How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies

How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies
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The cholesterol in eggs not only worsens the effects of saturated fat, but has a dramatic effect on the level of cholesterol and fat circulating in our bloodstream during the day.


Blood cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by adding 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 we ate the saturated fat and cholesterol found in two sausage and egg mcmuffins every day for two weeks, our cholesterol would shoot up nearly 30 points. If we ate about the same 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 this side. Same saturated fat, but two eggs worth less cholesterol, would only bump us up to here. So yes, 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 straight from a meal called chylomicrons can build up in atherosclerotic plaques just like LDL cholesterol. So what happens after a meal that includes eggs?

Here’s what happens to the level of fat and cholesterol in our blood stream for the 7 hours after eating a meal with no-fat, no-cholesterol. Hardly changes at all. But now a meal with fat and more and more egg yolk. Triglycerides shoot up, and blood cholesterol shoots 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 that study that compared smoking to egg consumption 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, look what our arteries are being pummeled with all night long. And think about the day. How many hours are there between meals? Maybe 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. Most of our lives are lived in a postprandial state, in an after-meal state, and this shows that the amount of cholesterol in those meals—they actually used eggs in this study, so 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 the next day way out here somewhere.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to College of Ag Communications via Flickr and Made20rder555 via Wikimedia Commons.

Blood cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by adding 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 we ate the saturated fat and cholesterol found in two sausage and egg mcmuffins every day for two weeks, our cholesterol would shoot up nearly 30 points. If we ate about the same 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 this side. Same saturated fat, but two eggs worth less cholesterol, would only bump us up to here. So yes, 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 straight from a meal called chylomicrons can build up in atherosclerotic plaques just like LDL cholesterol. So what happens after a meal that includes eggs?

Here’s what happens to the level of fat and cholesterol in our blood stream for the 7 hours after eating a meal with no-fat, no-cholesterol. Hardly changes at all. But now a meal with fat and more and more egg yolk. Triglycerides shoot up, and blood cholesterol shoots 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 that study that compared smoking to egg consumption 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, look what our arteries are being pummeled with all night long. And think about the day. How many hours are there between meals? Maybe 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. Most of our lives are lived in a postprandial state, in an after-meal state, and this shows that the amount of cholesterol in those meals—they actually used eggs in this study, so 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 the next day way out here somewhere.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to College of Ag Communications via Flickr and Made20rder555 via Wikimedia Commons.

Doctor's Note

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 this 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?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

210 responses to “How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies

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      1. The video doesn’t talk about low-fat and low-carb diets. It talks about dietary cholesterol, particularily dietary cholesterol coming from eggs.

        1. But the original post that I replied to suggested a rubber stamp for ALL misleading studies. I was only saying that misleading studies exist in all areas, not just the pro-fat group, so the rubber stamp should be applied equally across ALL studies. This is something that NUSI seems more qualified to do IMHO.

          1. As plant positive has pointed out on his youtube channel: NUSI is a group of scientist supported by the meat industry who’s aim is to promote the eating of meat. If you believe what they say I’m afraid I have to tell you you have been misled.

            1. Other than the fact that Dr Attia and Gary Taubes are the founders, the other board members and scientific advisory board seem excellent. I’ll also wait for them to start publishing research results and reading peer reviews before I pass judgement. I don’t know enough about plant positive to respect his opinion at this point.

                1. I watched Plant Positives arguments against NUSI, but it wasn’t very convincing. Also did a quick search, and Plant Positive isn’t without his reputable critics either:


                  It’s interesting to note that Anthony is also a critic of Gary Taubes – mostly because of his comments on exercise I guess.

                  When NUSI starts publishing results, I’ll certainly read it while understanding that 2 of the founders are low-carb diet promoters, and appreciate the possibility of bias. But if the study and results are good, and it stands up to peer review, then I’ll be willing to accept the results regardless of which position they support.

                  As far as I can tell, Dr Attia seems to be genuine and above board, without ulterior motives.

                  1. So you believe something is credible before it publish anything ? The fact that Dr Attia and Gary Taubes are behind this is a big No No for credibility. “Dr Attia a genuine above board, without ulterior motives” You mean THE Dr Attia that fake emotion on TED ? He clearly doesn’t seem to be somebody without ulterior motives..

                    Admit it, you have pick your side while claiming you’ve don’t…

                    1. Actually I said I’ll wait for them to start publishing results, and also this: “read it while understanding that 2 of the founders are low-carb diet promoters, and appreciate the possibility of bias.”. Hence I’m trying to be open minded. It doesn’t make much sense to assume that is NUSI simply a facade for the meat industry promoting their products before they actually do anything.

                      Dr Attia does have a disclosure statement on his Eating Academy site also:


                    2. Sorry, but English is not my birth language (and I’ve learned it by myself) so if u want to suggest a correction I can edit my old comment.

                    3. Actually, we are all waiting for them to start publishing results – and waiting and waiting. The low-carb community keep telling the public how healthy it is to load up on saturated fat, cholesterol and protein – only basic sanity (and science) point in an opposite direction. So I’ll stick to the whole foods plant based diet since that is what the best science points to for a healthy life.
                      (Please do not send me any links to single studies showing low-carb is healthy, as I am talking about the body of science and not a few outliers with questionable results. It isn’t wrong to question the status quo, but if you are going to you better bring the evidence, and a lot of it, or you better stay home.)

                    1. Han: 1) You can gently, respectfully educate. or 2) Ignore. You don’t have to respond to anyone. You may end up with a bloody tongue (re the saying: “You had to bite your tongue to keep from saying anything.”), but this place will be much better for the discipline/maturity.

                      I’ve been pleased with the results when people do choose to engage others respectfully. I’ve seen several community members who who started out very critical and ended up educated and enthusiastic. That doesn’t happen when personal attacks are involved. But you don’t have to engage when it doesn’t seem worth the effort or the logic of someone’s post is so backward that you can’t think of a way to logically respond. (I’m not saying anything specific about this thread. That’s a general point based on many a posts here at NutritionFacts.)

                      I personally have appreciated your participation on this site. And I truly understand how very frustrating some posters can be. But the rules are important if NutritionFacts is going to be a good place for learning and support. I hope you will be a helpful contributing member going forward long into the future.

                    2. I’m not exactly sure what I stated that was very frustrating for Han. Was it that I was questioning the analysis of NUSI by Plant Positive by referring to Anthony Copolo as a critic?

                    3. theyfly: I can’t speak for any one else.

                      Since you asked, I will take the time to add the following as diplomatically as I can: I think you are sincere and trying your best. And yet, I had the exact same reaction that Han did. I can’t imagine it is possible for any thinking person to actually have listened to all the massive amounts of the evidence that Plant Positive has against not only NUSI, but Dr. Attia himself, using Dr. Attia’s own words and the real science, and come to a conclusion that the man is “genuine and above board”. Wow. I meant it literally: I don’t believe it is possible–and I think you are doing your best to be a thinking person. Thus, such a sincere belief (your posts are not only polite (a big compliment from me!) but also I believe quite sincere), can not come from a place of knowledge.

                      What I see as positive is that you are trying to figure it all out. That puts you head and shoulders above many, many others. I hope you will be able to review credible research in the future. Best of luck to you.

          2. Again, the original post doesn’t directly talk about low-fat and low-carb diets, but ok yes I agree that bad science should be criticized whether or not we happen to agree with the thesis it seams to support.

            If you want to know my personal opinion of the low-carb vs low-fat debate, I think it’s a false dilemna. Rawfoodists and Frugivores tend to lose more weight than either groups. In fact, if anything, these diets tend to work “too well” for weight loss, enough that adopter often become underweight, especially if they have maintained their diet for a long time, which actually create problems of its own. Notice that Rawfoodists and Frugivores have elements of both a low-fat and a lot-carb diet. Both are vegan and hence eliminate animal fat and proteins, and also they also eliminate most starchy foods like grains.
            I think both fats and carbs are fattening if taken in large quantity and people should lose weight by cutting back on either, or ideally on a bit of both with moderation.

            1. But frugivores generally eat about 80% of their calories from carbohydrates, and 10% from fats. That puts them squarely in the “low-fat” group. Also, it’s been shown that excess carbohydrates alone are not very fattening. It’s only when they are combined with a high-fat diet that they become fattening. The human body doesn’t do very much de novo lipogenesis (conversion of carbohydrates into fat), despite what most people think. The body would rather burn off the excess carbohydrates as heat, than convert them to fat with a 30% caloric loss in the process.

              The only way carbohydrates cause significant de novo lipogenesis, is by increasing blood insulin, which causes the body to store the fat from the meal. With a low-fat diet, there isn’t much fat in the food, so it’s difficult to gain weight, even when you overeat on carbohydrates. Most of the excess just gets burned off.

              1. Excess of any macronutrient will result in weight gain. When you eat low fat whole plant foods its difficult to gain weight because of the caloric density of the food. Carbohydrates in cracker or bread form when eaten in excess can result in weight gain, as can dried fruits, when eaten in excess of caloric needs.

  1. This video should be sent to Dr. Nancy Snyderman who was on the today show last week commenting on a study article stating eating more protein is best for weight loss. She went on to say protein from the “incredible edible egg” was a good option. It is not just confusing, but harmful when TV Docs come on and add validity to these misleading studies. Because Dr. Snyderman is a regular on the Today show, her opinion is trusted and believed. I would like to see an opposing opinion aired or maybe have Dr. Barnard or Dr. McDougall be the regular commenting doctor. It is no doubt sponsorship at work here. As Dr. McDougall says, ” it’s business.”

      1. I call bunk on your “most homeless people throw the food I give them away because what they really want are drugs”

        Homeless people aren’t generally in the habit of turning down food and shelter and other life-sustaining aid because it’s not the drugs they REALLY wanted. Somehow equating homeless people generally to spoiled children or coddled aristocracy is offensive and wrong.

        1. Maybe you are correct where you live, but that is not the case here.

          Our experience here is different. Here 60-70% of our homeless are dependent on Pills (eg Norco, MS Contin etc), heroin, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Cocaine. This is also what I see in our office everyday when we drug test and many that we see are homeless.
          We have a prison release program that our county gets paid, for allowing “non-violent” criminals to get relocated here.

          One of my acquaintances is a lieutenant in the Salvation army and they said it was disturbing them how many drug addicts they has seen of late, and they stated it all started after the relocation program began.

          This is just one of many experiences we have had here. We have a youth group that went and bought 100 tacos at Taco Bell for a large group of congregating homeless. The youth group was very surprised that when they were given the food they took the tacos and threw them in the trash can and stated, “We don’t want your food, we want your money!”

  2. The Australian Heart Foundation actually recommends eating SIX eggs a week, and has given the egg industry their “Tick” of approval (which is a recognised trademark authorised by the Australian Heart Foundation, to indicate “Heart healthy” foods), and now found on cartons of eggs up and down the country. It’s an absolute disgrace AND the Australian Heart Foundation gets lots of money for endorsing eggs with their “Tick.” How many people is this propaganda killing?

    1. It’s incredible how money and habit can utterly distort people’s judgement and perspective, to the detriment of their own values, health, and lives. (And the egg propaganda is killing an unspeakable number of chickens, too).

  3. The study on cholesterol consumption and serum cholesterol levels was from 1992. I thought new research had debunked this and that now the wisdom is that the amount of cholesterol you eat doesn’t matter that much. I just completed a BS in nutrition and that’s what we were taught. Please comment.

      1. Mercola, David Perlmutter, Masley, Green Med Info and many many high level doctors are citing that only grass-fed or pastured eggs, meat and milk are good for you. In general, they are more focused on avoiding diabetes and alzheimer’s disease than cancer and atherosclerosis, but it really is something to be considered.
        John S

        1. Yeah, but what are they citing? Can you at least point to a specific argument from the crowd that you take to be very strong in promoting the healthfulness of pastured animal foods as being far above non-pastured?

          I would hardly consider Mercola and Perlmutter to the best sources, by the way. They are clearly in the business of peddling supplements at this point.

    1. It seems clear you got the BS part. I got my BS degree from BSU (true). Such baloney they teach too often. As noted above…..And published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, citing Dr. Clare M. Hasler, “It is now known that there is little if any connection between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels…>: Stunning/after The China Study/Dr. Greger/Dr. Dean Ornish/Dr. Esselstyn……../and now we have to deal with ?Lauren?/The Paleo Diet You might want to ask for a refund of tuition/and invest it with T. Colin Campbell/Cornell.

    2. Ironically, this video is attempting to explain to you how this “new research” was fraudulently designed (by egg industry “scientists”) to “debunk” the reality that eating cholesterol raises your cholesterol levels. The “new research” to which you refer was specifically designed to mislead by leaving out crucial details. For example, if you already have high serum cholesterol, eating an extra egg daily will not change your serum cholesterol much. However, if you start on a 0 cholesterol diet as a baseline (the only valid scientific way to test this hypothesis) and first establish a low serum cholesterol (≤180 mg/dL) you will find that adding an egg a day to the diet dramatically raises serum cholesterol. Here’s an example of research that showed what happens when you add cholesterol (eggs) to the diet of people habituated to a very low cholesterol intake: Dr. Greger has many other videos on this same topic.

          1. I visited your site and listened to the first video about low fat high carbohydrate diets. I do agree with you completely about the calorie theory and I think what you said about over cutting calories was very sensible as well. You did say that few people can lose weight consuming between 2500 and 3000 calories a day. I actually am a person who did this. I did this by bicycling absolutely everyday for at least an hour. I now maintain a 100 pound weight loss for 4 years consuming about 3500 calories a day. I often bicycle for 2 hours or even more a day. I count calories to make sure I am eating enough, but not too much. I also agree with your statements that a plant based diet helps persons to eat fewer calories than they are burning without feeling hungry- mainly because of the fiber content. If I ate *all* that I wanted, it would be at least 10,000 calories a day. Eating a more whole foods, nutrient dense whole foods plant based diet helps me to be satisfied without eating *all* that I want. My three core beliefs about weight control are to 1. eat the *right* number of calories each day, not too few or too many. 2. Daily exercise 3. Whole foods, high fiber, high nutrient plant based diet.

      1. I am a Frech MD. I learnt decades ago that eating dietary cholesterol had no effect on a patient having normal level of cholesterol. We learnt also that eggs have to come from controlled production , to not eat more than 6 eggs a week , including the eggs used to cook ( cream, sauce etc), no white before 1 year old children to not inhibit the biotin from the yolk, etc consuming too much eggs altering the liver metabolism and more. Here in the US the consumers are lost.

        1. Here is where you are wrong with the dietary cholesterol/serum cholesterol idea.

          “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be expected once baseline dietary cholesterol was >400-500 mg/d. People desiring maximal reduction of serum cholesterol by dietary means may have to reduce their dietary cholesterol to minimal level”

          Basically, if you start with low cholesterol and you consume dietary cholesterol, the effect will be great, but if you stat with high cholesterol and consume dietary cholesterol, then the effect will not be noticeable.

          Here we have a case study of a man who was put on a high and low cholesterol diet from eggs. When he ate the cholesterol, serum cholesterol went up, when he didn’t, it went down. This up and down graph went on for 12 months. Clearly for this individual, dietary cholesterol raised serum cholesterol, as his cholesterol went up to around the 250 range and back down to around the 170 range with and without the cholesterol.

          Another interesting study took people who were insulin sensitive, insulin resistant, and obese+insulin resistant and put them on different egg feeding groups. The insulin sensitive group had an average total cholesterol of 186, which was much better then the insulin resistant group who had an average total of 209. After 4 eggs per day, the insulin sensitive group had a much bigger increase in serum cholesterol then the insulin resistant group. Not only this, but Apo B increased, the so called small dense ldl particles, the “bad kind” many paleo proponents make note of.

          Again, an old forgotten (but still relevant) study on eggs. Young healthy participants started out with cholesterol numbers averaging 195. They controlled for all macronutrients, keeping carbs, fats and proteins constant. The only thing that changed in the intervention was cholesterol. They added 6 eggs, a copious amount of cholesterol to their diet, after which cholesterol shot up to 253. And yet again, the feared small ldl particle count was increased by the eggs.

          Non vegetarian and semi-vegetarians’ biomarkers were taken. The semi-vegeterians had much lower cholesterol starting out (but still not great) then the full omnivorous counterparts. When given dietary cholesterol, their serum cholesterol went up because their baseline was not too high as in other studies. Clearly this evidence along with the ones above show that dietary cholesterol raises serum cholesterol when the baseline is not already high.

          1. A maximum of 6 eggs a week is not 6 eggs a day. I have never been an advocate of eggs and cholesterol rich food. I have always prescribed no more that 2 eggs a week when the numbers are normal or low,and zero when they are higher. Working on lowering cholesterol with different teas and plants, with success, I favor vegetarian and pescetarian diet, with almost all being bio or organic food, spring water, all wrapped with portion control.
            This is for people without a special care to address. These rules are supposed to maintain blood tests in normal range and pathology at bay. People under these diet enjoy to walk and exercise because they feel life in their body. They may have from time to time extra decadent meals , and this add a touch of freedom. The French paradox is for me the discipline to eat everyday in accordance to be healthy, and to feel free to make some extra tasty adventures , just in a limited time to be good the day after .

            1. Again, the rule of diminishing returns that is implied in Hopkins’ meta-analysis and review means that in that study with 6 eggs/day added leading to a cholesterol increase of +58mg/dL, 6 eggs per week in the same context would be estimated to give an increase of at least 58/7= +8.3 mg/dL from eggs alone, much of it in the LDL fraction. That still isn’t good if we’re considering such a small fraction of dietary energy, with other ways to screw up the lipid profile. If we want to live a long time in good health, there’s a long time for these small increases to create pathology. I don’t necessarily want to delay a health incident at age 50 to something similar that would happen at age 75. I want the whole atherosclerotic process to have minimal outcomes for as long as I live, and that demands a lot.

              1. The atherosclerotic process starts after birth. When I worked on patients over 100 years old in good shape, they did not have too much exclusion as eggs etc.. in another hand they were not eating an egg a day. If you eat an egg with spinach, or any other kind of greens, the cholesterol is regulated by your metabolism and you lipids will stay normal. If you eat 2 eggs, fried with bacon your lipids will show an increased level corrected if you eat enough vegetables in the 48 hours. If you drink 3 cups of good quality of tea, hunan, puh’er tea,and more, I have worked on studies decades ago, the blood cholesterol level is regulated, lower in 3 weeks. Genes are also a part of the response to regulate atherosclerotic process, as well as exercises. The metabolism is regulated by a number of parameters that are not all discovered. Reasons you see contradictory papers. Are you familiar with the japanese diet , I prefer the okinawan diet using sweet potatoes and they have centenarians but they have no eggs , no neuro-degenerative diseases, no breast cancer, by taste I like it very much, my blood test are younger than my birth age but I was never ever able to have an american to do it, I had French patients on it, because French believe that we have to eat to live and not to live to eat, except sometime. If you want the minimal outcome from atherosclerosis enjoy okinawan diet. American do not eat enough sweet potatoes, seaweeds etc Good luck

                  1. I am writing a book about nutrition with these traditional association and the science behind to support the usage through old time. I am in the US to launch blood pumps for rescue, I need to finish to write 3 patents for these new blood pumps I have “invented”. The book is more for my pleasure but as a MD I need to be specific when I present benefits of food association, because people as you want that precision. I may remember the oxalate responsible of blocking the reabsorption, as sorrel used in sauce to block the lipid cycle of absorption, Oxalate is also the reason to not eat more than once a week spinach. I may publish in my facebook page “all about spinach”, with verified scientific memories it may be helpful.

          2. Toxins: I meant to say this earlier. I’m so glad you are back! I know that I’m not the only one missing your comments. There was another person who asked about you recently too. Your posts continue to be so helpful and so high quality!

            1. Thanks Thea, I have my ins and outs with this site for various reasons. I like to keep up with it when I can. To be fair, a lot of the information I share comes from studies already shared by Dr. Greger or Plant Positive. I try to put it all together and make a picture.

              1. It’s that “putting it all together” in direct response to someone’s question or comment that is so great. I have a hard time doing that myself and it is what people need.

                I certainly understand the “ins and outs” need. I’m the same way myself. I just wanted to say something so that you knew you had been missed. :-)

          3. Ok. You make your point about the effects of dietary cholesterol on blood serum cholesterol. What about blood serum cholesterol levels being linked to heart disease?

      2. Yet, only years later you have been shown to be spouting nonsense. Regular egg consumption DOES NOT increase the risk of heart disease and all the conspiracy theories in the world are not going to change that.

    3. Nadaa: Thank you for your comment. It is always interesting to me when recent graduates talk about their education.

      I wanted to make a joke about the BS in your BS degree too, but looks like I wasn’t fast enough.

      To answer your question, I highly recommend that you take a look at the work done by “Plant Positive”. This person has done a series of highly in-depth, scholarly work on this topic and other related topics on nutrition. His videos includes all the citations/copies of the source materials. He has a series of videos on the topic of “Cholesterol Confusion”. Because you have a degree in this field, I would expect that you will be able to follow the work and understand why it answers your question.

      The website follows if you are interested. He also has a channel on YouTube. The videos are listed in a pannel on the right side of the screen. You may want to watch the whole thing. His videos are fascinating and often fun.

      Hope that helps.

    4. I found this study from 2010, which pretty much agreed with Greger about the importance of not doing a fasting test, but a post prandial test. This said that the belief that eggs are harmless is a misplaced belief. There is much research to back this up, but the egg industry, as well as the low carb movement have been conducting sham studies to undermine this fact.

    5. The same studies used to “debunk” the cholesterol studies are just as old if not older, and often times say the opposite of what people think. What I am trying to say is, many old studies have been incorrectly cited on the internet, and do not show at all what they are saying. This is common practice at the weston price foundation, where information is simply invented. They count on you not fact checking, which is why this website is such a valuable tool. For more on the myth of the “cholesterol myth”, I encourage you to visit here for details.

    6. Research from 1992 is hardly valid in the world of science. This video is short and skewed to a personal position of cholesterol from eggs is bad without providing current research to truly, continually support the ‘cholesterol is bad’ research. I realize the point is to show how the industry ‘tricks’ the results to indicate no overall rise in cholesterol levels. One must also wonder, if cholesterol spikes (like glucose, amino acids, and other fats do) postprandial, and then subsequently drops the next morning, is it truly causing atherosclerosis during it’s peak levels postprandial? The most interesting part is truly the saturated fat/cholesterol combination. I eat eggs combined with a healthy, low saturated fat diet, which this video shoes does not really cause a rise in postprandial cholesterol levels. This video is too short and lacks many variables that would need to be addressed to determine that the industry is ‘tricking’ us into thinking cholesterol from eggs is the cause of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the BS degree in nutrition is not bullshit. Clearly it’s taught a few people to think critically about information that is being distributed that does not have solid sources to back it up.

  4. Information can be truly stunning!!! Visited a health food store in our nice area/neighborhood yesterday. While it has been there for years/I hadn’t been there for quite some time/Whole Foods is closer. Guy didn’t know Greger/or McDougall, was totally down with grains….GMOs….all bad for you except oats; was Paleo/generally, just flabergasted. Then gave me some photocopies…among them: Eat The Whole Egg citing a November 2004 from the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center/Tufts University: New research shows that eggs area highly bioavailable source of lutein, an important carotenoid for eye and skin health…..; another article: Don’t Be Chicken of the Egg/citing a conference: “Where Would We Be Without the Egg? A Conference About Nature’s Original Functional Food”…..citing Dr. Clare M. Hasler, PhD/University of Illinois/”Eggs area an excellent dietary source of many essential and non-essential components which may promote optimal health”. And on to Dr.Peter W.R. Lemon, PhD/Exercise Nutrition Research Laboratory, The University of Western Ontario….talking about the need to consume complete proteins (animal products); And in a handout about Nutrition 101/talked about protein/all were Animal in nature. Truly incredible. This from one of the true/independent/”Health Food/Herbal” stores in a major metropolitan area.

  5. He uses the example of a sausage McMuffin which uses and English muffin which is the same as white bread on both sides. What happens when you eat eggs without sugar or without the English muffin? What happens to all these studies when sugar is eliminated from the diet. I’ve been eating high protein which includes about 20 eggs per week for a very long time. Yes corporate greed is terribly annoying and does kill people. What about unbiased reports on studies? Aren’t they important too?

    Please feel free to correct me. I’m not bias about very much and very willing to learn.

    1. For starters, do you have anything backing your apparent belief that sugar and refined carbohydrate potentiates the effects of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol? I say that you must believe this in some way since you are committed to a high-egg, high-protein (and therefore probably low-carbohydrate) diet.

      1. Simple fact is he got his science wrong. He did not address all the effects of all ingredients combined. You can’t argue that. And no, I’m not committed to a high egg diet. It just happens to be what I am trying right now. For a science type you sure do make a lot of assumptions.

        1. I made an inference. If an egg diet is what you are trying why don’t you just get a postprandial test of your lipids and see? Cut out the sugar if you are consuming it, of course. At the point of practice, I think it’s silly to assume that it’s reasonably likely that sugar has this unusual effect on eggs and that it’s strong enough to protect you from the harmful aspects indicated in egg-feeding studies that may not have succesfully eliminated all sugar because they didn’t try to. Put another way, they didn’t try to eliminate all dietary boron in that study. But this is a concern why? What mechanism makes a boron hypothesis plausible?

          Same thing with sugar: what makes it reasonably plausible that there is a mechanism for sugar to potentiate the effects of dietary cholesterol?

        2. The oatmeal group has an improvement in the lipid profile compared with the egg group in the ’05 study, so clearly the carbohydrate group in this scenario was beneficial.

              1. No, that is incorrect. My recent discovery over the past few months is that my obesity came from a starch centered diet. Sorry but that’s absolute bullshit. I have eliminated my food cravings with with a high protein low carb diet.

                1. No need to get so intense, let me rephrase. Starches being beans, WHOLE grains, and tubers, not from refined grains and added sugars. Weight loss from a low carb diet is simply a result of a reduction in calories,

                  Low carb diets are strongly inked with higher all cause mortality, so I would be cautious advocating a diet known to be quite unhealthful.

                  1. My apologies. From the Atkins diet to the low carb high fat diet, there is just so much crap out there, I am finding it difficult to sift through it. So yes, I am being little intense because I am frustrated. It seems everyone has a study to prove their brand of diet. I have tried to embrace the plant based diet in the past, but hunger was the issue. Now that I am completely off of sugar it would seem reasonable that the starches you mention should look after the hunger issue. Thank you and thanks for your patient reply to me Toxins.

  6. there is this recent book “brain grain” which is stating that high cholesterol in itself is not bad, but even considered good for the brain. Only in combination with inflammation it is causing problems. What do you think about that?

    1. Marion Welter,
      I’m inclined to agree with your remark, “Only in combination with inflammation it is causing problems.” Furthermore, here’s something MDs, who push statin Rx’s very readily don’t tell patients/the public: a perfectly healthy, normal liver produces between 2 thousand and 3 thousand mgs of cholesterol A DAY. Cholesterol is NEEDED for life processes: glands, hormones, bone building, and even the brain manufactures some. Personally, I think if Big Pharma’s vested interest in statin drugs were to get out of the way, the cholesterol ‘myth’ would be evaluated and resolved correctly.
      When I studied nutrition, lipids/cholesterol norm values were: cholesterol 300; triglycerides 200, and they stayed in that range UNTIL Big Pharma came out with cholesterol-reducing drugs, the statins, which have serious adverse effects in themselves. If you don’t believe that, may I suggest reading the 2010 book, “The Risks of Prescription Drugs,” Edited by Donald W Light, PhD, Publisher: Columbia University Press.
      In my opinion as a natural nutritionist, nothing is more problematic for increasing cholesterol than all the ‘plastic’ fats, e.g,, trans fats people eat in their junk food diets, plus the always-rancid fats that are used in deep fryers frying foods in fast food joints [heat changes the chemical structure of fats], plus chemically-extruded cooking oils we freely pour from bottles onto salads, use in cooking, and think are not harming us. May I suggest readers do their research and check out the adverse effects/downsides of polyunsaturated oils; rancid fats/oils; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

    1. David, I’ve had the same issue and believe it’s due to the prior post being cached locally on your device….try a manual refresh of the home page in your browser and it should load the current version.

      1. Thanks! Came up under Firefox…… Always some kind of challenge/new website design
        Having too many things open and such can have effects. Rampant curiosity. Love of knowledge….

  7. Thank you again, Dr. Greger for giving me hope! I live with MS and for 5 years have had no progression due to diet. I feel better than ever now that I’ve gone all the way Vegan! I anxiously await your videos on GMO. I was so happy to hear that you are delving into the matter and know that what you will find will help us all sort it out. Until proof of ‘non-harm’ is determined by non-gmo scientists, I am trying to avoid ALL GMO products. Not easy when the government won’t help us with labels. I know that you will figure it out and that your influence will have great impact on many people. I am currently supporting Oregon and Colorado in their fight for labeling (I live in WA where GMO producers tricked many of us into not labeling with million dollar ads that they illegally donated through a third party corporation.. under lawsuit but a little too late). I am also supporting Maui County with their initiative for a moratorium to stop Monsanto (and the others) for 18 months until they prove to the citizens that this is NOT harming the fragile Hawaiian environment. Maui County is the GMO testing Ground Zero where 80% of all GMO seeds are tested including GMO corn designed to grow pharmaceutical drugs. Before a field of GMO are grown these companies completely sterilize the soil destroying all good bacteria, micro organisms, fungi and good things built up in the soil over millions of years. They get to dump 4 times as many toxic chemicals in Hawaii because they can get 4 growing seasons there vs one in the mainland crops. This is the biggest concern for all mankind in my opinion. I believe we as a race will be able to combat climate change with technology but if we all become sterile and no more babies are born we won’t be able to save ourselves let alone the planet. SO, DON’T EAT IT.. don’t experiment with your lives or your children’s lives. It is difficult without labels but until the science is studied by non profit-oriented scientists and the TRUTH is known, just say no to being a human ‘lab rat’.

    1. This is generally called ‘tinnitus’ in medical terms; knowing this might help you to search around more effiectively. Tinnitus has multiple causes, and it’s hard to tell you what to do exactly without knowing the exact causes of your tinnitus. One thing that would be wise to do anyway would be to keep your cardiovascular health in top condition. Atherosclerosis and hypertension have both been identified as causes of some cases of tinnitus.

    1. Yeah I think Dr. Greger is voicing over his videos on his gallivants across the world no matter where he is (It’s what you have to do when you have the crazy schedule he does). There was a lot of echo on this production as well.
      No bother (In the voice of Winnie the Pooh); it fills us with satisfaction, just like the Honey Pot!

  8. Dr. Greger,
    Your comments would explain why so many doctors tell their patients to ignore dietary cholesterol. The doctors only see fasting blood levels.
    However, I have read that on balance eggs are OK because not only do they raise LDL but the also raise HDL. More importantly they also raise particle size for LDL.
    If this is true, it would seem to offset much of the harm that you outline here. Could you please comment on this?

    1. There’s been an interesting debate around HDL in the literature. Yes, higher HDL/total cholesterol ratios are associated with lower risk, but is HDL itself causing this, or are there other factors that increase both HDL levels and reduce risk, responsible for the association? For example, exercise increases HDL, but also has independent effects on collateral vascularisation, AMPK activation etc. that would decrease risk independently of the higher HDL.

      A number of HDL-raising drug trials (notably with niacin and torcetrapib) have failed to reduce cardiac risk 1 . More damning, genetic predispositions to higher HDL levels appear offer no protection 2, 3, while genetic predispositions to lower LDL, triglycerides, and Lp(a) have all been confirmed as protective. Troubling results for those whose careers have been built on the HDL hypothesis 4.

      One resolution may be that its only the small HDL particles that are functional and protective 5, but as the test to directly measure these (apo A-I) is expensive, its rarely done in primary prevention, and few nutrition studies are recent enough test this directly. The one I found on eggs found that they increase the large (and arguably non-protective) HDL fraction 6.

  9. Dr. Greger Transcript on the subject:

    [And be sure to check out Neal Barnard’s new blog post on CVS Health (?); classic!!!!/and of course right on, Dr. Barnard.]

    Transcript: Eggs and Cholesterol: Patently False and Misleading Claims

    For decades, “on the basis of concerns from the American Heart Association
    and consumer groups, the Federal Trade Commission carried out successful
    legal action – upheld by the Supreme Court-to compel the egg industry
    to cease and desist from false and misleading advertising that eggs had
    no harmful effects on health.”

    See “anti-cholesterol attacks on eggs resulted in severe economic loss through a reduction in egg
    consumption,” so the egg industry created a “National Commission on Egg
    Nutrition” to combat the anti-cholesterol, anti-egg publicity with ads
    like this, exclaiming there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that
    eating eggs in any way increases the risk of heart attack,” which the
    U.S. Court of Appeals found patently false and misleading.

    Even the tobacco industry wasn’t that brazen, instead of just trying to
    introduce the element of doubt, arguing that the relationship between
    smoking and health remains an open question. The egg ads made 7 claims,
    each of which, in truth and in fact was determined to be.

    The Court determined the egg industry ads were and are, false, misleading,
    and deceptive. In fact legal scholars view what the tobacco industry
    tried to do as the same as what the American Egg Board’s National
    Commission on Egg Nutrition tried to do. As with the egg ads, the
    tobacco industry did more that just espouse one side of a genuine
    controversy but just denies the existence of scientific evidence.

    Over the last 36 years, the American Egg Board has spent hundreds of
    millions of dollars to convince people eggs are not going to kill
    them—and it’s working. “In combination with aggressive nutrition science
    and public relations efforts, research shows that the advertising has
    been effective in decreasing consumers concerns over eggs and
    cholesterol/heart health.” This is from their internal strategy
    documents I got a hold of.

    Currently they’re targeting moms. Their approach is to “surround moms wherever they are.” They pay integration
    fees for egg product placement in TV shows. To integrate eggs into The
    Biggest Loser, for example, could be a million dollars. But getting some
    kids storytime reading program to integrate eggs may only take half a
    million, though. The American Egg Board keeps track of who is and is not
    a “friend-of-eggs” They pay scientists $1500 to sit and answer
    questions like “What studies can help disassociate eggs from
    cardiovascular disease?”

    From the beginning, their arch nemesis was the American Heart Association, with whom they fought a major battle
    over cholesterol. In documents retrieved through the Freedom of
    Information Act, we see even the USDA repeatedly chastising the egg
    industry for misrepresenting the American Heart Association position. In
    a draft letter to magazine editors, the egg industry tried to say that
    the “American Heart Association changed its recommendations to approve
    an egg a day in 2000 and eventually eliminated its number restrictions
    on eggs in 2002,” to which the head of USDA’s poultry research and
    promotion programs had to explain, the quote-unquote change in 2000
    wasn’t a change at all. Nothing in the guidelines or recommendations was
    changed. What happened is that in response to a question posed by
    someone planted in the audience, Heart Association reps acknowledged
    that even though eggs are the most concentrated source of cholesterol in
    the diet, since an individual egg had under 300mg of cholesterol
    technically an egg could fit under the 300 mg daily limit, and in 2002
    they just eliminated the specific mention of eggs for consistency sake,
    but the AHA insists that they haven’t changed their position and
    continue to warn consumers about eggs.

    So here’s from the AHA website at the time. If one egg has 213 and the limit for people with
    normal cholesterol is 300 you could fit an egg in if you cut
    down on all other animal products. You have an egg for breakfast, and
    some coffee, some skinless turkey breast etc., you could end up at 510,
    nearly twice the recommended limit. So if you are going to eat an egg
    you need to substitute vegetables for some of the meat, drink your
    coffee black, and watch for hidden eggs in baked goods. And the limit
    for folks with high cholesterol is 200mg a day, which may not even allow
    a single egg a day.

    This is how the senior director of nutrition education at the American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center characterized
    the American Heart Association guidelines: “Maybe I’m being overly
    sensitive, but this reads like: If you insist on having those deadly
    high cholesterol eggs your penalty will be to eat vegetables and you
    can’t even have the yummy steak and creamy coffee you love. Really it’s
    not worth eating eggs. Oh, and if you think you’ll be able to enjoy some
    delicious baked goods, forget it, the deadly eggs are there too!”

  10. Hi Doc,

    When you eat your “two sausages and egg mcmuffins” and your cholesterol numbers go up, why do you blame the problem on the sausages and eggs?
    Why not mcmuffins?

    1. Because feeding people more and more egg yolks increases postprandial LDL more and more, for one. Did you not see the other research that was cited in video? The mcmuffin bit showed that switching bacon for eggs in the mcmuffins kept saturated fat constant, english muffin count constant, and changed LDL. It wasn’t a change in the number of english muffins that caused the change of LDL in that context, was it? Do you think that the bacon was protective compared with the eggs because of some reason other than the dietary cholesterol?

      1. But I do agree the study would have been better if they just ate the eggs and sausage and cheese. Nasty stuff! Sorry this was supposed to be a reply to Jason.

        My ipad doesn’t behave with the changes to the website.

        1. The actual study being referenced has nothing explicitly to do with breakfast sandwiches, as far as I can tell. It worked with complete meal plans specified for the entire day. You have to listen carefully to catch Gregor stating that he’s using the McMuffin as an example of the sort of variation in dietary fat and cholesterol that they were exploring, rather than referring to the concrete details of the study.

    2. So let me get this straight. You are asking why would cholesterol numbers go up from the sausage and egg and not the English muffin?

      I would recommend that you click on the references he lists. And read those.

      Eggs and sausage have a ton of cholesterol. If you consume them your cholesterol goes up. English muffins have about 1 gram of fat and no cholesterol unless of course you make your bread with butter but that isn’t usually the recipe.

      So I guess my question to you is why would you blame it on the English muffin?

    3. I listened to Jimmy Moore, who is of course a low carber. when he interviewed Neal Barnard, He stated that Westman”s research (he is also low carb who does research on low carb diets ) shows that low carb high animal fat diets raise LDL cholesterol. He did say, however, that it raised HDL cholesterol as well. Moore admitted that Barnard’s diet lowered LDL, but also lowered HDL. Why not, instead of eating saturated fat to raise both, just eat plants, no animals and then exercise to raise the HDL? My LDL used to be very high, it is now 85 without statins. My HDL used to be below 20 and now with all the exercise I do, it is over 80 and I eat no animal products whatsoever, or as little as possible. Of course losing the weight helped me to correct my numbers as well.

  11. Your “How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies” video assumes that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for health, but you provide no evidence to show that this is so. Studies show that dietary saturated fat is very good health, provided that such fat has not been heated to smoking point at any time prior to consumption. Also, research is clearly showing that dietary cholesterol is good for health; in fact the higher the level of cholesterol in the body the better for health. The amount of cholesterol in the blood is not the problem, whether it be LDL or HDL (the higher the better). The amount of LDL particles that are oxidized is the problem. So we need to avoid oxidative stress rather than avoid cholesterol per se. Russell Eaton,

    1. Russell, this is a paleo myth that has been spreading all over the internet. Saturated fat raises cholesterol, and cholesterol oxidizes to cause heart disease. What causes oxidation? Inflammation. What causes inflammation? Saturated fats found in animal based foods. Its well understood. This videos you just watched shared studies showing that eggs result in inflammation. I encourage you to explore this video set for details.

      1. Thank you ‘Toxins’ for your reply. The consumption of saturated fat does not raise blood cholesterol in any circumstances. But I fully agree that saturated fats in cooked animal-based foods cause inflammation and hence oxidize LDL particles. But why? The answer is that cooked animal-based food contains heated saturated fat. As a consequence, the heated saturated fat goes rancid when consumed, this creates free radicals, and the free radicals oxidize small LDL particles which then contriubute to plaque build-up. Non-heated saturated fat, such as coconut oil (or even butter) has no effect on blood cholesterol. You want your LDL and HDL to be as high as possible, but you don’t want to do anything that causes LDL particles to become oxidized, such as eating heated fats, smoking, etc. The idea that we should be trying to reduce levels of cholesterol in the body is a myth.

          1. The diet-heart hypothesis—which holds that eating cholesterol and
            saturated fat raises cholesterol in our blood—originated with studies in both
            animals and humans more than half a century ago. However, more recent (and
            higher quality) evidence doesn’t support it. It’s true that some studies show
            that saturated fat intake raises blood cholesterol levels. But these studies
            are almost always short-term, lasting only a few weeks. Longer-term studies
            have not shown an association between saturated fat intake and blood
            cholesterol levels. In fact, of all of the long-term studies examining this
            issue, only one of them showed a clear association between saturated fat intake
            and cholesterol levels, and even that association was weak. To be clear: eating
            cholesterol and saturated fat does not raise cholesterol levels in the blood.
            But ironically, we do in fact want to have a naturally high level of
            cholesterol in the blood (both LDL and HDL).

            On any given day, we have between 1,100 and 1,700 milligrams of
            cholesterol in our body. 25% of that comes from our diet, and 75% is produced
            inside of our bodies by the liver. Much of the cholesterol that’s found in food
            can’t be absorbed by our bodies, and most of the cholesterol in our gut was
            first synthesized in body cells and ended up in the gut via the liver and gall
            bladder. The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by
            controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down,
            the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body
            makes less.

            This is further explained (with full supporting evidence) in a new book
            I will be releasing shortly, to be titled: The Lipo Diet.

            Russell Eaton

              1. As soon as the book comes (The Lipo Diet) I will let you know. I am not trying to plug the book, but I can assure you that it is fully referenced. All the best, Russell Eaton, The Lipo Diet

              2. This is the kind of popular information out there for these low carb fad diets. There is no evidence for such claims though obviously. Good Calories Bad Calories is a great example of how a book with many citations does not actually say what the citations say. Anything said in an authoritative manner can sound believable.

                1. I am frustrated because I go on other blogs and there are two people who keep spouting off this low carb nonsense and because they sound “authoritative” they get many recommends. One example of this low carb nonsense is the idea that whole grains cause diabetes because they are turned into glucose. One low carber got 26 recommends on the saying this very same thing, but I got no recommends saying that there is no research to indicate that whole grains contribute to diabetes. The opposite is true- whole grains with all their fiber help prevent it.

                  1. Whole grains have been demonized by the low carbers, the only evidence they can muster is that people can have celiac disease and that there was once an epidemic in Asia of beriberi due to low b vitamin count from consuming only white rice. If brown rice is consumed these issues no longer occur. Evidence against whole grains is like grasping at straws, while the evidence for consuming it is quite great. A good example of grasping at straws is one of the only negative studies on whole grains that is published and is not referenced by any other study, and that is Loren Cordain’s review paper, who is in fact a low carber himself.

                    1. I finally got *one* recommend on this article stating that there is no research evidence to indicate that whole grains contribute to diabetes. This is one of the newest comments made, so it is one of the first you would find in the comments section. If you go far down, the person who said they did now has 30 recommends. It is sad that so many persons buy into this low carb dogma.

                    2. This is why we should always be skeptics of what people say, and investigate the facts. That is one reason why is such a great resource.

            1. I clicked on the link and one of the claims was that exercise makes people fat. This is completely the opposite of my own experience. Once I started to bicycle everyday to work as well as other places, my weight really plummeted much further than it ever had in over thirty years. I didn’t have to go on a very low calorie diet. I have kept off this weight (100 pounds) for over 4 years now without any regain whatsoever. Since losing the weight, I have transitioned to a plant based diet and have lost even more weight than I did before without cutting calories. I just rode my bike for three hours today, and I don’t feel particularly ravenous- in fact, strenuous exercise often kills my hunger. I think eating a high fiber plant based diet also helps control the excess hunger that might come after exercise. Fiber promotes satiety. I have known many people who have lost weight by exercise and have kept off for many years by continuing to exercise. A great combination is a whole foods plant based diet with exercise. My cholesterol level is also lower with exercise and a plant based diet. My HDL is much higher than before and my LDL is much lower.

              1. That’s great Daniel. There will always be exceptions. For the sake of your health I urge you to never do exercise (just physical activity). In the book ‘Exercise Makes you Fat’ the word ‘exercise’ is defined as any kind of physical exertion that is sufficiently vigourus to make you sweaty and/or breathless (bad for health and for losing weight). ‘Physical activity’ is just that: physical activity that does not make you sweaty and/or breathless. I appreciate your comments.

                1. I don’t agree that exercise that leaves a person “breathless” is what makes people gain fat. My experience is that leisurely walks which don’t leave a person breathless are pretty ineffective for weight loss. What I bicycled everyday and went up some hills and became breathless at times did my weight go down. My health is infinitely better than it was before. There is much research to indicate that high intensity exercise is more effective for weight loss than leisurely exercise. However, I tend to think that *mostly* moderate exercise with some high intensity intervals is most effective. I don’t think there is any evidence whatsoever from any study to indicate that exercise makes people “fat,” however most research shows *some* weight loss by exercise, but not a lot because the persons are not doing that much exercise in most research. So the true exception is when exercise makes a person fat, not when they lose weight by it. However, most people don’t exercise enough to promote weight loss, which is at least an hour a day, so perhaps most people don’t lose a lot of weight by exercise, but they could if they did more along with some moderation in their diet. It is easy to bicycle an hour everyday. It is harder to run an hour a day. Bicycling is probably one of the best things a person can do for weight loss. Read
                  Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike by Selene Yeager which mentions dozens of persons who have lost weight by riding their bicycle. You could also google “Scott Cutshall” who lost over 300 pounds by bicycling everyday along with a plant based diet. I am certainly NOT an exception, but many persons have done the same thing I have done and also lost a lot of weight.

        1. I am curious how you came to that conclusion that saturated fats do not influence cholesterol numbers.

          “The saturated fatty acids, in contrast to cis mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids, have a unique property in that they suppress the expression of LDL receptors (Spady et al., 1993). Through this action, dietary saturated fatty acids raise serum LDL cholesterol concentrations (Mustad et al., 1997).”

          Heating the saturated fats was not the reason that the saturated fats caused an inflammatory response, they acted as a pathway for bacterial endotoxins in the link I provided. This is one mechanism for inflammation.

          Also, we do not want our cholesterol high, we want it as low as possible. We have to get our cholesterol numbers low enough, total below 150 and LDL below 70 to achieve “heart atack proof” status. Thus, having “normal” cholesterol means risk of dying a “normal” death from heart disease. It is noted in the Harvard Heart letter that the average total cholesterol for Americans is 203. The author notes that strict vegetarians are able to reach these lower numbers of below total 150. Again, we shouldn’t assume that cholesterol numbers are negligible, just that current recommendations for optimum are too high.

          From the editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology.

          “As shown in Figure 1, most of the risk factors do not in themselves cause atherosclerosis [heart disease]…The atherosclerotic risk factors showing that the only factor required to cause atherosclerosis is cholesterol.”

          Also, I will not click your links to out there web pages, if you have studies to share then please do.

          1. Toxins my curiosity got the best of me and I clicked the link. I am not quite sure why this isn’t considered spam. He links his own site that sells e-books. And they are all outlandish.

      2. This sounds very convincing to me. NF contains lots of videos that show that animal fats cause inflammation in one way or another. On the other hand there is also some videos about sugar causing inflammation (as far as I remember). Also I remember reading some stuff that high blood sugar levels cause atherisclerosis by oxidizing LDL (is that correct?). In the end sugar is the fuel we use eating carbohydrates.
        If that is true there might still be a point that it is better for your health to burn fat instead of sugar, if you could get it without the inflammation.
        So does this mean one should ideally fill ones caloric intake with nuts, avocado and cocoa?

        1. Pure table sugar can result in some inflammation,but not broken down carbohydrates from fruits and starchy plant foods. Most studies do not show a relationship between starches and heart disease, and in fact it is usually favorable in preventing heart disease. On the other hand, white flour, and candy are not considered whole plant foods and are damaging to health.

          Relying on fat for fuel (ketosis) results in harmful end products that our body works hard to get rid of. The primary fuel source for humans, and for the most long lived populations, are starches.

          1. Thank you for your answer. Do you have some link where I can read about this effects of ketosis? Also: It would be very interesting to see a NF video about ketosis onced. Everyone following this website daily is not really considering eating eggs, meat or dairy anyways (really too much bad effects), so videos about that are not as interesting (at least for me).

            Also another thing about this website. Sometimes videos go like this:

            People eating standard american diet -> you add something-> improvement in biomarkers. Personally I think you can add almost anything to the standard american diet, that it isn’t toxic and has some nutritional value, and it will improve biomarkers.

            Never saw a video like this:
            People eating a healthy diet: you add something (brokkoli, lentils, whatever …) and it still has an effect.

            If there is some studies like that – it would be a lot, lot more convincing.

            Big fan of this website still :) !

            1. I agree completely. The standard American diet is so terrible that adding any food that is healthier will show benefit. A prime example of this is shared by Jeff Novick, one of the best plant based dietitians out there.

              “Move Over Walnuts, Kale, Goji Berrries, Sweet Potatoes, Purple Cabbage, etc., & Make Room For The Next Super Food: Carrots!
              “Carrot intake might be inversely associated with prostate cancer risk.”

              When you understand that the typical diet consumed today is **so** bad,possibly being the worst diet ever consumed by humans in recorded history, then you understand that you can look at a group of those eating this diet and take *any* one healthy (or healthier) food (or food with some healthier aspects to it), and look at those who eat more of it compared to those who eat less of it (or none of it) and almost always see a difference. But that does not make it into a health food, let alone a super food.”


              As you will see, I really like Jeff Novick, he puts nutrition into perspective and sees right through the BS. Here is his comments on when the Okinawans, a population that is primarily plant based and have many members living past 100 years of age, they added more greens to their diet to reach recommendations and here is the summary:

              “Here is the study


              Dietary intervention with Okinawan vegetables increased circulating endothelial progenitor cells in healthy young women. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Jun;204(2):544-8. doi: 10.1016/.

              First, lets look closer at who the subjects were.

              “This randomized controlled study employed 45 healthy free- living female volunteers living in Okinawa aged between 18 and 38 years. None of them were being treated for any disease at the time of the study.”

              So, they were young adult women, apparently free of disease.

              How many vegetables were they eating on average?

              “According to the national health and nutrition survey in Japan, the average vegetable intake of Japanese women aged 20–29 years was 235.4 g/day.”

              That is slightly over 1/2 lb. To put this in perspective, here is what 235 grams of “Cooked Boiled, Drained” veggies equals based on the USDA SR 25

              235 Gram Equivalents
              1.8 Cups Kale – 66 Calories
              1.5 cups Broccoli – 82 calories
              1.4 cups Collards – 84 calories
              1.5 cups Brussels Sprouts – 85 calories
              1.3 cups Spinach – 54 calories

              So,for convenience sake, lets say on average, the average vegetable intake in Japan is about 1.5 cups per day which is about 75 calories.

              For the record, the national recommendation from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for vegetable intake is 350 g/day. The USDA recommends 2.5 cups per day for women aged 19-50 (which is 5 servings). So, the average intake is actually less than the minimum recommendations.

              These numbers are based on their national averages.

              Now let’s take a closer look and see how many vegetables the subjects in the study were actually eating before the intervention.

              The intervention group was consuming 187 grams per day and the control group was consuming 161 grams per day.

              As you can see, not only is this far short of their own national recommendation of 350 grams per day, these women were consuming even less than the national average of 235 grams per day.

              Now, for the intervention…

              “about 371g/day of Okinawan vegetables were delivered to the intervention group, but the subjects consumed only 169 g/day of the Okinawan vegetables for a total of 356g/day in the dietary intervention group”

              “In contrast, subjects in the control group, who were not supplied Okinawan vegetables, consumed only 40 g/day of Okinawan vegetables during the intervention period… for a total of 200g/day in the control group.”

              So, lets organize this so it is easier to see.

              Intervention group
              Baseline/ Intervention/ Total
              187/ 169/ 356

              Control Group
              Baseline/ Intervention/ Total
              161/ 40/ 201

              The difference in the intervention was 129 grams (169-40), which is 4.5 ounces and the difference in the total was 155 grams (356-201), which is 5.5 ounces. These amounts are the equivalent of about 2 servings.

              Now, lets put this all in perspective…

              A group that was consuming about half of the recommended amount of vegetables, increased the amount of vegetables they were consuming by about double (~2 servings) to the recommended amount and saw a
              statistically significant improvement.

              That is exactly what i said above. If we take people who are not eating the recommended amounts and just get them to eat the recommended amounts, we would see a great benefit.

              In addition, notice, that while the amount they consumed now met the recommended intake of the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare it still fell short of the recommendations of the USDA MyPlate. Yet, they still saw a significant benefit.

              So, let’s clarify. If you take subjects who are eating about 1/2 the recommended minimum of vegetables and get them to eat the recommended minimum, we see huge benefits. However, this does that mean that someone who is already eating this way and who is already far surpassing the minimum recommended amounts, is going to see any such benefit by including another serving of kale.

              As I said above…

              In other words, if Americans would just get in the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, it would not only provide carotenoids, but more than enough of all of them to produce the beneficial health outcomes, including reduced risks of cancer. And anyone following a Whole Food Plant Based diet, as recommended here, would already be consuming way more than enough.

              So, yes, by following the basic principles and guidelines of the program, we are all doing way better than anyone in any of the studies (and the executive reports are recommending) and are already erring way on the side of caution.

              In Health

              PS for the record, the vegetables they were given to eat were mostly bitter melon/squash, green papaya, spinach, mustard greens with some dandelion, mugwort and beets.”


              Here is some additional information on Ketosis



  12. This is interesting information:

    Seems the question of what is healthy isn’t so clear really. I’m questioning the conventional wisdom of high fiber, low fat is healthy. I’ve struggled with a low fat diet for decades, and have just started a low carb diet this week. Will be interesting to see how it impacts my blood work in 4 months.

    1. theyfly out of curiosity where is the struggle? By low fat you mean 10% of you calories in fat? (I ask that because for some reason 30% has been labeled as low fat lately).

      1. The struggle wasn’t in reducing my fat intake (probably in the order of 15%, 20% protein and lots of complex carbohydrates ) but keeping myself lean. Low fat actually seems to match my food desire – love carbs. The struggle is really that I could never get rid of the extra inch around my belly, even though I do lots of cardio and strength training. I’ve been reading and watching information offered by Dr Attia for a couple months now, and have decided to change directions to see if it helps. I go for a blood test in 4 months and see if it’s healthy for me.

        I hope and expect that reducing my carbs to very low levels will have a health benefit.

        My new struggle now is finding foods high enough in fat, without increasing my protein levels. It seems unnatural to me still (only a week), but I hope that changes.

        1. Oh I find the opposite to be true. Since going WFPB I have lost 5 pounds. There just aren’t a lot of calories in plants. Did you lose a lot of weight by chance? I have patients that keep that little bit of skin/fat after losing and really have a hard time getting rid of that.

          You obviously don’t have a family history of heart disease. That would stop you from experimenting.

          1. Never really overweight – always in the area of 180 +/- 5 pounds at 5’10”. I’ve been very active for the last 30+ years (sports and high intensity workouts) so cardio conditioning and muscle tone are good. Resting HR of 148 and normal blood pressure – never measured VO2 max. Just that one inch of fat that layers my gut that bugs me. I can cut my calories and lose a couple pounds, but then that starvation feeling, especially after a hard workout, will have me consume more carbs then I should and I’m back to where I started before you know it.

            If it proves to be unhealthy, then I’ll switch to the eco-Atkins as my next experiment:


            1. Have you ever measured your fat percentage by chance? I find that helpful and actually those scales are pretty accurate if you do it the same time each day. They are actually really close to the really expensive machines.

              When you say carbs that is actually kinda problematic because you only get 3 choices. Fat, carbohydrates or protein. But we know you can’t compare a Japanese yam and a cookie. So I like to differential between simple and complex carbs. As an athlete my primary fuel comes from complex carbs and I can’t get enough. I don’t eat simple carbs.

              1. About 15% depending on the day (+/- 2%). Not sure how accurate the machine was though.

                Only complex carbohydrates, but an occasional treat. For the last year I’ve been limiting foods based on their GI, so even some fruits I avoid. No sugared drinks or fruit juice ever. I tried to eat whole grains, beans, lentils and veggies with lean protein including skinless chicken breasts, sardines, egg-whites…

                  1. My mistake. I meant to breakup my food into 3 groups but skipped the 3rd “Healthy Fat”. I eat sardines for some omega-3 and calcium, and also eat Salmon for the same reason (minus the calcium0. Of course both are fatty. My consumption was rare, since I’m not a huge fan of the taste.

                    1. Why don’t you go to a straight calorie counting method? I do this and I have had great success in getting my weight down after not being able to for 25 years. I used to be 255 and am now in the low 150’s at 5 11 to 6 0- a weight I have maintained for 4 years now. Studies show that low fat and low carb diets with equal calorie deficits produce exactly the same weight loss. Donmatesz below linked his website which the very first video on the website entitled “Why Did I Get Fat on a Low-Fat, High-Carbohydrate Diet? Answered.” showed that overfeeding persons with carbs or fats at the same calorie level brought the same weight gain. If you track what you eat, weighing and measuring everything you eat, you might find that you are eating more calories than you thought you were. Also, counting calories can prevent overcutting calories, which would put a person into starvation mode. When I count calories, I always make sure I eat my allotted calories and not less than them. Since you exercise, you shouldn’t have to eat so few calories to lose weight. Instead of going to eating dead animals, just count the calories you consume from whole plant foods. Remember to count everything, including condiments.

                    2. Wish I was that disciplined. Even if I managed to count all my calories that precisely, I would then have to account for my various caloric expenditure of my workouts, which aren’t totally consistent or repeatable.

                      My other problem is that I tend to lose weight in the wrong areas – when I was on a calorie restricted low-fat diet, I lost weight everywhere but my fat stores on my gut. People even told me I was starting to look unhealthy, and I only lost 4-5 pounds. So how do you accomplish site specific loss? Crunches don’t work – get bigger stronger abs, but the fat layer remains. Is it just generic? I suspect that it’s carb-sensitivity, since it typically causes fat storage primarily around the belly.

                      I’ll do my low-carb diet for 4 months, and if it doesn’t work or my blood work suggests that it’s unhealthy, then I’ll switch back and perhaps try calorie counting.

                1. So…you know when you look at those really lean men with no belly fat and a 6 pack? Their body fat is closer to 6-8. So if you are after that…..not that that look is necessary I am just letting you know how lean they are.

                  You should watch some of the videos on this website. And read the referenced links.

              2. About 15% +/- 2 percent. Not certain how accurate the machine is. I workout 7 days a week, either strength or cardio (spin class, and high intensity full body cardio). I have a watch that estimates calorie expenditure, and for some of my workouts I exceeded 800 cals for 1 hour.

                I’m very conscious of my simple carbohydrate intake – have been limiting foods based on GI for a couple years now. Eat a lot of veggies, beans, lentils, whole grains… along with lean protein such as skinless chicken breasts, egg whites… and healthy fats in salmon, sardines…

                My appetite following a workout is insatiable though. I usually eat, wait a while, then feel that I HAVE TO eat more…. maybe it’s just me.

                My goal seem simple enough – lose 1 inch and stay healthy. It’s been more goal for a long time.

                My last blood work was only OK also – doctor even recommended I start taking omega-3 pills to improve my numbers. So I’m very curious to see if a highly restrictive carb diet will change that – either way.

  13. I am a recent vegan (April 2014), and have included Dr. Esselstyn’s recommendations of no oil, no nuts. I made this rather drastic dietary change based not on the numerous and conflicting clinical studies, but on his photographs of reversal of heart disease and greatly improved measurements of blood flow. Many of you know the nutritional literature much better than I do (and I too will be following Don Matesz, interesting site!), so I have a general question. Are there any papers out there by those who advocate the Atkins plus, Paleo diets, or the “Mediterranean” diet, that show images of reversal of heart disease and increased bloodflow?

  14. Eating cholesterol can only increase the LDL/HDL numbers slightly. Remember on average there is 10g cholesterol in the blood.
    There is a study on law school students of their HDL/LDL. Their total cholesterol numbers went up significantly during the finals. Go figure.

    1. But absorption of dietary cholesterol into the bloodstream is not the primary channel by which dietary cholesterol increases serum cholesterol. Again, do you follow this topic at all? Have you actually looked at the video and the cited sources? Just looking at the first graph in the video from the Hopkins meta-analysis, you see that the first 1000mg of dietary cholesterol seems to average out at about 1mmol/L, or 38.7mg/dl, increase in TC. Let’s lowball the blood volume of these subjects on average to 4.7 liters ( ). This means that 1g added dietary cholesterol increases TC by 1.8g or so, so the amount of dietary cholesterol is not directly an upper bound on the increase in serum cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol alters cholesterol metabolism in the liver, basically.

      In the second graph in the video, the error bars are kind of crappy, but looking at the comparison of point estimators, you largely bear out a story that is consistent with the first graph. 400mg extra cholesterol (2 yolks’ worth) in that study was estimated to increase serum LDL-cholesterol by 20mg/dL or so, or almost 1 gram using the same blood volume as before. Dietary cholesterol has a leveraged effect on serum cholesterol, and we can say this especially for diets whose saturated fat content isn’t unusually small.

      1. I think, if we take hematocrit into account too (blood is roughly 50% RBC’s by volume) the serum volume is more like 2.5 liters….making the 400 mg example align a bit better with the observed serum increase.

        1. Yeah, it looks like hematocrit cannot be neglected because it’s about 50% as you say, although I’m not clear on the extent to which hematocrit takes up cholesterol depending on blood levels: i.e.

          But assuming that such an extra wrinkle is not an issue, it doesn’t hugely change the reply as a targeted argument since the figure of 10g cholesterol in the blood is apparently based on a similar extrapolation that is probably neglecting hematocrit. Taking TC of 200mg/dL serum as average, you should have 5g total in your plasma. This means that in the first graph the first 1g dietary cholesterol is expected to change TC by a little less than 1g, or 20% of the expected value for a baseline of 200mg/dL. In the second graph, the 400mg cholesterol in addition to a baseline of 200mg increases fasting LDL by 500mg, or 10% of the 5g. These are still very nontrivial shifts in percentage terms, especially if we consider that we probably want TC lower than 200 by at least 50 points or so.

          Still, point taken that while we still see diminishing returns as more and more dietary cholesterol is added, the initial increase on total mass of circulating cholesterol for small amounts of dietary cholesterol may not be as great as I initially thought it would be.

  15. Can you direct us again to the studies that blood cholesterol levels are actually a predictor of heart disease? Many are saying that the latest and best science suggests there is no correlation.

        1. Thanks for sharing, here is a repost on it.

          This Meta-analysis looked at 21 different studies, and came to the conclusion that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD [heart disease].”

          Shared by Jeff Novick:

          One major problem with this study is they did not look at any studies where the saturated fat intake was less than 7%, which is the level recommended by the American Heart Association. Most of the diets had saturated fat intakes in the range of 10-15% (or more).

          So, just like the studies that criticize “low fat” diets, but never analyze any diet that is truly low fat and based on the principles of low fat, high fiber, whole plant foods, this study criticizes the impact of lowering saturated fat, but never looked at any diet that truly lowered saturated fat to the level recommended.

          Another problem with the study is what the subjects replaced the saturated fat with when comparing the 2. For many, if not most, it was with either (or products containing) hydrogenated/trans fat, while flour, white sugar and/or mono fats.

            1. The website you provided in your second link is making baseless claims. Most of the answers you are looking for are already available here on this website. I would check out these few particularly fascinating videos series’

              Ask your friend to present a study linking grass fed beef consumption with low mortality, or doing anything positive at all. Advocating for organic meat is like grasping at straws, the issues do not go away.

  16. I am going to try and obtain a copy of the article at the library since I don’t want to spend $36 to read it, but it does discuss egg YOLKS. I have eliminated meat and almost all dairy from my diet for 4 years, but eggs in the form of egg whites are still on my list for breakfast. I make an omelet with zucchini, onions and mushrooms – hard to beat. We eat a lot of oatmeal and fruits but would find it hard to give up the egg whites. In my reading the yolks contain all the fat and cholesterol of the egg. I would be interested in what others have found in this regard.

    1. Ray: Lots of people ask this same question. Dr. Barnard says, there are only two problems with eggs: The yolk and the white. To understand some of the problems with egg white, you might want to check out the NutritionFacts series on IGF-1. Here is the first video (just keep clicking “next video” until you get to the body building video, the end of the series.

      And also check out this video on the link between methionine and cancer. Darryl points out that egg whites have the most concentration of methionine compared to all other foods.,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22

      Bottom line for me is: egg whites = cancer. And then there are serious issues with contamination that you would get from the white as much as the yolk.

      Happily, your morning breakfast does not have to suffer! Tofu scramble works really well in replacing a morning omelet . You can still include your zucchini, onions and mushrooms. Use firm tofu and then the secret ingredient: “black” salt. Do some research on that stuff and be sure to get the right kind. (It’s not actually black.) If you do, it will have a sulfur taste and smell that is just like egg whites. When I have people smell a bag of black salt and ask them what it smells like, the vast majority say, “eggs”.

      1. Thea – thank you very much. Wow! — this will lead to a lot of study – how to cook w/o eggs, etc. Methionine appears to be high in all types of fish as well as egg whites – another dilemma, since fish is still in my diet! Cooking and eating at home is one thing, but dining out becomes much more complicated without either eggs or fish. Thanks for the “Black Salt” note as well.

  17. So I’m a very busy guy… please let me know if eggs are good or bad for a person who eats a vegan diet most of the time and eats eggs only when craving meat. Or you could answer the question this way. Are eggs bad for humans in general?

  18. Unfortunately, this is incorrect. This belief stems from the false idea that high cholesterol is bad. This is not true. Many studies have pointed out that people with high cholesterol live longer than those who have low cholesterol. And when testing cholesterol, medics use LDL as the barometer but they must go one step further and test the size of the LDL. If the particle size is large, then that is healthy. If particle size is small then this is where the problem is. Cholesterol is a natural part of the human body and the body produces it when there is inflammation. So, in general, if there is too much LDL small particle cholesterol, then we look at why there is inflammation as cholesterol will spike when there is inflammation in the body, which is the source of many diseases, especially heart disease. And our poor diet, high in bad quality fats – vegetable fats such as canola oil (machinery oil which NEVER should be consumed), soy, corn, safflower and hydrogenated fats – these fats create inflammation in the body and lead to a host of illnesses. Saturated fats – butter, animal fats, etc…, consumed for millennia, are the healthiest fats, along with coconut and olive oil.

    If you want to learn more about all of this, watch the documentary: Cereal Killers. It is great and you can see exactly what happens to someone who goes on a strict high fat diet – eating eggs! and other high fat foods all the while being tested for cholesterol by doctors. It will totally blow the whole false belief that eggs are bad for you.

    So there you have it, a drop of information from someone who has had many health problems, went to school to learn how to heal himself and in the process of doing so learned how incorrect much of the dietary information is that is put forth by the medical “authorities” and media. Best of Luck!

  19. I have been trying for years to convince my colleagues and patients that checking fasting lipids gives a very limited picture of the body’s burden of damaging lipids during waking hours. I often found extremely high levels of triglycerides and elevated levels of cholesterol in patients who claimed to have been fasting, but after confronting them with the bad results they confessed that they actually had been eating their regular Western diet a few hours before. This usually happened when their appointment was later in the day, making it difficult to fast. Once they repeated the test after 8 hours of fasting the results were usually in the normal range. Although fasting lipid levels have a place in determining the presence of existing lipid problems, random testing will predict much better the risks patients will have to develop cardiovascular disease. I am aware of only one Canadian study that endorses this view. This issue is also explains why so many patients are surprised to have cardiovascular disease, a heart attack or stroke, even though their lipid levels were always in the normal range.

  20. Eggs are the most nutritious food on the planet. Cholesterol is a non issue. What kind of stupid do you have to be, to donate to this ridiculous website?

  21. Anyone who’s still falling for the notion that plaque in arteries is caused by cholesterol in food is either on the payroll of the statin manufacturers or woefully behind on keeping up with research. Hello, the brain is largely made of cholesterol! Sugar is what causes arterial plaque to develop.

  22. cholesterol is NOT the problem. Inflammation and arterial damage IS the problem. cholesterol is dispatched to FIX arterial damage. Arterial placque is a symptom of inflammation. As usual big medicine gets it wrong, by looking at and treating symptoms vs. cause.

  23. This is just bad science! Cholesterol is NOT unhealthy, saturated fats (animal fats) are NOT unhealthy. Please update your knowledge… our bodies developed to handle a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol is so important to our bodies that EVERY cell in our bodies can produce it if required. What’s causing this obesity and diabetes epidemic is SUGAR and processed veggie oils. There is so much research out there to support this.

  24. It is amazing how the “dietary cholesterol and saturated fat is good for you” crowd always comes out of the woodwork to complain when people present the evidence that their fantasies are false. They never have any evidence to support their views of course – just strongly expressed opinions.

    Sadly, reports that US dietary guidelines will change the advice about dietary cholesterol will only encourage such people. All that American Egg Board money funding “research” that shows that people already eating high levels dietary cholesterol do not have their serum cholesterol increased by additional dietary cholesterol, is paying off, it seems.

    “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be expected once baseline dietary cholesterol was > 400-500 mg/d.”

    Does anybody know what industry ties the current DGAC members have?

  25. I am getting a bit confused with the over availability of information on eggs.
    I have found this article/research on the BMJ (british medical journal – which should be a valid source of information):

    This research shows the opposit of what is said here.
    I would really like to have your feedback on it.

    1. Good question. Yes, BMJ is a valid journal. They conclude “The increased risk of coronary heart disease among diabetic patients and reduced risk of hemorrhagic stroke associated with higher egg consumption in subgroup analyses warrant further studies.” So it seems diabetics eating more eggs were affected by increase risk of stroke and CVD.

  26. I do happen to think that heating egg yolk does change the cholesterol in ways that may not be helpful, but this can be avoided by gently steaming eggs just until the whites are done (10 minutes) and the yolk is barley warm. Or you can cook an egg sunny side up on a very low heat for about 10 minutes, also cooking the whites and leaving the yolk barley warm, and throwing a few raw eggs in a smoothie hasn’t seemed to do any damage. Foods also act differently when in contact with different body chemistries. I wonder about any study that suddenly recommends that a food we have been consuming for centuries is suddenly bad for you. I love an organic steak now and then too, whole raw milk and raw organic butter. Again, what is good for you can differ from person to person so know yourself. I recommend Life Extension for buying blood testing protocols that will more accurately measure many of the important markers to indicate your state of health. Many docs do not use the best tests, just the cheapest.

  27. The above statement feels flawed in its hypothesis. So blood serum levels do come down in the majority of people after consumption of “cholesterol-laden” meals such as eggs? Does this not prove the point that temporary spikes are well, temporary? There is plenty of research that proves that ingestion of cholesterol doe not “clog the arteries” (bad 1980s conventional wisdom).
    Also, is there any thought to differentiating between the types of cholesterol here? What about talking about the fact that egg consumption was shown in a National Institutes of Health study to only temporarily increase the large particle LDL cholesterol in some people. Here’s a recent research review that I trust far more than the simplistic nonsense above:
    This article feels to me like folks desperately trying to hang on to an outdated assumption.

  28. Yeah, facts be damned. It matters not to the “organic greenie weenie” bunch that actual medical studies–very very large studies and studies that conglomerate numerous other studies–have shown beyond any reasonable person’s doubt that dietary intake of cholesterol has virtually no effect on blood cholesterol levels.

    My grandfather passed away at age 96 (due to complications of injuries received in a car accident). Even at the end, he was stronger than probably 98% of the people in here fretting about eggs. He ate eggs virtually every day of his life. No heart problems at all.

    So yeah, lay off the eggs. More protein for the rest of us.

  29. The fact of the matter is that mammals produce cholesterol naturally. If our natural feedback mechanism is working properly then yes, blood cholesterol will elevate d/t exogenous cholesterol sources. People with normal functioning organs and metabolisms shouldn’t experience elevated cholesterol d/t eaten sources. Biochemistry and human metabolism shows this.

  30. Hi Joseph, I recently read a report in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism that came to the conclusion that higher serum LDL levels actually decrease all cause mortality in Japanese populations. I’m so confused by the conclusions of this study. I was really hoping you could review it and explain the results. It makes me worried because my cholesterol and especially LDL are very low right now and this study showed that women in particular had much worse outcomes from strokes with lower serum LDL levels!

  31. Are you serious citing studies from 1979?!? There might have been “slight” progress in measuring techniques and research as a whole in the last couple of decades to consider…
    Here some new input: –> “High-cholesterol diet, eating eggs do not increase risk of heart attack”

    1. Also there is often some good information “hidden” in some “old” studies that was buried and distorted by the economic influences that I blame for our national nutritional nightmare. Not all things “primitive” are invalid.

    1. jcullen2: This is an understandable and common question. Below is my typical answer. I hope it helps.
      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) Here is a great site/article on Protein 101: Make sense?

  32. I see you removed the unit of measure from the graphs (which is mmo/L). Could you translate that measure in a measure of mg/dL which we usually see in out clinical analysis? Thanks.

  33. This is a great video. One question I have, do we have any data on the effects of the postprandial cholesterol levels on the body? Or the specific toll it takes? The video suggests that it puts strain on the arteries, but is there evidence to suggest that it would in any way lead to increased disease risk (since the fasting level is increased very little or none at all, depending on the presence of saturated fat)?

  34. Here is a study citing effects of postpradial cholesterol on the body, as you requested:
    Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: Not for patients at risk of vascular disease
    “… dietary cholesterol increased susceptibility of LDL to oxidation by 37% (21) in one study and by 39% in another (22).. .The second issue is that the consumption of more than 140 mg dietary cholesterol in a single meal markedly increases postprandial lipemia (23). Third, dietary cholesterol potentiates the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat (the bacon and egg effect), as discussed below.”

    Yes,indeed there seems to be strong evidence that it’s not just the arteries that are damaged by eggs and it’s not just a disease “risk” but actual negative biological changes that are observed after egg consumption. Hope that is what you were looking for.

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