As discussed in a previous post, the recent study on egg consumption published in Atherosclerosis was surprising and contradicts more than 40 years of research demonstrating that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease. As we continued watching news on the topic unfold, we saw that many health professionals had independently reviewed the study and voiced their interpretations of the study’s results on news, health and social media websites.
If you are interested in a detailed analysis of the study and what it means to you as a health professional, check out some of these insights from notable health and nutrition experts:
- Sports dietitian Chris Mohr PhD, RD, explains on MohrResults.com, “With this study there were a ton of controllable factors, which all can play a role in atherosclerosis, that weren’t examined.”
- Further insights are provided by Sheah Rarback, MS, RD, in the Miami Herald. “Saturated and trans fatty acids are the primary culprits in raising blood cholesterol levels. Recent clinical studies on the effect of dietary cholesterol on plasma lipid levels have shown that it has a measurable — but mostly clinically insignificant — effect on plasma cholesterol levels.”
- Dr. Briffa continues on DrBriffa.com, “Another fundamental problem with research of this nature as it relies on individuals reporting how much and/or often they eat of specific foods.”
- Susan Dopart, MS, RD, CDE agrees with this position on SusanDopart.com. “Research shows that when you have patients ‘recall’ what they ate, especially over many years like this study did, the accuracy is quite questionable.”
- Taking a closer look at the data on Health Goes Strong, Robyn Flipse, MS, RD, points out, “What the research did show is that eating eggs improves the overall blood cholesterol profile, but that was nowhere to be found in the headline.”
- When asked about the study by ABC News, Dr. Steve Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic cautioned, “It is extremely important to understand the differences between ‘association’ and ‘causation’.”
- Putting things into perspective, Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD blogged on WebMD, “This is a single, observational study that does not prove cause and effect and does not change the fact that more than 40 years of research suggests that healthy people can eat eggs without having a significant impact on their risk for heart disease.”
- Martha McKittrick, RD, CDN, CDE offers a good piece of advice for consumers on City Girl Bites, “The majority of studies have shown that eggs can fit into a healthy diet. The key is moderation. The effect of the cholesterol found in eggs on blood cholesterol will vary from individual to individual.”
- Concluding her article in the Clarion Ledger, Kathy Warwick, RD, CDE states, “Eggs are a nutritious low-calorie, high protein food that provide 13 essential vitamins and minerals. As with all things dietary, eggs can be part of healthy balanced diet. Daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial for preventing heart disease.”
Obviously, many health experts agree there are several limitations to the study and the results should be interpreted in light of the entire body of research on eggs, cholesterol and heart disease. We would like to thank the many health professionals who have shared their insights and continue to inform consumers about the nutritional benefits of eggs!