Doctors Bust Medical Myths and Lies

The information has been passed on through the generations – but is it accurate? A panel of experts and MDs speak up on the common myths that affect your health.

Posted on | Comments ()

MYTH: Eating eggs will raise your cholesterol.

By Kate Geagan, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian and Author of Go Green Get Lean

FACT: You can enjoy eggs in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Chances are, if you tuned into nutrition advice in the ‘80s and ‘90s, you remember caveats to steer clear from eggs because they are “high in cholesterol and could trigger high cholesterol and heart disease.” And while people with existing heart disease are still advised to limit dietary cholesterol to 200 milligrams a day (one egg has about 185 milligrams), if your cholesterol levels are normal, eggs may be something you can welcome back to your shopping list.

The reason for the confusion? The cholesterol molecules found in eggs are not the primary driver of higher LDL (bad) cholesterol in your own bloodstream. Rather, the real dietary culprits that can raise our body’s own cholesterol production are certain saturated fats and trans fats that we eat (in things like fried and baked foods, red meat or that side of bacon), leading to higher cholesterol levels and heart disease.

In my opinion, eggs are hands down one of the best values in the grocery store: 1 egg has just 70 calories, but packs 6 grams of high quality protein, more than a dozen vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like choline (important for a healthy brain and nervous system). Plus, the latest 2010 USDA nutrition data found that the average egg in America now contains 64% more vitamin D than it did in 2002, likely due to differences in the diet of the chickens.

Fire up the skillet from time to time, but skip the butter and sauté eggs in olive oil or canola oil for a heart healthy boost. For zero added fat, enjoy poached eggs on whole grain toast or hard boiled eggs with some fresh fruit for a delicious snack.