population. Even today most doctors will say that a cholesterol level of 200 is “perfectly normal”. So a “normal” CRP level might mean that you are right on target to continue progressing your heart disease.

      The Atkins diet is like throwing gasoline on the fire by increasing rather than decreasing the consumptions of foods that are the root cause of the majority of our major chronic diseases. True it does help with weight loss, but skinny does not automatically equal healthy, and nobody want to wind up being a skinny corpse. So if you want to live a long and healthy life to enjoy your slimmer self, then I strongly encourage you to continue your journey with a diet that will not only continue to help you lose weight, but gain health.

      In fact if you focus on gaining health with a WFPB diet, the weight will usually (but not always, nothing is perfect) take care of itself. The truly great thing is that if you focus on low calorie density foods it can be very tough to stuff enough food in your pie hole to get even the reduced calories required to lose weight. So rather than trying to put up with being hungry all the time, you have to delightful opposite problem of trying to eat enough. [Note for those who haven’t lost weight or as much as you would like with a WFPB diet, have you tried to shift even more towards low calorie density foods like greens, non-starchy vegetables and reduce the high calorie density foods like legumes and especially nuts and other high fat foods? Might be worth a try.]

      This website is an invaluable resource to aid you in maximizing health. If you have particular topics you are interested in click on the “health topics” link and browse the different topic areas to see related videos.

    3. That’s great that you have lost weight and brought down your cholesterol, but that doesn’t mean you are improving your health long term on your low carb diet. I always get nervous of a diet that makes carbohydrates the bad guy since you would be dramatically cutting out the fiber in your diet. It would be interesting if you went on a plant based diet if your weight and cholesterol were to drop even further! (Just my thoughts)

    1. No, but other findings about the impact of animal protein still do. All animal proteins are much alike in their impact on health and are as a group are much different than the effects of plant protein. So egg whites still wouldn’t count as a healthy food.

  7. I just listened to 2015 report on NPR’s Science Friday website in which Dr. Willett from Harvard and Dr. Nissen from Cleveland Clinic, both well respected researchers, stated that we no longer need be concerned with the amount of cholesterol or total fat in our diets. They did disagree on the role role of animal fat; both agreed that trans fat is bad.

  8. I’m one of those individuals who seems to have high cholesterol regardless of diet but I do respond well to statins. I became a vegan five years ago and at the time my cholesterol was well-controlled with 40 mg of Lipitor. I went through the CHIP ( program about a year later and my doctor, who was helping out with the class agreed to try a little experiment and take me off the Lipitor for six weeks. My cholesterol promptly went up nearly 50 points even though I was continuing to eat a vegan diet. We put me back on the Lipitor but thankfully reduced the dosage to 10 mg, which has worked well. I recently came back from the Holistic Holiday at Sea, great cruise/educational event where I saw you Dr Greger. I did not hear my situation addressed specifically but did hear Dr Campbell say it is not enough to just be vegan, you need a whole food plant-based diet. Since then, I came across this from the Cleveland Clinic, that makes me think my problem is genetic and that I probably have the gene combination APOE2/E2 or E2/E3. Have there been significant tests on this combination of diet and genetic factors? Can you comment also on WFBP diet vs Vegan? Thank you again for your great programs and reports

    1. Studies of populations like those in rural Africa that eat a very simple plant-based diet (but note not vegan) find that virtually no one has cholesterol levels above 150-160. So unless those populations also have almost no representation of the APOE2/E3 allele, then I would say that genetics likely don’t play the dominant role.

      It might sound extreme to you, but if you want to self-experiment, you could try going on the equivalent of the RICE diet and eat some what might seem like mind-numbingly boring food (plain brown rice, plain sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, whole fruits that get dietary fats and protein waaaay down for 3-4 weeks to see if your cholesterol doesn’t respond. I don’t think you even need to stop your statin, just look to see if diet can move the needle even further (can any of the MDs/RDs corroborate my understanding?) . Then you will know whether or not you can impact your cholesterol with diet. If you can then you can make dietary and medical decision from a position of information and knowledge.

      But even if you can’t get all the way to the healthy range folks with familial hypercholesterolemia which is very clearly genetic have shown that they can still substantially impact their cholesterol levels with diet. They might not be able to get it below 150 without statins, but they can bring it down in some cases hundreds of points. This, like you, allows them to finish getting it below 150 with a much smaller dose of statins than would be required to control a cholesterol level that started out in the 400s.

      1. That’s all well and good. I’m familiar with the rice and orange diet and it apparently works. Returning to my questions, however I am interested in knowing if there has been credible research on the role of this gene combination in high blood cholesterol and whether a genetic test might inform patients and doctors as to the best course of action. Granted that a WFPB is best. However, when the CHIP group I was in only saw about a 15% drop in cholesterol vs claimed benefits of around 30%, I believe in the PlantPure Nation work. This may simply quantify vegan vs WFPB but it would be interesting to know if people with some genetic combinations have to go oil free, for example in lieu of or perhaps in addition to taking statins. How did the Cleveland Clinic come to their conclusions that some people probably need statins?

        Thank you for your reply. I greatly appreciate Dr Greger’s work and and I highly recommend the book!

        1. If you are actually eating a whole food plant based diet, you wouldn’t be using oil since it isn’t a whole food but the waste product left after all the nutrition and fiber is processed out of a whole food. Vegetable oils can be as bad or worse than animal fats. I had to cut all fat to reverse diabetes, so pretty sure it could prevent and reverse a lot of others issues too. If you consider that a growing infant with the most intense needs for fat to nourish a quickly growing brain and body only gets 3-5% fat from their daily intake from their mother’s milk, it gives you a pretty good hint that an adult without such needs would do fine with the same or less. Sure wouldn’t hurt to try.

  9. Dear Dr. Greger,

    Most of the “Atkins diet” followers now claim that dietary cholesterol and animal fats from eggs or meat only raise pattern-B type of “fluffy” LDL cholesterol so their impact on our heart health are insignificant.

    I am a plant-based diet follower and we don’t have any argument about this subject whenever the same topic pops up.

    Is there anything on the scientific literature against this claim? I humbly think these points should be attended.

    Thank you so much for your contribution on our health.

    1. “fluffy” LDL being safe is a deception tactic used by the cholesterol apologists looking to white-wash the negative effects of animal based fat and cholesterol. “fluffy” LDL still damages the arteries but only slightly less than non “fluffy”. They BOTH damage the endothelial lining in our arteries. Don’t buy into the cholesterol apologists. They are working against the public’s health interest to keep the meat, egg and dairy industry profits rolling in.

    2. Large fluffy LDL only raises heart disease risk by 44%, while small dense LDL raises risk by 63%. Thus large LDL’s are “better” than small LDLs.

  10. This is incredible. I’m studying a Master in Nutrition and they yeah that dietary cholesterol is not related to blood cholesterol and therefore, it’s ok to eat eggs. It’s frustrating taking exams and having to answer what they want to hear …otherwise you don’t pass… :-/

    1. What would you provide as citation supporting your ideas on cholesterol? I’m having the same debate (and fully support WFPB).

    2. Sad that this is the world we live in. That now Capitalism trumps public health and safety. Those with the money get to dictate policy regardless of evidence to the contrary if it affects the bottom line.

    3. Write the title of studies showing that it is indeed not OK to eat eggs in the margin, and then give the answer you need to pass the test.

    4. Sonia: That’s tough! I remember facing something similar once and it surprised me how hard it was to give the answer they wanted.

    1. Might be because statins reduce inflammation. But there are way healthier ways to reduce inflammation and macular degeneration–like eating lots of greens, fruits and veggies.

  11. I understand that whole eggs might have a lot of cholesterol but what about egg whites only. What if you have an egg white omelet every morning with veggies instead of sausage and bacon. Does that still spike your cholesterol?

    1. Why would you want to? I believe Dr. Gregor has a video on how too much protein (more than 10% of calories) leads to cancer. Why not just have hash browns (w/o oil) and veggies? Much better for you, or oatmeal.

  12. Slightly different question/angle on this – if someone is losing significant amounts of weight – would their cholesterol go up as their body tries to get rid of it? Presumably the only way for the body to get rid of arterial plaque and excess cholesterol would be in carrying it to the colon through the blood? I’m just wondering if a rise in cholesterol could be attributed to that – and would actually in that case be a good sign??? Just a loose thought rolling around in my brain lately ;-) And no, the person losing significant amounts of weight is, sadly, not me. Hehe.

    1. Interesting idea. I would hazard to say that the amount of cholesterol sequestered in plaques is pretty small and it doesn’t come flooding out. So I would say that it would represent a pretty small portion of any circulating cholesterol.

      To me it seem like plaques form when the blood becomes “saturated” with cholesterol and it “precipitates” out in the walls of the arteries where it is eaten by immune cells which turn into foam cells when they become engorged with cholesterol. If this is anything like the dynamics going on, then only when cholesterol levels drop below the saturation level will it move out of the foam cells and into the blood. So I wouldn’t think that refluxing cholesterol could get blood cholesterol above this level. Still it could hold it to slightly below the saturation level until the reservoir of cholesterol is exhausted and then cholesterol levels continue to decline.

      Given the case that plaques don’t seem to form when cholesterol is less than 150, I would say that the saturation level is somewhere right around there. So even if cholesterol is refluxing back out fo the artery walls, cholesterol levels would stay at “fantastic” before continuing to decline to “incredible”.

    2. That was what my daughter thought might be what happened to me. But I studied online the way cholesterol works in the body and if I understood correctly, it isn’t gotten rid of by way of the colon. It is such an important nutrient that the body saves it in the liver which then returns it to the body when it is needed for one of its many functions. Cholesterol is not a “bad guy” it is necessary for health and happiness. It apparently is only a problem when it collects on walls of arteries. Some believe it is used in the arteries as a “patch” for injuries, in which case it is still trying to help the body.

    3. The body carries excess cholesterol to the gut not through the blood but through the bile, and those who lose weight fast are known to develop cholesterol gallstones, which supports your argument.

    4. cafwen: I sort of have a similar theory, but I also remember one of the NutritionFacts videos showing that loss of weight can lower cholesterol (regardless of how the weight is lost, even if through diseases like cancer). I tried finding that video to link for you, but couldn’t find it. But if true, then I’m thinking your theory may be the opposite of what really happens for most people.

    5. Generally speaking, cholesterol goes down when you lose weight.

      That’s why people can go on unhealthy diets like low carb, high fat diets or the Twinkie Diet and, in so far as they lose weight, their cholesterol will decline. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are getting healthier though. This article by David Katz is worth reading

  13. Let me see. Cholesterol in animal foods goes straight to the blood and tissues raising its levels obviously. But if dietary cholesterol is NOT a concern, why doesn’t the government tell doctors to stop pressing the panic alarm and let people just die instead of putting them on drugs? It would make sense not to eat cholesterol if the levels are high instead of saying it is OK.

      1. But the government does care about health, just not our health. It cares very deeply about the health of the Big Meat, Big Dairy, Big Egg and Big Junk.

        The mandate on which the USDA was founded was to support and expand US agriculture. Small farmers might have been the focus in the 19th century, but today that mandate has turned the USDA a marketing arm of Big Crap. Much later the USDA was given a secondary mandate to also try to improve public health, but only to the degree that it doesn’t interfere with its prime mandate.

        So while we now know that the most profitable products of the US food industries are injurious to human health, the USDA literally can not care about those negative health effects because that would require it to take actions that reduce corporate profits, something it is forbidden to do.

        All the nutrition and health functions of USDA needs to be stripped out of that agency and placed in an agency whose sole mandate is to improve our health, a true “Department of Health”.

  14. Since the flawed study a few decades ago on the effects of cholesterol & fats on our hearts & arteries, Americans have been advised to cut dangerously back on both. The result is more heart disease & obesity. I look at random photos of crowds of Americans & I see fat. Not just slightly overweight, but obese. Low fat & low cholesterol is killing us. Sugar & additives are substituted for fat to make the thinned down versions of food palatable. Sugar, canola oil, hydrogenated fats, cooked egg yolks are free radicals & dangerous. They’re the killers, not the healthy fats that have been demonized. Sautéing with olive oil may seem healthy, but it becomes a free radical at 400 degrees. Use coconut oil or butter. Eat fresh, free range, grass fed eggs raw. They will not poison you. Eggs are a healthy protein & I lived on raw eggs in the 60s when they were added randomly to Orange Julius. No one got sick. If you try to order a vintage sewing pattern from before the 80s, you will not be able to find size “huge”. Americans were thin to average, but low-fat, low-cholesterol items were hard to find in the grocery store. I seldom heard of anyone having a heart attack back then. Hmmmm.

    I’m surprised & disturbed that you’re still preaching this old doctrine.

    1. Sonerila: One of the flaws in your logic is right at the beginning: “…Americans have been advised to cut dangerously back on both. The result is more heart disease & obesity.” You seem to be assuming that advice to cut back on cholesterol and fat has lead to a cut on cholesterol and fat. Data shows that this is not true. There are other problems with your logic, but this seems like a pretty good point to stop at. I share your concern about the health of Americans, but if you want to know the cause of our bad health and obesity issues and whether or not eggs are healthy, I invite you to explore the scientific studies discussed on this site.

      1. You need to read more carefully. I did not say cut out, I said cut dangerously back. It’s not necessary & our bodies & particularly our nerves need that covering. Further, when it is discovered arteries are covered with cholesterol, it is not because of too much dietary cholesterol. It is because free radicals damaged the artery & the liver produced cholesterol & deposited it over the damaged site to heal it. When these arteries are examined, cholesterol is mistakenly given as the cause of the damage. It is the free radical, not the cholesterol. I’m done. You can do the rest of your homework on your own. I’m not posting to argue, just to try to open peoples’ eyes about the myth that has gone on for too long regarding eating low-fat, low-cholesterol everything. That low-fat garbage is full of additives to make it palatable while the good stuff is removed. Eat healthy free-range, grass-fed, no antibiotic or hormone laden foods, including tons of vegetables; eat whole foods & get plenty of moderate exercise like bike-riding & walking & forget these fad diets.

        1. I think you fundamentally misunderstand what is being advocated as part of a Whole-food, Plant-based diet. I think you won’t find any advocates of low-fat Snackwell cookies here.

          Thea was saying that Americans were given the advice to cut back on the amount of fat, especially saturated fat that they ate. You are laboring under the misconception that Americans actually followed that advice. They never ever did. They continued to eat the same amount of fat that they always did, and in fact started eating a little more. The response to this advice was that the typical American added a lot more refined sugar and refined carbohydrates and animal protein to their diet. So fat as a percentage of total calories did go down a little, but again not because people ate fewer grams of fat, but because they ate so much more, as you very correctly point out, crap. They were unhealthy when they ate a lot of fat and less junk and they are even less healthy now that they eat a lot of fat and more junk. The advice to actually cut back on the number of grams of fat consumed was and still is excellent advice. To bad people never took it.

          The science is very clear, people who eat more whole plant foods are healthy in direct proportion to the percentage of their calories they get from these foods. It is the subject of thousands of research papers including those who looked at groups of people number in the hundreds of thousands. These results were expanded even further by studies of populations who eat whole plants with very minimal animal foods who simply didn’t have heart attacks, as well as a fraction of the obsety, diabetes and cancer rates that we have. If we want to be healthy we need to eat like they do.

          The science does fully support your recommendation to eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables and to get exercise. You will get no argument here on that. What the science doesn’t agree with you on actually is the health impacts of animal foods. The science simply doesn’t back you up on your contention that eating animals is healthy. It really doesn’t matter how the animal was raised, the negative health effects are simply a function of it being an animal.

          I know that you got a bit of a rough reception here, including a few by me, sorry about that, but if you stick around and especially if you mine the years worth of videos on this site you might find something worth knowing.

        2. Sonerila: To clarify what I wrote: American have not cut back in any way on fat or cholesterol. The levels have stayed the same. So, even though the advice is to cut back, we are not doing it. So, you can’t blame the advice to cut back on fat and cholesterol as the reason for our health problems. That’s the basic flaw in your logic and what I was trying to say above.

          Low fat and zero dietary cholesterol are shown again and again and again for many decades to be the healthiest way to eat. Your body makes all of the cholesterol that it needs. So, yes, it is an important substance, but you don’t need to eat any. And in fact, as shown by the studies linked to in the blog post, dietary cholesterol raises serum cholesterol. Eating “free-range” or “grass-fed” makes very little difference on the health scale. It’s not good advice, and you can find out why if you spend some time investigating this site.

          You and I can agree that the low fat processed products people are buying are typically unhealthy. But those products are not unhealthy because they are low fat. Those products are unhealthy because they are full of highly processed foods devoid of vital nutrients and at the same time are high in calories.

          This site is all about the science. It is important not to continue to spread the myth that eating cholesterol doesn’t matter. That’s what the blog post is about.

          1. Sonerila: I have one more thought for you: To my knowledge, there is only one type of diet that has been clinically shown to reverse heart disease – and that is a low fat, whole plant food based diet. There is no other diet shown in peer reviewed medical literature to actually reverse heart disease. And this phenomenon has been shown in more than one study. That’s pretty compelling data.

        3. All theories or opinions aside, If you consider that a growing infant with the most intense needs for fat to nourish a quickly growing brain and body, only gets 3-5% fat from their daily intake of their mother’s milk, certainly an adult would not need more. Since we make all the cholesterol we need, and there is plenty of fat in whole foods, there is no “danger” in cutting back on either, the danger is in NOT cutting back.
          The lies about the “failure” of the low-fat issue you mention is that instead of actually cutting fat by turning to WHOLE foods to get their nutrition needs, people actually ate the same fatty animals, processed food and oil, but just went crazy on the sweets with the “new promise” of the food industry’s low fat processed crapola made from gobs of white flour, sugar, and chemicals, adding to the already unhealthy mix, so of course they got fatter and sicker!
          A high carb, low fat, whole foods plant based diet reversed my diabetes and a slew of health issues, unlike any other diet was able to do, and there are plenty of others who are happy to attest to same, and more. Walter Kempner knew this since the 1930’s, it’s not in question or debatable, and anything you hear to the contrary is just propaganda industry wants you to believe. Kempner’s rice diet was a very extreme, super high carb, low fat, low protein diet that was created to save the lives of people dying from malignant hypertension, kidney failure, diabetes and obesity before the advent of pharmaceuticals. It worked remarkably well for the dying, but a bit limited for the living being as it was just white rice, fruit, fruit juice and table sugar. People can’t get it into their heads that diabetes is a disease of too much fat in the cells, blocking insulin from doing it’s job of regulating the intake of glucose as cellular fuel, so it stays in the blood, and spills into the urine. Excess glucose is just a symptom of diabetes, the cause is FAT.
          I don’t think we have the full picture on the cholesterol issue, but it’s a really invalid argument anyway. You can’t separate the cholesterol from the dangers of the saturated fats, foreign animal proteins and hormones, diseases, microbes, and other negatives, even in “grass-fed” hybridized cows, anyway. There is NO way eating animals is sustainable with our sheer numbers, they are all slaughtered in the same disgusting facility anyway, and, though it’s perhaps not science, eating the metabolites of stress, fear, and death, can’t be health promoting either. It’s a no-brainer to just avoid them when so many negatives can be avoided and there are no needs that whole plants foods can’t supply.

          1. Hi Vege-tater, I just want to clarify one thing. Lipids provide ~50% of the energy in human breast milk, whereas protein provides ~6-7% and carbohydrates provide ~42% of the energy. Now that changes as nursing progresses, both throughout one nursing bout as well as across the infants lifespan. I’m unsure if the 3-5% you were referencing was related to energy intake, so this information may not be what your were stating, but I did want to mention it in case.

        4. Sounds like you have been suckered by the same disingenuous “good fats” blogs and bought-off “experts” that the Atkins camp used to dupe and manipulate the public back in the day. Same snake oil just a better marketing team these days.

          I’m sorry if you don’t like to hear bad things about your favorite artery clogging high-fat foods but that’s what meat, eggs & dairy are. Regardless of weather it’s free range, grass fed or slept on a water bed in a cow spa. You are willfully choosing to ignore the mountain of evidence that Dr Greger presents on this site proving that animal products high in sat fat and cholesterol are the number one reason we have the chronic disease epidemic we see today.

          1. I find the “free grazing humanely killed/raised” argument one of the most offensive from the meatists. Taking an animal’s life in no way shape or form is “humane” whether that animal is raised and killed on a farm or in a factory. It completely ignores what we know about animal sentience. And there is simply no way to feed animals to billions of people on the planet with “humane grasslands” or free ranging animals, unless of course we plan to turn remaining grasslands and other areas into ranging areas for cattle with their attendant global greenhouse gas problems. The latter is an imperialist bourgeois position that doesn’t consider the long-term solutions of feeding billions of people.

            1. Paul: Years ago, one of the thoughts that helped me to get past the idea that killing a non-human animal a certain way was OK was to ask myself the question: “What if a human who wants to live is killed humanely (however I can think to define that)? What would that look like? Would that be OK/moral?”

    2. I’m surprised and disturbed that you bought into the “healthy fat” fairy-tale.

      Lots of people get sick every year from salmonella poisoning from eggs. I use to get that same raw egg cracked into my orange julius at the mall you speak of and guess what? I got sick as a dog a few times right after drinking that bacteria shake. gross! You are choosing to ignore all the negatives about eggs because you like to eat them.

      1. Please don’t pretend to know me. I actually can’t stand eggs. Lots of people get sick from produce, meat, all sorts of things. Try to stay away from ill-prepared foods & run-of-the mill, caged grocery store eggs. Get them from a farm. You will not get sick.

        1. People get sick from animal products and their residue. Plants don’t have salmonella and Ecoli until they are contaminated by animals! Don’t eat eggs at all, no matter where they are from. Besides the fact that they are NOT what they once might have been with all the selective breeding, resistant bacteria, chemicals, and unnatural diet, a chicken isn’t an egg dispensing machine for humans. People need to get over themselves.

        2. I never claimed to know you, Just claimed that eating raw eggs runs the risk of making you throw up, miss work and stuck to the toilet for a day with the worst stomach ache imaginable. At lest that’s what your Orange Julius bacteria egg shake did to me and many others.

    3. The science behind a whole food plant based diet is not based on a single study done decades ago. It is based on thousands of different studies. Yours is some of the most dangerous dietary recommendation that I could ever imagine. Raw eggs from any source are not just a possible, but likely source of salmonella poisoning. Do it long enough and you will get sick. Get sick while your immune system is down or while you are young and it can be fatal. Even the most vocal advocates of eggs knows enough to never recommend they be eaten raw!

      I’m surprised & disturbed that you have managed to stay so fundamentally uninformed.

    4. Sorry but this is all dangerous nonsense peddled by snakeoil salespeople.

      The fact is that Americans are eating more fat and fewer carbs now than before the First World War. They are also eating a lot more calories.

      ” before the 80s …… I seldom heard of anyone having a heart attack back then. Hmmmm.” !!!!!
      How can you claim this? US heart disease death rates peaked in 1968 and have been declining ever since.

      It is really dangerous to listen to the wild claims of people on YouTube and in ad diet books who sell their wares and ideas by promoting all sorts of weird conspiracy theories and shocking claims about “new science”. It is much better to look at what the actual science shows as opposed to what charlatans say.

    5. How sad you have been brainwashed by the Weston-Price cult and the fraud that is Gary Taubes et al. If people had cut back on fat who was eating all the Krispy creme doughnuts? But you have come to the right place. Watch the video shorts here, check the cited studies and learn. You can get healthier and save the planet.

    1. Lundell is just another low carber with an agenda. He advocates beef and high-fat diets. Scratch the surface and you see he has ties to the cattleman’s association. He is not to be trusted as he is another MD looking to profit from todays health confusion about sat fat and cholesterol.

      Here is a post from a popular low carb forum that advocates the same type of high-fat dangerous diet this Dr prescribes. I think we should all pause and read this and really let it soak in just how much of a ticking time bomb low-carb diets high in animal foods are.

      From Marks ‘Daily Apple’ blog.

      “Had heart attack on Sunday 22nd

      in the early hours – taken to coronary care unit in Frimley Park
      Hospital, apparently I had a blocked RH coronary artery (?)as well as
      “severe arterial plaque” and narrowing of the artery.

      A catheter was inserted into my right wrist, clot sorted out (how do
      they do that?) and a stent fitted. I am now back home with loads of
      tablets, etc etc (including a statin which I don’t want and will stop
      once I’ve had my various follow up consultancies, cardiac rehab etc
      etc). And of course, dietary advice recommends “vegetable oils”, avoid
      sat fats, eat heart healthy grains, avoid red meat – all the stuff I
      don’t believe in.

      I’ve been ‘paleo” / “primal” for quite a lot of years now – initially
      VLC, then added white potatoes, occasional white rice and occasional
      (well soaked) legumes. I eat fish, organic grass fed beef, lamb and free
      range chicken, loads of organic veg, organic fruit, butter from grass
      fed cows, organic beef fat from grass fed cattle, olive oil, lots of
      herbs, spices, turmeric, organic cocoa powder and chocolate, loads of
      eggs, some cheese from grass fed cattle – all sat fat but not to excess.

      After the stent fitting etc, while in hospital, I was told that my total
      cholesterol level was 5.4 (UK, so no information on LDL /HDL levels)
      which I thought was OK? . I am utterly confused as to why this should
      happen? Any ideas where I have gone wrong?

      I am 63 years old, male, slim (150 lbs) 6 feet tall and, apart from
      sever asthma, I had always thought of myself as pretty fit. Of course,
      friends are already mentioning my sat fat diet! I don’t intend to change
      this – but should I be unlucky enough to ever have another heart attack
      and not survive – I will have been a standing example to the “sceptics”
      that Ancel Keys et al were correct all along!!!”

      Here is the link if anyone cares to help him. Maybe get him a copy of ‘HOW NOT TO DIE”.

      1. I didn’t go to the link but … wow. The man flat out says he won’t stop the diet that CAUSED his event! Then he says “all sat fat but not to excess.” !!

    2. This is a joke right? The Australian National Review is not a solid publication. It appears to have been established to promote the business interests of a single individual who makes his money with various heavily advertised property “education” and “investment” schemes.

      As for the “world renowned heart surgeon” – he had his licence taken away in 2008

      This appears all too typical of the people who argue saturated fat and cholesterol are good for you or at least harmless. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust any of them with last week’s newspaper let alone to provide honest advice on nutrition and health.

    1. LOL! well, first off the guy in the video to the right is the notorious “Gary Taubes” the charlton who was paid $700,000 to write a disingenuous low carb book based on his love for the Atkins diet.

      Dr G exposes Gary in his book “Carbophobia”. You can find it free online at –

      here is a clip from that article.

      “The piece was written by freelance writer and
      Atkins advocate[45] Gary Taubes (who reportedly scored a book deal from
      it–and a $700,000 advance).[46] The Washington Post investigated his
      pro-Atkins article and found that Taubes simply ignored all the research
      that didn’t agree with his conclusions.

      Taubes evidently
      interviewed a number of prominent obesity researchers and then twisted
      their words. “What frightens me,” said one, “is that he picks and
      chooses his facts…. If the facts don’t fit in with his yarn, he
      ignores them.”[47]

      The article seemed to claim that experts
      recommended the diet. “I was greatly offended at how Gary Taubes tricked
      us all into coming across as supporters of the Atkins Diet,” said John
      Farquhar, a Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Stanford. When the
      Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Washington University
      School of Medicine was asked to comment of one of Taubes’ claims, he
      replied, “It’s preposterous.”[48]

      “He took this weird little idea and blew it up,” said Farquhar, “What a disaster.”[49]

      article was written in bad faith,” said another quoted expert. “It was
      irresponsible.”[50] “I think he’s a dangerous man. I’m sorry I ever
      talked to him.” Referring to the book deal, “Taubes sold out.”[51]

      the researchers stressed was how dangerous saturated fat and meat
      consumption could be, but Taubes seemed to have conveniently left it all
      out. “The article was incredibly misleading,” said the pioneering
      Stanford University endocrinologist Gerald Reaven who actually coined
      the term Syndrome X. “I tried to be helpful and a good citizen,” Reaven
      said, agreeing to do the interview, “and I ended up being embarrassed as
      hell. He sort of set me up… I was horrified.”[52] “

    2. There is only one MD in this video. The other is a snake oil selling journalist Gary Taubes. If you want to see the ultimate in intellectual dishonesty I would watch the videos by Plant Positive as he unpacks Taubes’ fraudulent claims. in the Nutrition Past and Future playlist.

      OBTW, the video you have linked to is addressed in this series. And please forgive the sometimes snarky tone of the creator of these videos. It is very difficult to keep a sense of detachment after researching Taubes for very long.

      1. Thank you, I am glad that I watched these videos by Plant Positive based on your suggestion. It helped me clear more things in my mind.

    3. You should use the NFacts search box to find the information you need. Lot in there, in addition to Plantpositive analysis.

      I would add that MD’s are generally not good authorities on nutrition. They are like mechanics, keeping your engine humming smoothly along as you follow their directions …. over a cliff. Worse yet are the ones who take payoffs to bark for the pushers.

      1. We hope that can serve as a good reference for people, including doctors, who are looking to learn more about nutrition.

        1. I hope so too, but the sad truth is not much will change until it affects the bottom line of those not especially motivated to broaden their knowledge..

      2. Certainly not because of the classes they get in medical school. But the training in biochemistry plus training in logic and reasoning as part of diagnostic training does give them the tools they need to educate themselves independent of their medical training. This is what the best do. The trouble is that a lot of the medical training they do receive emphasizes reductive thinking rather than the Whole-istic approach advocated by T. Colin Campbell. This can put blinkers on them so they can’t step back and see the whole picture and so miss understanding the forest because they are too busy trying to understand the bark pattern on a single tree.

        But the many doctors that have recently joined NutritionFacts as moderators as well as several who are long time commentators show that the tide might be turning on this as truly preventative and lifestyle medicine seems to be gaining mainstream traction. And so hopefully it won’t be too long before the majority of doctors understand and embrace the power of food as a primary treatment modality. It will be a great day when the first prescription a doctor writes is for a “therapeutic” whole-food, plant-based diet as a means to actively heal and ultimately reverse a patient’s disease, and only prescribes medication if the small percentage of cases where diet isn’t quite effective enough.

    4. Follow the money. When there is a profit to be made, some people will sell out in a blink. Taubes is a notorious sell out and manipulates facts to fit his agenda. People love to hear good news about their bad habits, so it’s pretty easy for him to lie and get away with it.

    5. The guy on the left doesn’t look healthy. I wonder how Taubes really eats in private. Can’t tell what his BMI is from this photo but maybe he works out a lot to overcome the (external) effects of his crappy diet. I wonder if he’s ever shared his blood work publicly.

  15. Given how many questions I’m seeing in this thread on egg whites only, I’d suggest a new video specifically addressing, “But egg whites are still healthy, right?”.
    Aren’t egg whites nutritionally bankrupt? All the nutrients are in the yolk, so aside from the marginal protein in an egg whites (which you could easily get from plants) why eat it at all? Dietary cholesterol is not only unnecessary it would seem Dr. Gregor is saying it’s it’s detrimental to human health as well.

    1. I agree. I read an article that said what is bad about whites is counter-acted by the yoke and vice versa. Don’t know if that is true or not but important that we eat too much protein and it causes disease including cancer.

    2. I think that’s a great idea! It is true that egg whites contribute little nutritionally. I feel as though most people are eating egg whites for that protein boost. I’d recommend anyone in this boat check out Dr. Gregor’s video Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein? I hope this is helpful!

    3. I recall Dr. Campbell saying the protein without the fat on board such as in egg whites can still cause cancer. I would avoid animal products period if you want to optimize your health.

  16. How about those of us who eat eggs but carefully discard the yolks? Can we assume that such egg consumption will not adversely influence our cardiovascular health?

    1. Hi Len,
      Thank you so much for your question. Given that egg yolks are the part of the egg that contains cholesterol, it is true that by not eating the yolk, you avoid eating the cholesterol that contributes to atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, however, egg whites do not contribute much nutritionally, especially compared to their plant-based protein counterparts. And egg whites aren’t necessarily harmless. In fact, egg whites can cause elevations in blood insulin levels, as Dr. Greger points out in his video Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise. If it’s protein you’re after when you’re whipping up your morning egg whites, check out Dr. Greger’s video Do vegetarians get enough protein?. I hope you find this helpful!

  17. What about egg whites? This is a very common question when we start to talk about the cholesterol in eggs. While the cholesterol and saturated fat can be found in the yolks, the egg whites are not healthy either! See below for my standard answer. Does this help anyone?

    (feel free to point others to this answer or copy it as I can’t always catch the egg white questions)
    There are two problems with eggs, the yolk and the white. (To paraphrase Dr. Barnard.) Egg whites are likely a big problem health-wise, just like the yolks. It is true that egg whites do not have cholesterol. But egg whites are essentially all animal protein. Here’s what we know about animal protein in general and egg whites in particular:

    Dr. Barnard links potential kidney problems to animal protein (though I don’t have the details on that). And Dr. Greger talks about the problems of animal protein in general in his annual summary video, “Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet”

    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.

    Here’s another great tidbit from NutritionFacts on another mechanism linking egg whites to cancer as well as increased virus infections: “why would animal protein and fat increase cancer risk? Well, as I noted in Bowel Wars, if you eat egg whites, for example, between 5 and 35% of the protein isn’t digested, isn’t absorbed, and ends up in the colon, where it undergoes a process called putrefaction. When animal protein putrefies in the gut, it can lead to the production of the rotten egg gas, hydrogen sulfide, which, over and above its objectionable odor, can produce changes that increase cancer risk. Putrefying protein also produces ammonia.”
    To learn more details about the process, check out:

    Darryl at one point reminded me of the methionine issue. Egg whites have *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22
    Dr. Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and 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.”

    Dr. Greger has posted some videos on how animal protein can raise insulin levels. The first of the following videos even specifically addresses egg whites.

    In summary: there are at least three pathways potentially linking animal proteins, especially egg whites, to cancer: the IGF-1, methionine, and putrefaction. And there is some good evidence that egg white consumption contributes to heart disease and potential problems with T2 diabetes by raising insulin levels in a bad way. All of these reductionist-type studies lend support the bigger general population studies showing that the healthiest populations on earth are those which eat the least amount of animal protein.

    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? IE: 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. Well, it’s an observational study so it is difficult to know what the people who didn’t consume dietary cholesterol, ate in its place. In Western countries, people are likely to eat more refined carbs, oils and other processed foods which are just as unhealthy as cholesterol containing foods.
      That is why similar observational studies in Western countries of saturated fat consumption also often can’t seem to find an adverse effect.
      However ward studies, where these other dietary factors are controlled, do show that reducing dietary cholesterol reduces blood cholesterol which in turn can be expected to reduce cardiovascular disease and events eg.

      The problems with trying to measure the effect of dietary cholesterol on cardiovascular risk, especially in high risk countries, have been known for a very long time. It is why the egg industry likes to fund studies that they already know will find a null result . This long 1979 paper on he issues is well worth a read if oyu have the time:

  18. What about egg whites? I usually eat those instead of whole eggs. At worst I might have 1 egg with a bunch of whites to make up an quiche, omelette or foo yung.

    1. Cholesterol isn’t the only problem with eggs. All animal proteins have effects on the body that are harmful long term. It increases the body’s production of systematic IGF-1 (as opposed to local production to aid in wound healing for example) functions like cancer fertilizer. It doesn’t cause cancers to form, but really helps them to grow, and it isn’t the tiny tumors that kill you, but when they grow and spread. Also animal proteins contain a much higher amount of sulfur containing amino acids than plant proteins and so cause dietary acidosis. Acidic blood is hard on the kidneys and bones. For more I recommend this group of videos on this site for the issues related to animal protein.

      Bottom line, animal protein bring a lot of negative baggage with it.

    2. You will not get the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet using egg whites. That’s what I used to rely on, but when I stopped using them, my health was transformed. Just try it for 30 days. You’ll be amazed.

      1. I don’t eat a lot but I do like the odd egg dish. A lot of my protein comes from hemp hearts (seeds). All 21 amino acids including taurine in good quantity plus very healthy fats. As you get older your body might not make all the ones it used to or not as much as you need. Having a plant based source is great.

  19. I think you meant to say that saturated fat bumps cholesterol up less than dietary cholesterol, but together, they greatly increase blood cholesterol.

  20. I don’t watch TV but got a link to a clip from the Doctors show. OMG what a piece of crap that is, how do they even get away with such BS? I was flabbergasted, talk about corporate propaganda! Seriously, people rely on them and Dr Oz for medical advice? They’re doomed!

  21. As you probably already know that Dr. Mark Hyman switched Bill Clinton from a Vegan diet back to meat-eating.

    Here is a recent statement by Dr. Mark Hyman where he claims that what matters is oxidized cholesterol and he keeps bombing with his arguments. Please see only the period of 40 seconds from 19:06 until 19:46.

    He makes a lot of statements in this specific video and I am not sure what to think for some of his specific arguments.

    I would really appreciate if you can help me get “his talk” out of my mind. It’s just too much confusion for me to handle and I need some guidance.

    1. He makes a lot of false claims and cites no evidence. For example he claims or at least implies that the evidence that (saturated) fat promotes heart disease is solely epidemiological/observational.Just associations as he puts it It isn’t.
      He also claims that the warnings against added sugar in the latest US dietary guidelines are a big “turn-around” from all previous guidelines since they first began in 1980. They aren’t. Guideline 5 in 1980 was “Avoid Too Much Sugar”. Ditto 1985. In 1990, they said “Use Sugars Only in Moderation”, in 1995 “Choose a Dite Moderate in Sugars”, in 2000 “Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars.”, in 2005 “Less refined grains, total fats (especially cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats), added sugars, and calories.” and in 2010 “Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars”
      And he is still claiming that that small dense cholesterol particles are dangerous but large fluffy cholesterol particles are protective. This is false.

      “Previous studies showing that smaller low-density lipoprotein (LDL) size is associated with greater atherosclerotic risk did not adequately control for small and large LDL particle correlation. …….. Both LDL subclasses were significantly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis, with small LDL confounding the association of large LDL with atherosclerosis.”

      This subject has been extensively studied over the years. A major review in 2008 found “In summary, only LDL particle concentration, as measured by NMR, was consistently found to be associated with incident CVD after adjustment for lipids (and other risk factors). Other specific measures have been found to be associated with incidence or progression of CVD by only a minority of studies.”

      and “Limited evidence suggested that LDL subfraction analysis is not a consistently strong predictor of CVD compared to other known risk factors”

      More recently, Dr Greger has produced a good video on the topic also which refers to relevant research since 2008:

      This video is also worth watching:

      The best one can say about Hyman is that he tells a lot of half truths as well as making false claims.

      1. That reminds me of a few years ago when Dr. Oz had Stephen Sinatra and Jonny Bowden (authors of “The Great Cholesterol Myth”) on his show pushing the particle-size claim. Oz then received a letter from a number of people at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons taking him to task. I’ve seen the letter somewhere on the internet; there were a couple of lines that went something like, “No educated and reputable lipidologist would claim that large LDL particles are neutral, much less protective. The idea that large LDL particles cannot enter the arterial wall and cause atherosclerosis is factually incorrect.”

        And incidentally re Clinton, I noticed he was quoted just recently as saying that he likes the vegan diet best.

      2. I can see a lot of people questioning those sugar guidelines, though. It’s the same government guidelines telling people it’s okay to eat meat and dairy. The contradictions just keep coming.

  22. I’m sorry this might not be relevant with the subject but I took a treatment with antibiotics like almost 2 months ago that killed off the good bacteria in my bowel (this is an assumption I haven’t taken a stool sample to prove it), the first week once finished the treatment I couldn’t sleep more than 2 to 4 hours in a row and I didn’t have any bowel movement until the morning of the next day and I start having skin issues as well. I took a probiotic daily with about 6-7 billion organisms (L.acidophilus) for 15 days. It improved somewhat but since I stopped taking the probiotics (4 days ago) the symptoms came back (Fortunately It lets me sleep 6 hrs) I follow a whole food plant based diet since the first of January, I eat an average of 40 to 60 grams of fiber daily, I follow a 80crb/10fats/10prot ratio, take B-12 daily. And the treatment was given to my on February to kill the bacteria H.Pilory . I really appreciate the help anyone can give me I’m really tired of this because as you can deduce basically my digestive system is fucked up.

  23. Dr. Greger, when I click on the link labelled “increased” at the beginning of your article it brings one to PubMed and under PubMed Commens (“Comments” sp?) it has your name with the note “Comment removed by moderators”. Then I clicked on your name there and it brought me to another page with a list of a dozen or so articles all with your name and all that say “Comment removed by moderators”. This is fascinating. What is going on there??

    1. I came across that a while back and wondered the same.

      Incidentally it put me in mind of the episode (described in T. Colin Campbell’s book “Whole”) involving JAMA not publishing responses by any of Ornish/Esselstyn/McDougall/Campbell to the Stanford A to Z study.

  24. What about the Framingham Study that demonstrated that dietary intake of cholesterol has no impact on the level of
    cholesterol in your blood?

    1. Here are a few NF videos that might help answer the question. I believe the issue with the Framingham study is that the group that consumed “lower” amounts of cholesterol and had cholesterol levels within the 150-200 range, still died of heart disease. Indicating that “lower” cholesterol intake did not appear to improve survival. However, it is more likely that the “lower” cholesterol intake group, was simply not low enough. Hope these help!
      Everything in moderation
      Barriers to heart disease prevention
      PCRM Reversing Heart Disease

    2. The response of blood cholesterol to dietary cholesterol follows a classic “S” curve where there is a very large response when baseline blood cholesterol is low, but when baseline blood cholesterol is high, the response to dietary cholesterol is much lower.

      This is like the difference between throwing a cup of gasoline on a roaring bonfire compared to throwing that same cup on a tiny little campfire. The thing is that a truly healthy blood cholesterol level is the equivalent of the little campfire putting out just enough heat to keep you warm. So dietary cholesterol is only a problem when you are at a healthy blood cholesterol level (150 mg/dl or lower). When your entire vascular tree is a raging bonfire, then it is the same dietary cholesterol doesn’t make you much sicker than you already are.

  25. When Dr Greger states that my ‘cholesterol would shoot up nearly 30 points,’ what precisely does he mean? thirty percent, 3 per cent, or what.

    1. I’m guessing he means 30 points on the scale commonly used to measure blood cholesterol in the US, ie mg/dl. So in this example an increase 30 mg/dl.

  26. I’m hoping some experts here can help me figure out my cholesterol problem:

    I have sky-high ldl cholesterol levels every time I’m tested (once a year, after fasting) of about 230. My body seems to make it, since I am just about 100% vegan – I never eat eggs, dairy, or meat. I do eat some saturated fat in the form of nuts and coconut oil. This seems to be hereditary, since my mom and grandmother have it too.

    Can anyone tell me if there is anything I can do to decrease my ldl cholesterol, or if I am at high risk of heart disease? I’m 39 years old. My regular doctors don’t have a clue, and are poorly educated on this matter. Any help would be much appreciated!

    1. The nearly uniformly low cholesterol in populations that traditionally eat a low fat plant based diet would seem to be a strong indicator that genetics are not the sole controlling factor for high cholesterol. More likely genetics influences who responds more strongly to dietary factors, with those who do having to be extra vigilant. So perhaps you could do a personal trial with an n=1 and go without any added oil or high fat foods for two or three weeks and then get your cholesterol retested. You just might be somebody whose cholesterol making mechanism is extremely sensitive to dietary fat.

      As for what to add to your diet, there are a number of videos on this website that can shed some light on items to add to your diet. For example adding foods high in fiber and phytosterols can help. The best source of phytosterols are seeds, such as sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, so that might be an exception to the no fatty food rule. Nuts are on the list of good phytosterol foods, but lower down and so maybe stick with some seeds to maximize the cholesterol lowering effect. High fiber chick peas plus high phytosterol sesame seeds would seem to make humus a cholesterol lowering powerhouse!. There would still be lots to eat on such a diet, so this wouldn’t be a period of horrible privation. Be very strict with yourself for the test period so that you don’t have to wonder if you could have controlled your cholesterol level if had gone all in.

      So if the trial diet does indeed move the needle with respect to cholesterol, then you will have a valuable data point on which to make dietary decisions. Seems worth the effort to me.

      1. Thank you so much for the great advice. I’ll try that. I probably do eat way too much saturated fat in the forms of coconut oil, dark chocolate, and nuts. I’ll try switching out most of the nuts for seeds and go extremely light on any oils and then check again. Thanks so much!

  27. The New Zealand Heart Foundation has just changed its recommendations for egg intake:
    . They claim saturated fatty acids have a bigger influence on
    cholesterol than cholesterol intake itself. Has this
    supposedly reputable organisation become influenced by the egg industry
    or have they based their advice on flawed research? I’m guessing they have bought into the research quoted above that only uses fasting cholesterol. (btw: I have no
    desire to start eating 6 eggs a week – I’m just curious).

    1. Certainly looks like it has been hoodwinked like so many other nutritional organizations that really should be capable of better reasoning than this. Basically their argument is that since saturated fat is more impact on blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol, then we don’t need to worry about dietary cholesterol. This is like saying that the harm from stabbing yourself with a knife with a 1 inch blade is less harmful than stabbing yourself with a knife with a 3 inch blade, so can feel free to stab ourselves with a 1 inch knife as often as we want to. Shouldn’t the advice really be to just stop stabbing ourselves?

      1. Jim: OMG. You just made me laugh. Too funny!

        The part that also gets to me is that organizations like this seem to gloss over how much dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, while separate, go hand in hand. It’s not like after these recommendations come out that people will eat only the cholesterol parts of the egg yolk, but leave out the saturated fat. Really?

        If these people are going to acknowledge that saturated fat has an effect, how do they turn around and say that eggs are OK for people with heart disease?!? This sentence is so blatantly full of misdirection, it takes my breath away: “There are more important changes people should be focusing on such as increasing vegetable intake, eating more whole and less-processed foods and further reducing saturated fat intake, rather than restricting egg intake.”

  28. Hi, my dad has a low cholesterol in blood but he has a very high blood pressure. is it possible to have low cholesterol but still veins full of plaque? he is using this stupid argue every time :( he also has varicose veins. he eats a lot of fat and meat and diluting his blood with alcohol. when he drinks alkohol he’s blood pressure is ok :( that’s just insane how he’s body misleading him…

    1. 5ko: Dr. Greger has an entire chapter devoted to how dangerous high blood pressure can be — as a risk factor in itself, regardless of one’s cholesterol levels. You can find a lot of videos on this site that cover high blood pressure. The topic page for high blood pressure can be found here:

      Note this first paragraph: “Blood pressure is considered a key vital sign. High blood pressure may be the #1 killer risk factor in the world, as it is a risk factor for coronary artery disease (see also here), heart attacks, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.” If you think it would help your father, you could point him to some of this information.

  29. Ancel Keys has long been debunked. You guy with your fake, weak research will never realize. Sure a food our ancestors ate for hundreds of thousands of years creates a new disease. Can’t wait to you put up your we live way longer ridiculous statistic. That is the number one validation of your adherence to false statistics.

    1. ” You guy with your fake, weak research”

      Excuse me? fake research? Nice insult. Care to apologize? I think Dr Gs research is crystal clear, animal products cause disease and are associated with a sicker, shorter lifespan. Sorry if you don’t want to hear the truth. LOL! No… Ancel Keys has not been debunked, but he has been attacked by misinformed people like you.

  30. I just heard Dr. Joel D. Wallach (author of “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie”) say that he eats 10 eggs a day (he also added that though he’s 76 he is still has plenty of sex because of the testosterone his body makes from the cholesterol)!

    Why is he doing that? Is he just wrong?

    I wish someone could convince him to get an angiogram or something.

    Even Dr. Gabriel Cousens says that it is a myth that dietary cholesterol is dangerous – and he is a proponent of veganism (he has no interest in promoting eating of animals)! There has got to be a debate some time in the near future. This has to be resolved.

    1. Wallach is another hack cashing in on the high fat diet fad. His line of products is called “Youngevity health care products”. He is another snake oil salesman. I think these types of posts are meant to be sneaky advertisements for other Drs books and products. It’s getting a little out of hand. Too many people are posting high fat diet Drs websites and products here, There needs to be a new forum policy about not posting advertisements for “Cholesterol denier” snake oil doctors and bloggers here. It’s getting old.

      1. Not everything is a conspiracy.

        Actually, I’d taken 3 months of one of Wallach’s products, and felt it was a massive waste of money (felt no different whatsoever) so I would never recommend that particular product.

      2. guest: Please let the moderators decide which posts are legitimate or not. Lots of people out there are understandably confused with all the contradictory information thrown their way. It is perfectly reasonable that a lot of people would come to NutritionFacts and ask questions. Your respectful replies to such posts would be welcome. However, if the posts bother you or you can’t reply without impinging on the poster’s character, please just ignore those posts. We have a strong rule against ad hominem attacks. Thank you.

    2. I think you just have to stick with what the majority of good-quality and non-industry-funded research shows. Obviously there are plenty of examples of fast-food-eating cigarette smokers who live into their 80s and beyond, BUT on a population level these people get sick and die at a far younger age. The few lucky and/or genetically gifted folks who beat the odds don’t change the fact that smoking and fast food are extremely unhealthy habits. Also, for all I know, aside from his 10 eggs/day habit, Dr. Wallach may be eating lots of fruits/vegetables/grains/beans and getting a ton of exercise with a strong social support network, all of which are going to help negate or overcome the negative effects of his egg habit (but I’d still wager he’d be even healthier without the eggs!). :)

      1. What I’m saying is that it is confusing to have health professionals that seem to be on the same side (ethically) saying contradictory things – remember I also mentioned Cousens who is a vegan but says that fears of animal-cholesterol are baseless. My whole point was that these things need to be ironed out.

        1. Cousens is also a homeopath as I understand it, which doesn’t indicate much respect for science-based medicine at all. He also buys into the existence of ‘chemtrails’. He’s not merely a vegan, but also an advocate for all-raw diets and such. In other words, he appears to be catering toward a market within scientifically ignorant, deep alt-med communities with some significant tendencies toward the naturalistic fallacy.

          His argument on cholesterol that I’m looking at is none too impressive, to put it mildly. Beside the lack of key citations for big claims, note that he’s a psychiatrist, so his general sloppiness around the issues with heart disease (even to the point of calling Framingham “Farmington” — and hilariously, Dr Castelli, “Pastelli”) is none too surprising. His discussion of the link between cognition and serum cholesterol is also pretty unsophisticated, too, and could easily be produced merely by echoing the opinion of bloggers from the cholesterol denialist fringe, or from the fringe psychiatric M.D. Dr. Perlmutter in particular.

          Given that his views seem to be heavily influenced by a naturalistic bias, a narrow focus upon fears about cognition, an indiscriminate acceptance of pseudoscience, and marketing decisions in a context that is, at its best, only superficially acquainted with the relevant science, I don’t see why you’d regard him as a sufficiently credible source on the medical effects of dietary cholesterol.

          1. Cousens’ credentials are: Rabbi, M.D., M.D.(H.), N.D.(h.c.), D.D., Diplomate Ayurveda, Diplomate American Board of Holistic Medicine (

            We don’t have to agree with people on everything they say or believe (e.g., I don’t subscribe to Rabbinic or Essene Judaism) just to agree with them on a few things.

            I understand your frustration with quacks, but it would not be unreasonable (in this world of instant information) for me to ask you to simply do a little fact-checking (you could easily have found his credentials) before spreading negative rumors like “[Cousens] doesn’t respect science-based medicine at all” would it? I think it would be reasonable. You never mentioned that he was an M.D., but only the approach whereby you thought you could make a mockery of him (homeopathy). Is that honest or kind?

            1. I acknowledge that he’s an M.D, though that wasn’t exactly clear in my prose. Practicing psychiatry requires a license to practice medicine.

              You cited his veganism as a reason why he should count so specifically as a credible critic of the impact of dietary cholesterol, but I just don’t see it. He may be unaffected by one bias, but several others are important, together with his competency in reviewing scientific literature and his willingness to put the time and effort in to get out a good inference.

              You could have based your question on the scientific content of the argument against the negative effects of dietary cholesterol that you have in mind, rather than the credibility of your chosen authorities. However, given that you framed your question that way, it seemed worthwhile to point out why there are good reasons to consider that Cousens is simply not that credible.

              I never said that he doesn’t respect science at all. However I think it is clear that he doesn’t respect science enough to be trusted on this matter. You wanted to cite his opinion because of his dedication to an untarnished view of science, right? I say that he doesn’t have enough of this.

              And while I mostly just described my opinion of the article on cholesterol which I pointed out for brevity — especially considering that you haven’t cited any specific text as the statement of his views on dietary cholesterol — trust me I did read through it and was not impressed by his scholarship or his care in reasoning, if this is indeed the kind of argument from him that you have in mind.

              “Is that honest or kind?”

              It is honest to say that homeopathy is a medical pseudoscience (i.e, “quackery”), and that people who support it have dubious credibility in evaluating other areas of medical science objectively. I haven’t mocked Cousens. I have pointed toward some likely, substantial defects in his intellectual integrity and scientific scholarship, but this does not mean that my comment’s aim was to treat him spitefully or to shame him personally.

              “…if he doesn’t have good bases for his animal-cholesterol views, that’s
              what the debate would be for (he isn’t here to answer for himself) – to
              reveal that.”

              Debates are interesting, but often what’s more interesting — especially on topics such as nutrition science, which depend on many scientific papers — is what people can compose when the time constraints of a live debate aren’t imposed on them. Mercola is hardly the one to point out problems in Cousens’ animal-cholesterol views, anyway, right? They both basically agree that dietary cholesterol is not a problem. Both agree that low-fat diets are, at the very least, highly questionable.

              I have a hard time imagining that they specifically debated whether dietary cholesterol is harmful or not, or that either of these people would be very motivated to point out the flaws in a position on dietary cholesterol which they essentially share with their opponent. If Cousens’ views on dietary cholesterol escaped Mercola’s criticism, that doesn’t seem like it would remark much at all on the quality of Cousens’ position on this issue.

              1. He doesn’t talk much about animal-cholesterol (I’m assuming because he doesn’t even have to deal with the issue since it isn’t something he is a proponent of) so there isn’t much material to work with – that is the very reason why I would like for him to take part in a debate.

                As for why I would cite him, the man has been collecting clinical data (with respect to the implementation of a raw food diet) for decades – e.g., he recounts (“Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine”) advising one of his patients against continuing the practice of drinking raw goat’s milk after seeing (under a dark-field microscope) that it had, in various ways, negatively affected his blood. I also cited him based on his success in treating things like cancer and diabetes – not to mention depression (his approach has a 90% success rate) – based largely on diet.

                I’m not saying you would agree with Dr. Mercola in everything he says or does, but doesn’t it say anything about Cousens at all that Mercola would even take the time out of his day to debate him? Does Dr. Mercola spend his time debating quacks? Here is a link to the first part (there are five) of the debate .

                Here is Dr. Cousens’ article on why eggs aren’t a health food:

                Thanks for being understanding

  31. I am under the impression that eating unpasteurized eggs (i.e. the eggs from my free-range backyard hens) does not cause the same cholesterol problem as store-bought. Are there studies that compare factory eggs to “real” ones?

      1. Thanks for sharing. I worded my comment incorrectly. I was curious how cholesterol denying articles like this are legal if the USDA banned the egg industries from claiming their products are healthy.

        1. Hi VortexFlow,
          The government (whether it’s the US govt or the UK government, where the above article originated) cannot ban simple news articles on nutrition topics, however incorrect the article may be. Here in the US, we have the First Amendment to the Constitution, and I imagine they have something similar in the UK.

    1. Hi James, these individuals and books are not trustworthy sources and misconstrue and invent data to fit their agenda, it is not at all science based although it may appear to be the case on the surface. I encourage you to explore this site further and view the sources cited sections of the various videos so that you can see the studies for yourself.

  32. After 4 months into my no oils vegan experience, as outlined by Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, I had to see if my cholesterol response was as positive as my weight loss and blood pressure reductions. I did indeed experience a significant reduction in total cholesterol (by 25% to 147), but my HDL levels also dropped (52%) to a reportedly undesirable level of 31, placing me in a higher risk catagory. I’ve never felt better. Internet research suggests that too little fat might be the culprit. So, wherein lies the greater good?

    1. Hi Don, congratulations on the weight loss and positive changes in blood pressure and total cholesterol! HDL cholesterol in general is largely influenced by genetics, but exercise can sometimes positively impact HDL cholesterol. At the end of my comment I have attached a link to a study that examined the influence of exercise-based cardiac rehab (CR) on HDL cholesterol levels and HDL cholesterol efflux. They reported a benefit of CR to HDL. This article also highlights the current research linking exercise to improvements in HDL cholesterol. Overall, if you are not currentely exercising regularly you may want to begin and hopefully you will see an improvement in your HDL cholesterol levels. Best.

    2. Don Beiner: I’m not an expert, but I don’t think your HDL levels are anything to worry about. Dr. McDougall has addressed your situation in one of his older newsletter articles:

      The article includes these quotes: “Worldwide (comparing people who eat different diets) those who have the lowest HDL levels (like people in rural Japan, China, and Africa) have the lowest rate of heart disease…”
      “HDL cholesterol is a risk factor – not a disease. No one dies of low HDL – they die of rotten arteries.”
      “When you adopt the McDougall Program, you will watch your total cholesterol fall dramatically. As it does, both LDL and HDL levels will drop, as well. And as they do, so too will your risk of heart disease. And your health will improve dramatically. Unfortunately, because HDL doesn’t go up with a healthy diet some unenlightened physicians – acting like puppets for the pharmaceutical industry – give their patients a totally undeserved hard time.”

      My bottom line is: All your main indicators from total cholesterol to PB to weight loss to how you feel suggest that you are doing fantastic. So, perhaps this concern about HDL is not warranted? What do you think?

      1. follow up: I see that you also got advice about getting more exercise. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that too! Of course, getting some good exercise is good for a variety of health reasons. My only point is about not stressing about HDL levels when everything else is looking so good.

        1. Hi Thea,

          Thank you for your input. I was going to let it go, but I can’t leave this thread without offering as encouragement to others who may be reading these posts out of concern for their own health, the amazing results I had following the oil free vegan lifestyle for only a few months.

          I thought I was ‘maybe’ 10 pounds over my ideal weight, so that was my New Year’ resolution weight loss goal, 10 pounds. Well, 22 pounds came off without even trying. I haven’t been this trim since high school. My BP was closing in on ‘medication time’. I could easily have chaulked it up to getting older and gone with the program. That would have been a big mistake! It has since dropped to 115/72. Today my cholesterol results show an equally amazing decline. I will definitely get back into a regular walking routine now that the weather is improving here in the midwest. Maybe I can tweak my HDL numbers up some, but there is no way that I will be going back my old pescatarian ways. With the information you and Dr Newton have kindly offered, I won’t give it another thought.

          Be well.

          1. Don: That’s a fantastic story! I’m sure it will provide inspiration for many others. I LOVE hearing stories like that. Thank you for taking the time to share.

    3. Hi Don, I echo Thea’s good advice. Low LDL matters far more than raised HDL.

      108 randomized trials involving nearly 300k participants at risk of cardiovascular events. HDL levels found to play no significant role in determine risk. Primary goal remains to lower LDL.

      Genetic studies of high HDL, high LDL, and low LDL. High genetically raised HDL not protective, while high LDL is damaging. Low LDL is protective

      In this animal model study, atherosclerotic lesion growth regressed in a low LDL environment, but did not with high HDL.

      1. Rami: Thanks so much for this added details/information. So many people have this question/concern. I’m going to be saving this post!

      2. Hi Rami,

        Thank you for your reply and for the very infomative links. It would have been nice if my LDL had also dropped as dramatically (to something under 70), but still, a 20% reduction to 89 is progress in the right direction and in only a few months. I still can’t get over that.

        Be well,

      3. All of these studies (and others) help to explain the dramatic *failure* of niacin or newer HDL-raising drugs to regress atherosclerotic plaques or affect cardiovascular disease outcomes. Best to focus on getting LDL as low as possible and on keeping insulin sensitivity high through both diet and exercise, which causes favorable changes in LDL particle number and particle density.

    Dr. Greger, I wanted to get your help on this if you wouldn’t mind taking a look.
    This link is from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and, though I am science oriented, I don’t know how to decipher how they managed to set this up to obtain these results. It’s being peddled on facebook as truth, and I need some ammunition on how to dismantle the study. Please advise.
    Joe Caucci

    1. The two main causes of high blood cholesterol are believed to be dietary saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.

      In this study, we do not know what people ate in place of eggs or dietary cholesterol. If people ate high saturated fat foods like sausages, bacon, burgers, cheese etc (which, given it was Finland, is likely) then it is not surprising that there was no difference in blood cholestero, ICTl levels etc

  34. Hi Dr. Gregor. I just got done reviewing some evidence which contradicts high cholesterol as a causation for higher mortality. According to an eight-year study of about 26,000 men and women in Isehara, Kanagawa Prefecture, the death rate of men whose LDL cholesterol levels were between 100 mg/dl and 160 mg/dl was low, while the rate rose for those with LDL cholesterol levels of less than 100 mg/dl. Could you by chance look into this and figure out how this could be possible.

    1. In Western countries, most people have relatively high cholesterol.

      However, some diseases like Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, liver disease, alcoholism and certain viral infections cause cholesterol to decline (even trauma can do it) – sometimes many years before clinical symptoms of the disease appear. In these cases, declining cholesterol is a preclinical marker of disease. There are vastly more of these people than there are people who have been eating WFPB diets for many years.

      As a consequence, population studies and especially studies of older people often show an association between low cholesterol and mortality, Alzheimers’s etc. This has been known for many years. However, people keep funding simplistic studies that showing such associations. This has been happening for decades and is very convenient for those food industries whose products raise blood cholesterol, and marketers of high fat diets like Atkins, paleo etc. It is even more convenient when those studies fail to mention the research that shows that people with stable cholesterol throughout life do not have excess mortality and nor do populations that have average low cholesterol compared to Western populations. Or that people who have their cholesterol lowered by statins have lower not higher mortality.

      “Iribarren et al9 go beyond the usual classification of “low cholesterol” based on a single measure and instead have examined future disease risk according to whether cholesterol level was stable over about 6 years or whether low cholesterol resulted from falling blood cholesterol levels. Among nearly 6000 healthy Japanese-American men enrolled in the Honolulu Heart Study, they measured total serum cholesterol at two time points, with mortality follow-up extending for up to 16 years. Results showed the expected association of elevated cholesterol with coronary disease. In addition, falling levels of cholesterol were linked to an excess risk of hepatic disease and cancer in particular, whereas low (<4.7 mmol/L, <180 mg/dL) but stable levels over time were not associated with excess risk. Their findings provide evidence that the association previously reported between low cholesterol and noncoronary mortality probably reflected the cholesterol-lowering metabolic consequences of long-term subclinical disease rather than a hazard associated with low cholesterol per se.

      This conclusion is consistent with results of a recent meta-analysis10 of cause-specific mortality (including unpublished data on noncardiovascular causes of death) from 10 large cohort studies and 2 international studies that concluded that reduced serum cholesterol is not related to excess mortality among cohorts of employed individuals, whereas population-based studies did show a relationship. The investigators proposed that the discrepancy in results was probably due to a higher frequency of risk factors associated with low cholesterol, eg, alcohol abuse and ill health, in population-based study samples compared with employed cohorts.

      Two additional pieces of evidence that suggest that low cholesterol is not a causal factor for noncardiovascular disease are the normal to extended life expectancy experienced by individuals with genetically determined hypobetacholesterolemia11 and populations with low average blood cholesterol levels, such as the Japanese and Greeks, who do not exhibit an excess of noncardiovascular disease deaths.12"

    1. Amo: To my knowledge, there are no such studies which prove that cholesterol is not harmful. There are some studies which *claim* to show that cholesterol is not harmful, but those studies have fatal flaws. In other words, they use tricks based on well known human biology characteristics in order to fool people. If you would like to learn more, check out these NutritionFacts articles and videos. You can click the ‘sources cited’ button to the right of the videos if you want to check the sources/original studies.

      On this page is the article that talks about how we know that dietary cholesterol affects blood cholesterol (and yes, it is harmful):

      1. for example :

        Blesso CN, Andersen CJ, Barona J, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism. 2013 Mar;62(3):400-10.

        To be sincere, im not a “study reader” but i read a lot of book, in france we have some about this subject (studies based), and the majority of conclusions are cholesterol in arteries is not a pathology in herself but a sign of inflammation. The idea is cholesterol come to repair the damages from inflammation on artery.

        Other thing, a study who found cholesterol drop after intense session of training in athlete. And the fact of eat some eggs post training ride up level to a normal baseline and speed up recovery.

        I’m not one side or other at all, in fact i really search to understand the truth. I really believe in the vegan diet, i’ve read a lot of book about that and have make the change myself but after some problem i’ve return to vegetarian diet and all is return to normal. (i had mainly hormonal problems) but i suspect the low fat diet i was doing… however Esselstyn and others provide some study about the fact low fat whole food vegan is the best diet for health… But i can tell you low fat destruct me… So that’s why i’m skeptical sometimes… You can find sutdy about all subject but later these study are prooved wrong and the reverse is “prooved”.

        Today i’ve cheked my hormones level to have a baseline, and retry full vegan diet and make another bloodword in 2-3 months…..

        I sorry, i disgress a little, but the subject is so vast.. I’m french and here it’s difficult to find some goode info. I will try to look in these book and give you some study.

        1. Amo: As I said, you can find studies which *claim* that eating say eggs does not affect cholesterol levels, but those studies are flawed. The ways in which they are flawed are explained in the links I gave you.
          I’m sorry you have had problems with your hormone levels. I’m not an expert, but you yourself seem to think the problem has to do with the fat content of your diet. To that idea, I would point out that you can eat a whole plant food diet and still have high fat content if you choose. (I’m not saying you should do that. I’m just saying it is possible. And I know of a group of people who choose to do so.) Choosing the fat content of your diet can be a separate issue from whether you choose to eat eggs or other animal products high in saturated fat and cholesterol–and high in many other things that are bad for you as well.
          Good luck with finding a diet that works for you.

          1. Ok, i willl view it again, i’m actually reading how to not die, maybe i will have some info about that too.

            The probleme with my hormones is not to tell i need eggs, but to says, despite all the study about the benefits of high carb vegan.So i think anyone is different and an approach is not necessary the best for all. When i have read Campbell, Esselstyn etc book’s i was convinced this is the only approach. but it really make me feel like a sh**. Since i’ve switched to “high” fat the thing become really better. I can’t tell why but its a fact. Sadly for me, there is no much study about “high” fat vegan..

            Maybe i was too low in fat and a moderate approach can fix the probleme but i feel really good right now. The reintroduce of eggs was because i was really in bad state. Mood, libido, strenght, nervous system.. All was deranged, so i have decided to restart at 0 (with a vegeratian diet).

            During my research about my hormones level, i’ve found a lot of studies on the impact of fat on it, saturated and mono saturated in particular (and cholesterol intake too). I now try the same approach, but veganised…and without cholesterol. I will see…. My blood test this morning give me a start point on a “good state”.

            In some month a make the test again and i will report the results

  35. Dr Greggor, do you have a point of view on the safety of egg whites, which have no cholesterol and no fat? Thank you.

    1. Kenneth Shea: I love this question, because I think I have a really good answer. :-) Here is my standard reply about egg whites, including information from NutritionFacts/Dr. Greger:

      There are two problems with eggs, the yolk and the white. (To paraphrase Dr. Barnard.) Egg whites are likely a big problem health-wise, just like the yolks. It is true that egg whites do not have cholesterol. But egg whites are essentially all animal protein. Here’s what we know about animal protein in general and egg whites in particular:

      Dr. Barnard links potential kidney problems to animal protein (though I don’t have the details on that). And Dr. Greger talks about the problems of animal protein in general in his annual summary video, “Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet”

      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.

      Here’s another great tidbit from NutritionFacts on another mechanism linking egg whites to cancer as well as increased virus infections: “why would animal protein and fat increase cancer risk? Well, as I noted in Bowel Wars, if you eat egg whites, for example, between 5 and 35% of the protein isn’t digested, isn’t absorbed, and ends up in the colon, where it undergoes a process called putrefaction. When animal protein putrefies in the gut, it can lead to the production of the rotten egg gas, hydrogen sulfide, which, over and above its objectionable odor, can produce changes that increase cancer risk. Putrefying protein also produces ammonia.”
      To learn more details about the process, check out:

      Darryl at one point reminded me of the methionine issue, which I think I first learned from Rami and later from Dr. Greger. Egg whites have *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22
      Dr. Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and 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.”

      Dr. Greger recently posted some videos on how animal protein can raise insulin levels. The first of the following videos even specifically addresses egg whites.

      In summary: there are at least three pathways potentially linking animal proteins, especially egg whites, to cancer: the IGF-1, methionine, and putrefaction. And there is some good evidence that egg white consumption contributes to heart disease and potential problems with T2 diabetes by raising insulin levels in a bad way. All of these reductionist-type studies lend support the bigger general population studies showing that the healthiest populations on earth are those which eat the least amount of animal protein.

      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? IE: 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?

  36. Question for the doctors… been a fan of this site for a long time. I have read Campbell (China Study and Whole), Esselstyn (Engine 2, P&RHD + the cookbook) and on and on. 3 years I became a vegan and for the past two years I have been on a whole food plant based diet that is nearly SOS-free. I even gave up vegan dishes that used any form of coconut milk/cream in belief it raised cholesterol. I have been eating one brazil nut twice a week. My cholesterol in 2014 was 178 fasting (LDL 103 / HDL 55 non-HDL 123), 2015 172 (92 / 58 / 114) and now in 2016 181 (95 / 48 / ?). C-RP 0.14 mg/L. 5 foot 8 and 150 lbs and very active. I can’t for the life of me tell what I am doing wrong. I eat lots of nuts, seeds and avocados – could the saturated fat from those sources drive my cholesterol up? So at a loss here! Google no help!! TIA, Rodger

    1. research update. Did find the article,

      I do eat dark chocolate everyday, thought it was heart healthy. I eat Taza Cacao Puro which is just stone ground cacao beans and sugar, nothing else. Guessing the cocoa butter there is upping it. I also drink two shots espresso in AM. Cafestrol. I will cut those out and check my TSH levels and check back in 60 days. Otherwise, I do everything in that article that is good and eat a ton of beans!!

  37. Hi Does anyone know how to lower Lp PLA2. All my blood levels and ratios are in good range except for this one that comes in at 215. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

  38. After eating a vegan diet for 9 months it appears I have symptoms of low cholesterol- symptoms of depression, blurred vision, adrenal fatigue, stiff and sore muscles. I eat avocados, nuts, and coconut daily. My daughter seems to have the same issue. I would rather not eat animal products. Any suggestions?


    I do believe according to this and many other articles by heart doctors, the fear of cholesterol was totally unfounded and grassfed meats and products simply add nutritious Omega 3 to our diets and without a healthy level of cholesterol, our health physically and mentally will suffer. The new research is out. Being on Statins is actually dangerous, preventing our body from producing something we were meant to have in our system.

    1. Ellen: Mercola is not a credible source of information, and this article is a perfect example of why I say that. Here’s a quote from Mercola’s article: “Now, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) has done a complete about-face. They are finally acknowledging what the science shows, which is that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.””

      This is simply not true. The DGAC committee did not do a “complete about-face.” Quite the opposite. I recommend you take a look at this article which explains how the FDA got to their initial conclusion (which later got reversed): Very important details. As they say, the devil is in the details.
      And, as it turns out, when it came to the final/actual guidelines that got released (as opposed to the preliminary floater ideas), the FDA did the very opposite of removing cholesterol limits form its dietary guidelines. The FDA got forced to actually acknowledge the science. In the end, the FDA strengthened their warning about cholesterol. You can read about it here: And here is a quote:
      The Guidelines state: “As recommended by the IOM, individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible … Strong evidence from mostly prospective cohort studies but also randomized controlled trials has shown that eating patterns that include lower intake of dietary cholesterol are associated with reduced risk of CVD, and moderate evidence indicates that these eating patterns are associated with reduced risk of obesity. … Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal foods such as egg yolk, dairy products, shellfish, meats, and poultry.”
      Sometimes the truth really does win. The problem is that many websites such as Mercola’s didn’t bother to report what actually happened. That makes sense since Mercola sells meat on his website. Mercola has a huge conflict of interest when it comes to making nutrition recommendations. Here at NutritionFacts, we stick to the science. And the science on cholesterol is very clear and largely unchanged over decades. You can learn more here if you are interested:

      1. This article dated Aug. 21, 2018, from the fastest growing health news source in the world:
        -along with other less egregious errors, claimed: “Many used to believe that dietary cholesterol was associated with cardiovascular disease. Recent evidence shows no significant link.”
        They sourced the USDA Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. On pg 58 of that report “Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” which sourced these two studies:
        I’m so relieved to see your PCRM link that this was reversed. What can we do? MNT is owned by Healthline Media which received 95 million dollars from Summit Partners. They are disseminating this mis-information throughout the UK, US and parts of Asia.

        1. D.A.: I’ve been thinking about your question: What can we do?

          The situation seems overwhelming at times. When seemingly reputable sources disseminate bad information, WHAT *CAN* WE DO? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I was thinking about how I answer that question for myself. In case you will find it helpful, here are my thoughts:

          Someone who is extremely knowledgeable and perhaps with the right kind of degree can reply directly to MNT if the site has any kind of review board/process. (If they do not have a way to correct errors, then why are people seeing MNT as a legitimate source of information?) I’m not that person. However, I can support groups like PCRM who do directly fight this kind of mis-information. (PCRM is one of my favorite charities.) Since this MNT article just came out, we might also bring it to PCRM’s attention.

          PCRM also works at the government level to support human health. I was recently watching an old talk from Brenda Davis, RD ( where she talks about how they reversed rampant diabetes on the Marshal Islands. Part of what was needed to literally make diabetes go away in a culture where it became rampant over a 60 year period was getting the government on board. (Hey, let’s stop taxing fresh fruit and veggies and tax the junk instead, etc.) This reminded me that one thing you and I can do in our own countries is work to get politicians elected who will work for our health (and the future of the planet).

          While the world situation often seems overwhelming, especially when respected sources misrepresent the science, it is also true that word about the benefits of plant based diets is starting to spread. I hear stats now and then about major businesses looking to add more plant based options to their product lines. They aren’t doing it for charity. They are adding plant foods because there is a market for it. Despite the misinformation, people are starting to understand what healthy eating looks like. What can you and I do to make a world where MNT’s claims would be instantly and viscerally understood as ridiculous?

          I think being a good role model for the people around you is important. Also, educating ourselves well enough that when people bring up paleo or MNT talking points, we can calmly explain the errors is a great way to help people move a step closer to understanding the science.

          I also think that doing what we can to create a culture change is important. So, working at a local level to support community groups that provide education and moral support for people is a good idea. For example, my city has a group that does vegan potlucks, educational videos, etc. Supporting this group is a community service which helps to get the word out about eating diets of whole plant foods. What I like about this effort is that I’m reaching more than my little immediate group of friends and family. (Ie, more than what I can impact just by being a good role model)

          I also often go to new restaurants in town and make a big production of asking what vegan food they have. If they have some, I eat there. If they don’t, I get a sad look on my face and walk out, telling them that they don’t have anything I want to eat, but I hope that they will get healthy vegan food in the future. I also tell them about the big meetup group in town and how I wanted to do an event at their restaurant, but can’t until they fix their menu. :-)

          If you work in an office setting that at least gives lip service to caring about the health of it’s employees, you might show them NutritionFact’s videos on the CHIP program and the work PCRM did at ___(the company is eluding me – was it an insurance company?/Geico). If the business buy into the idea that improving employee diets could help employee productivity and health costs, then you can propose showing videos like Forks Over Knives to employees or see if it’s possible to get the CHIP program.

          Your question may have been rhetorical and/or my reply may not be the kind of answer you were looking for. While none of these ideas directly deals with MNT, I feel that these are important steps everyone can take and that it all adds up.

          What do you think?

  40. The first study (that this “nutritionfact” is mainly based on) states that the fit of the model (the r value) is 0.6 which is almost random, showing basically NO corellation between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol. On top of that the article has zero comments, and havn’t been cited a single time by other researchers. Why would you think it a good idea to choose this article?
    Also your comment on the article was removed by the PubMed moderators… seems really fishy mate.

  41. I’m linking a post from a bobybuilding site which is claiming high cholesterol intake is good for gains, and also the old trope of how dietary cholesterol intake doesn’t affect blood cholesterol levels. There are a many studies linked and cited, which I wasn’t able to go through. I’d love some help in debunking it. It’s quite detailed.

    1. Hey Daniel, thanks for writing. It’s true that the effects of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol are variable. A review I read on this a while back said that one out of every three individuals will experience a rise in blood cholesterol when they eat high-cholesterol foods.

      It’s true that if one is BODYBUILDING (not just lifting weights, which helps the body use nitrogen more efficiently, and doesn’t require protein be added to the diet) a higher protein intake is essential, because the intensity of the exercise is so catabolic. There are however considerations apart from protein intake. Calorie intake is even more important, in order to spare protein from being broken down for energy. There is also the problem of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) in animal protein that are either not present in plant protein or present in small amounts only. AGEs are very proinflammatory and insert themselves into articular cartilage, thereby aging the joints prematurely (see – NOT the thing for people who want their bodies to last. The proinflammatory effect could also contribute to delayed muscle recuperation. Getting an abundant supply of aminos from plant foods might represent a safer alternative.

  42. Daniel Okulitch: You might want to take a look at the work done by Plant Positive. He does a great job of debunking cholesterol denialist pseudo-science. There are a ton of detailed videos. It’s not a 30 second sound bit. But if you really want to get into the science and learn how to debunk the sites like the ones you found (in a format that I consider pretty fun), I recommend his site.

    I’m linking here to a specific video (the beginning of the set with the title ‘Cholesterol Confusion’, but take a look at the full table of contents on the right to get a sense of the body of work.

  43. This may be true for some, but for those of us with genetic variations that lead to ridiculously low (medically considered “great”) cholesterol levels, it’s not true. I consume 400-600 mg of cholesterol a day and my triglycerides have NEVER gone above 50 (fasting or non-fasting). I once ate 3 eggs and 6 sausages before a lipids test and my numbers were lower than ever; triglycerides were 36, LDL 42, and HDL 94. My child was eating 2 eggs a day and 4 sausages, plus other saturated fat meats, and her fasting lipids was severely low (TC 90, LDL 34, HDL 46). We are now investigating SLOS and supplementation. The danger with the medical community claiming to people that there’s no such thing as too low of cholesterol is great; we know there is a problem with it, as there are cholesterol metabolism genetic disorders that prove this to us (serious developmental and cognitive issues). Cholesterol IS NECESSARY for our bodies to function; we need them for sex hormone production and bile creation. I wish the medical community would begin to acknowledge and address this problem more. Some people NEED to consume large quantities of cholesterol to remain healthy, because our bodies do not synthesize adequate amounts to sustain healthy biological functions.

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